The roaring forties of the Fête de la Musique

The roaring forties of the Fête de la Musique

Rap, classical, musette, rock or samba played by pros or amateurs: towns, villages and unexpected places will vibrate for the Music Festival, like every June 21 for 40 years and a crazy idea signed Jack Lang, Minister of Culture of the time.

It has become an institution in France and an event now exported to more than a hundred countries around the world. As in Canberra, Australia, where the frost arrives in this part of the southern hemisphere: mulled wine and pancake were planned to accompany the event.

In France, the wave of heat wave has passed but the temperature should rise in the evening with the concerts which will follow one another, like every June 21, day of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere.

All musical genres will rub shoulders, as in La Rochelle, for example, with an old port placed under the sign of hard rock/metal and a Notre-Dame church invaded by choirs.

In Paris, among the many initiatives, Radio France will crisscross the streets with a sound truck with a DJ, Young Pulse. It’s a nice nod to Jacques Higelin who played on a truck crossing Paris in the early years of the Fête de la Musique.

In 2022, this tank must set off in the early afternoon near the Parisian Statue of Liberty, dedication to “Make music day” (which can be translated as “make music”, international version of the Fête de la Musique) which is due to start in New York from, again, the Statue of Liberty. In the very courtyard of the Elysée, Youssou N’Dour and the Ukrainian DJ Xenia, among others, will turn up the volume.

– “We need parties” –

To say that the days preceding the first edition in 1982, Jack Lang, initiator of the event, had “the stage fright” of his life, as he told AFP.

“We told people + go ahead, get out, make the music in the streets your own +, but we feared that they would stay hidden at home. But it worked”, recalls the one who had been appointed minister by the president François Mitterrand after the Socialists came to power in 1981.

From the winter of that year, the idea germinated in the minds of Mr. Lang and his close guard, Christian Dupavillon, architect-scenographer, and Maurice Fleuret, director of music and dance. It is the latter who launches “the music will be everywhere and the concert nowhere”.

“The first year, in 1982, it was not a great success, but people played the game and from 1983 it was really on”, deciphers Mr. Lang, today at the head of the Institut du monde Arabic (IMA) in Paris.

“We need parties. We should celebrate four times a year in each season, which Christmas already does for the winter solstice”, writes philosopher Edgar Morin today about the one reserved for music .

Mr. Lang, who is the guest of honor this Tuesday for a musical stroll between Villeurbanne and Lyon, before returning to Paris in the evening, wishes to dedicate this 40th edition to Steve Maia Caniço, who died in 2019 during an operation controversial policewoman during the Fête de la Musique in Nantes.


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