Each year on June 21, many countries throughout the world celebrate la Fête de la musique. This world-wide celebration urges people to play and enjoy music, for free, outside in their neighborhoods or in public spaces and parks. 

I remember my first and only experience with fête de la musique in France.  While doing a summer abroad program in Lyon, my host parents encouraged me to take advantage of the longest day of the year to attend this summer street festival. At first they tried to get their 12 year old son to take me with his friends, but he was too embarrassed to take the “petite américaine” with him (!). So instead, I set off with a fellow student in my program into downtown Lyon. We sauntered around Place Bellecour, exploring its sidewalks and streets, where lone acts and groups alike performed all types of music, from Édith Piaf to Bob Marley, during this annual celebration of music and the summer solstice. 

« La musique sera partout et le concert nulle part ! »

This annual festival began with Maurice Fleuret, who was appointed Directeur de la musique et de la danse under Minister of Culture Jack Lang in October 1981. The following year, a study performed on the cultural habits of the French people uncovered their musical inclinations. It found that five million French people, and 50% of French youth, played a musical instrument. In true French revolutionary style, Fleuret and Lang decided to harness this musical talent and spirit by bringing it to the streets in a type of musical manifestation. Fleuret proclaimed, “La musique sera partout et le concert nulle part !” (Music will be everywhere, and the concert nowhere). From their ideas and philosophy the first Fête de la musique was launched on June 21, 1982 in Paris. After only three years, the program spread to other European countries and is now celebrated in more than one hundred countries across five continents.   

« Faites de la musique »

Several of the publicity posters over the years have utilized the homophone, “Faites de la musique” or “Make music,” which I particularly enjoy. Street performances during World Music Day, as it is also known, can be of any musical genre and both amateurs and professionals can apply to play, but performances must be free to the public. Planning to be in France during the fête this year? Check out the event’s website, which helps you locate celebrations.

Celebrate with us!

Want to celebrate in Boston?  The Community Music Center of Boston will host their annual Fête de la musique on Saturday, June 22 from 3-6 pm at several parks in the South End.  Visit their website for details and make sure to visit the French Cultural Center at Freida Garcia Park during the festival!  


Natalie Collet

Membership Manager

From the Midwest, Natalie is a Francophile at heart. Her interest in French started when studying ballet and​ the language and culture entranced her through her student years.​ She became involved with the - Alliance - in the suburbs of Chicago after she spent an unforgettable year teaching English in a French high school near Bordeaux. She is happy to join the team in Boston and work with the members to provide them with unique opportunities​, ​quality programming​, and a community through French! [line_break /][line_break /] [email_link email="ncollet@frenchculturalcenter.org"]Contact[/email_link]

See All Posts

Related Posts

Event Recap: Bastille Day at La Voile Brookline

On July 14, 2021, Bastille Day was back at the Center! Ok, so there was no block party on Marlborough Street but we did hold…

Read More

La Fête nationale / Bastille Day

Each year, French people all around the world celebrate la Fête nationale on July 14, which they often call le quatorze juillet. This French national…

Read More

Crafting the Perfect Bastille Day Menu

The Center’s Bastille Day celebration has been a decades-long summer staple in the Back Bay neighborhood. La Fête Nationale, celebrated on le quatorze juillet, marks…

Read More

Upcoming Events

Thursday, July 29, 2021 6:00 PM To 6:40 PM

For this month’s ciné-club we chose to discuss a love story. Filippo Meneghetti’s first movie, Two of Us, is an incredible exploration of what it means to love and be loved in return.

Read More
Wednesday, August 4, 2021 6:30 PM To 7:30 PM

Lovers of Paris, join us to learn about how the famous Parisian Métro has influenced art.

Read More
Health & Fitness

Outdoor Barre/Pilates/Cardio Fusion Class

Outdoor, in-person event at Greenway Park

Friday, August 6, 2021 6:00 PM To 7:00 PM

Our popular barre classes are heading outside! Summer is coming and we are glad to be able to offer once a month an outdoor Barre/Pilates/Cardio fusion class en français et en personne at Greenway wharf district park.

Read More