18,000 events for La Fête de la Musique

people gathered on open-air dancefloor
Learn to line dance like these Fête de la Musique spectators in Bressuire

Musicians take to the streets to make the summer solstice ring with the sound of live bands

On the day of the year when anyone with a feeling for music will be out on the streets enjoying the Fête de la Musique, it seems that one in three of France’s musicians has already done just that.

Although just 7% of people have taken part in the all-night event, a survey has found that 35% of those who can play an instrument have taken to the streets at some time.

It may be the only time that many musicians play in public and the range of events across the country shows that there is no shortage of amateur musicians pleased to get out and enjoy themselves.

In all, there are 18,000 summer solstice events expected and the Fête de la Musique website lists many of the larger events (and even has an English version). However, the best way to find music is just to head out on to the streets.

Expect security to be strict at larger events with the state of emergency. Although localised thunderstorms are expected across central areas that, as Gene Kelly has already shown in Singing in the Rain, does not mean people cannot enjoy themselves.

Paris will see music from 14.00 until 23.00 at the Palais-Royal among hundreds of smaller and not-so-small events while Facebook is hosting four hours of music from towns across the country. The Ministry of Culture has published a map of the events on its website. 

A live show featuring many international stars will also be transmitted by France Télévisions on France 2 from Toulouse. Featured are Garou, Calogero, Soprano, Black M, Matt Pokora, Julien Doré, Julien Clerc, Luis Fonsi, Texas and Nolwenn Leroy.

Many amateur musicians get a renewed love of music after the event and Piano Lab discovered that the most popular instruments were the piano, played by 32% of musicians, the flute (29%) and one in five plays guitar.

Although the majority of people regret never having learned to play 57% were sorry they never learned to play piano and 53% the guitar. Just 5% wished they had learned to play the trumpet.

To find an event near you, type Fête de la Musique into your favourite search engine, be it Google, Bing or the up-and-coming French site Qwant.

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