Fête de la musique: What you can and cannot do this year

The national music festival, which started in 1982, takes place today with thousands of concerts planned. We look at the rules in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic

21 June 2021
Fête de la musique Paris 2013

Spontaneous street concerts will not be allowed at this year's festival, but there are many other scheduled events taking place around the country Pic: Denis Kuvaev / Shutterstock

The Fête de la musique takes place today (June 21) in France, with thousands of concerts and events planned around the country. 

Certain Covid-related restrictions will remain in place and spontaneous street concerts are not permitted. 

However, small concerts in bars and restaurants can take place. 

We summarise the rules for this year’s festival. 

No curfew

France’s national night-time curfew, which had been in place throughout the entire country since January, ended yesterday (June 20).

It means that concerts organised as part of the Fête de la musique can continue on late into the early morning. 

Concerts allowed in bars and restaurants

France’s culture minister Roselyne Bachelot has said that small concerts can take place in bars and restaurants and on terraces. 

In the initial set of rules published by the government, these concerts were forbidden. 

However, spectators will have to remain seated during the concerts. 

There is also still a limit of 50% capacity inside bars and restaurants but no limit on terraces.

There can be a maximum of six people per table, inside and out. 

No impromptu street concerts

Spontaneous street concerts, a popular element of the festival, are not permitted this year.

This to avoid creating large gatherings of people, the Culture Ministry has stated. 

Maximum groups of 10 people

You can only gather in groups of up to 10 people in public places. This limit is set to end on June 30.

This rule is in relation to private groups. However, if, for example, you attend a public event that is seated as part of the festival, there can be a crowd of more than 10 people. 

Public concerts

There is a limit of 65% capacity in all public places organising concerts as part of the festival, with a maximum of 5,000 people allowed to attend. 

A ‘health pass’ - proof of being fully vaccinated, a negative Covid-19 test taken within the past 48 hours, or proof of having had Covid-19 within two weeks and six months prior - is required to enter events in which more than 1,000 people will attend.

Masks

Masks are no longer required in all outdoor settings.

However, they are still required when in crowds, so masks will still be required in many cases during the Fête de la musique. 

Not every city participates

Some cities, such as Calais (Pas de Calais) and Ploërmel (Morbihan) have opted to postpone the event, while others such as Abbeville (Somme) and Metz (Moselle) have cancelled it altogether.

The Ministry of Culture’s website has a programme of the events taking place that you can see here

However, the search tool on the map is not always accurate. For more precise information, it is better to search on your local mairie’s website. 

Read more: 

What big events in France require a ‘health pass’ from today?

I was one of the 5,000 at France’s first indoor concert since Covid

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