Fête de la musique 2024: France’s giant June 21 street party

Musical performances up and down the country will celebrate the nation’s rich musical heritage

Musicians up and down the country are ready to take their instruments to the streets on June 21…. Weather permitting
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France’s Fête de la musique huge street party evening takes place tomorrow (June 21), with thousands of events planned across the country. 

From Paris to Nice, Lille to Toulouse, and many other towns, cities and villages in between, concerts, DJ sets, street performances, and a host of other musical events are planned.

This year, events will take place internationally in over 100 countries on the same evening.

Alongside professional concerts, amateur musicians will also set up their instruments outside to play, with all genres of music – including traditional folk and regional tunes – performed.

Events held in larger spaces are often free (but not always) and many outdoor events or performances cost nothing to attend.

What is the history of Fête de la musique?

The annual evening is intended as a celebration of musicians and their art, promoting the auditory heritage of France, and to shine a light on local performers.

The event has been a cornerstone of French cultural life since it began in 1982, having been introduced in the aftermath of François Mitterand’s successful campaign for the French presidency in 1981.

The then Culture minister Jack Lang was looking to create a cultural event that was in tune with the nation’s optimism over the election of the new president without breaking the bank.

Read more: Did you know a US musician inspired France’s Fête de la Musique?

Held on June 21 every year, it usually coincides with the summer solstice – the longest day of the year – bringing a mystical air to the festivities. 

This year, however, the summer solstice takes place on June 20 (today).

The importance of the event is reflected in its accommodation by public services across France. Public transport, for example, runs overnight on a number of metro and rail lines in Paris, and elsewhere in France buses, trains and trams may run later than usual.

Restaurants, parks, and other local spots may also join the action, inviting musicians to perform, or having special ‘themed’ evenings.

Unfortunately, one thing authorities cannot control for the evening is the weather. Storms have been battering France this week, and rain is expected to continue in a number of areas on Friday evening, including the capital and major cities of Nantes and Lyon. 

Read more: Weather in France June 17 - June 21: Forecast by area this week

You can find a list of all major events on the government’s website here, and you can search for events local to you. 

Click on the ‘consultez le programme’ button to find an interactive map detailing events across France and the rest of the world.