France’s La Fête de la Musique becomes an international phenomenon as more countries pick up the tune.
June 21 is the Summer Solstice, and the first day of summer in much of the world. But in France, since 1982, it has also been the date of La Fête De La Musique (Music Festival), a day dedicated to the celebration, and performance, of music. Concerts are held all over France, many of them free. And musicians of all stripes take to the streets and perform impromptu on sidewalks and in restaurants. It’s a day to enjoy, celebrate, listen to and make music.
The one-day event, which began as an informal grass roots movement, has grown to be one of France’s best loved holidays and has gone somewhat establishment with corporate sponsors and televised events. Now, it has also gone global, with 350 cities aorund the world dancing to France’s tune and holding their own versions on La Fête De La Musique.
France brings La Fête de La Musique to China
In Shanghai, hundreds of music lovers and curious thronged public spaces, temples and grand homes to hear different kinds of music in celebration of France day at the Shanghai World expo. It was the first time that the Fête de La Musique has been held in China. Listeners were treated to music of all styles played by musicians of all ages. People were amazed, as street poerformances in China are very rare, as are indeed all public displays and demonstrations in the restrictive atmosphere propagated by the Chinese government.
France’s Minister of Culture and the inventor of the event, Jack Lang, expressed pleasure at the adoption of La Fête de La Musique by China this year and hopes that it will become a yearly tradition as it is in France.
In Europe, La Fête De La Musiquehas been invading countries outside France for years. In Rome, for example, it is a beloved annual tradition that still retains in French flavor.
Marie Beréngère Chapoton, Managing Director of Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese states, “Every year many businesses, companies and authorities take part in putting together the Music Festival, adding to the international development of the event”. “ Because of our strong liaison with France, we have chosen to help develop and spread this event event in Italy, aware that music is for all people and cultures.”
In Italy, the AIPFM – Italian Association for Promotion of the Music Festival – together with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, has made an agreement to involve as many cities as possible in Italy and to coordinate relations with other European countries. At present Siena, Modena, Lucca, Arco Val di Ledro and Rivolitake place in the event. An agreement between the French and Italian Ministry of Culture has been approved aimed at promoting artistic trade between the two countries and to give more visibility over the border to the artists involved. In the beautiful setting of the Cuisine & Lounge La Terrasse in Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, deeply tied to French cultural activities, an elegant evening of music will be held.. Antonella Aprea’s concert for 80 invited guests will take place in the early evening on the spectacular panoramic terrace overlooking Villa Borghese.
Similar events are being arranged in cities all across Europe…and now the world.
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