Events in Biarritz – Fete de la Music
A celebration in music. The first part in a series of blogs about events in Biarritz and the surrounding south west coast.
French people celebrate almost everything. From local markets and seasonal village feasts to historical celebrations and week-long music festivals. There is something for everyone all summer long on the South-West coast of France!
Fête de la Musique is one of biggest and most popular celebrated street music festivals all over France. On this day the animations will not fail. The Music Festival will raise the decibels in each city around the South-West coast of France and you will guaranteed have an amazing time enjoying concerts, French culture, drinks and food!
A national holiday became a world great musical event
Fête de la Musique, also known as Make Music Day or World Music Day, is an annual music celebration which is scheduled at the unique and symbolic date of June 21st, day of the summer solstice. This huge, free popular event welcomes every musician of any background, to celebrate music and promote diversity in musical practices in a cheerful atmosphere. It speaks to everyone and allows people to become familiar with different musical expressions and to popularize musical practice for young and old from all nationalities.
Over the years, it has developed into a celebration of life and culture and it gives an opportunity to communicate and share a very special moment through the language that everybody speaks: MUSIC!
The concept of an all-day musical celebration on the days of the solstice, was originated by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang.
In October 1981 Maurice Fleuret was appointed by Jack Lang, as the new director of Music and Dance. Fleuret applied his reflections to the musical practice and its evolution: "the music everywhere and the concert nowhere". When he discovered, in a 1982 study on the cultural habits of the French, that five million people, one child out of two, played a musical instrument, he began to dream of a way to bring people out on the streets. From this moment Jack Land and Maurice Fleuret started to organise and realise a great new popular event which allows all the musicians to express themselves and to be known. It first took place in 1982 in Paris as “Fête de la Musique”.
Ever since, the festival has become an international phenomenon and has grown immensely. Within ten years the music festival was celebrated in over 85 countries and spread to 5 continents. On this day, more than 700 cities in 120 countries, including Germany, Italy, Greece, Russia, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, the United States, and Japan celebrated the Music Festival on the same day each year.
Fête de la Musique's purpose is to promote music in two ways:
• Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform in the streets, under the slogan "Faites de la musique" ("make music").
• Many free concerts are organized, making all genres of music accessible to the public. Two of the requirements of the organisation of Fête de la Musique are that all concerts must be free to the public, and all performers donate their time for free. This is now realised in all participating cities in the world.
The preparations of the Music Festival takes place in a hurry. Not until a few weeks before the festival, the participants get a chance to sign up with their act to perform in the streets or on organized stages. Minimum posters will be printed and placard in the streets by the ‘Ministry of Culture’ knowing that thousands of initiatives will participate in the event anyway and no promotion is actually needed. The musicians settle down everywhere in streets, public gardens, kiosks, courts yards, gardens, stations, squares, parks etc. and thousands of people roam in the street till late in the night, in the good-natured atmosphere.
Every year, the Ministry of Culture and Communication chooses a theme for Fête de la Musique. It so allowed to celebrate “Fifty years of Pop Music” in 2012. In 2013 the theme was “The Voice”in 2014 “Urban Musics” and in 2015 “Vivre ensemble la musique” (translated “Live music together”). The theme for 2016 has not been announced yet…
A Fête like no other in the Basque country!
Each year something magical happens on the South-West coast of France on the longest day of the year. Just like thousands of other cities around the globe, Biarritz comes alive for Fête de la Musique. The city transforms and people of all ages, nationalities and social classes come together to celebrate and share in a night-long festival of music. In each part of the city musicians from every genre imaginable perform for everyone to hear at no charge. People are moving all night long from concert to concert. It truly is one big party!
Biarritz is a very popular summer seaside resort for tourists of any kind. Families, travellers, surfers, and young adolescents love spending their holidays in this city for all sorts of reasons: shopping, wine, food, culture and waves. But on this special night, the 21st of June, everyone comes for one reason only…. MUSIC!
All will be stunned by the surroundings when they enter the city. As you come in to the centre you will hear the pulse of music everywhere. The streets will be swarming with people and massive stages will be spotted instantly where loud music is coming from. It doesn’t matter how far away you are from the stage, you can hear the music, see the joy and laughter and feel the good vibes all around. Bands will be playing upbeat music all night, where the crowds can sing and dance until the early morning.
People will spread out in each corner of the city. Groups of students having picnics in the parks with snacks and beers, older couples sipping their wine on the terrace, families sitting on the beach and teenagers dancing to the music. The local bars and cafés will be packed like you have never seen before. Food and drinks will be sold on the streets, as not everybody has a chance to enter the crammed bars and restaurants. The music can be heard from all around, you could enjoy it from anywhere in the area.
It’s the music that brings all these people together. In countless cities the same festival is celebrated at the same moment, but Biarritz is just one not to miss out on! Everybody should get a chance to join the fun on this magical night. Not only will you hear fantastic music, you will see the power that it has to connect people no matter who they are or what their background is. Fête de la Musique is unlike any other festival, which is more than worth participating in at least once!
Don’t miss the 35th edition of Fête de la Musique in Biarritz this summer 2016. It will take place on Tuesday the 21st of June where the streets will be filled with music and multiple concerts will be held in the centre of the city. The highlighted spots to celebrate this Music Festival in Biarritz are:
- Port Des Pêcheurs
- Déambulation Places Clemenceau Et Bellevue
- Haut Gambetta
- Bas Clémenceau-les Colonnes
- Les Halles
- Parvis Sud Grande Plage