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World Music Day - Summer Fun Around the World

Updated on September 11, 2014
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Celebrate the Summer Solstice with music!

If you've never participated in World Music Day, this article will help you see what all the fuss is about. Everyone knows summer is the greatest season of the year, and music makes it even better. The Fète is held in hundreds of cities around the world each year so you can check it out for yourself. Scroll down to find out where your nearest World Music Day events will be this June 21st.

What do you call it?

It can be known as the Fete de la Music, la Fete de la Musique, World Music Day or a number of different names according to the language spoken where it is held.

What is World Music Day?

The original idea for a music festival to celebrate the Summer Solstice was thought up by Joel Cohen in the 1970s. But it wasn't until 1982 that the French Ministry for Culture first brought the idea to life.Founded in Paris, the idea spread quickly and today the Fte is held in 460 countries worldwide. While the common thread of the festival is the start of the Summer (or Winter in the Southern Hemisphere) Solstice on the 21st June, each city's Fete is completely different.

There is no specific line-up of bands or acts. Instead, the organisers in each city ask that musicians - whether professional or amateur - perform in unusual places. This can include the street, train stations, sports grounds, castles and more.The organisers also put together several concerts, with the performers going unpaid and the concerts remaining free and open to everyone.The result is that on the 21st of June, many public places are very noisy, but fun! Any member of the public can come listen to musicians, or join in themselves by singing, playing a musical instrument, dancing or filming the festivities.

Music and festivals around the world

300 Unmissable Events and Festivals Around the World (Frommer's Day by Day - Pocket)
300 Unmissable Events and Festivals Around the World (Frommer's Day by Day - Pocket)

Exciting, original and amazing events around the world are covered in this in-depth travel guide. Full of great tips about buying tickets, finding the best seats and more, this is a must for any adventurous traveler.

 
World Music: A Global Journey
World Music: A Global Journey

This book is aimed at students, but anyone can enjoy the information presented within. From the unique instruments used to how the music influences and is used in the culture, this is a great book for anyone interested in learning more about world music.

 
World Party: The Rough Guide to the World's Best Festivals
World Party: The Rough Guide to the World's Best Festivals

As the title says, this is the rough guide to world festivals. If you're looking for a great outline to the coolest world festivals, this is it. I particularly like the fact that the book features a festival calendar and map for each event, with plenty of colour photos and information to help you decide which event is for you.

 

A band plays the day I arrived in Paris

A band plays the day I arrived in Paris
A band plays the day I arrived in Paris

Fte de la Musique - why it means so much to me

This global music party holds a special place in my heart. It was on the 21st of June several years ago that I first arrived in France with my husband to start our new lives in a foreign country. The Fete de la Musique was my first glimpse of the country that would become my new home, with all its colours, noises and culture. Of course, now that I've lived here for a while I realise that the festive atmosphere I experienced on arrival wasn't a daily occurrence. But every year when the Solstice rolls around, I remember stepping off the plane to singing and joy, and I reminisce a bit.

Capoeira dancers the day I arrived in Paris

Capoeira dancers the day I arrived in Paris
Capoeira dancers the day I arrived in Paris

Fte de la Musique around the world

I love how individual and unique this festival is. From rising local stars to international pop groups and ethnic music to jazz, classical and rock every city has their own style for World Music Day.

World Music Day in Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Brisbane Fete de la Musique"Angel at my Table" performing in LuxembourgOutside the Tahiti tourism centre, ParisA group performing in BrisbaneA group rehearses under a bridge in PragueParis 2010Berlin 2012Kharkov (Ukraine) 2009
Brisbane Fete de la Musique
Brisbane Fete de la Musique
"Angel at my Table" performing in Luxembourg
"Angel at my Table" performing in Luxembourg
Outside the Tahiti tourism centre, Paris
Outside the Tahiti tourism centre, Paris
A group performing in Brisbane
A group performing in Brisbane
A group rehearses under a bridge in Prague
A group rehearses under a bridge in Prague
Paris 2010
Paris 2010
Berlin 2012
Berlin 2012
Kharkov (Ukraine) 2009
Kharkov (Ukraine) 2009

World Music Day in Pictures

What do you think of the Fete de la Music / World Music Day?

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      sybil watson 5 years ago

      What a wonderful holiday - no wonder you love it! I hope you had a fantastic day.

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