Look, I have to clear a couple of things up here. Although you probably think that as a committed (committed is right haha) member of the team working in the background to help bring you the Fete de la Musique, I wander around from day to day thinking of nothing but the Fete de la Musique, my waking dreams full of applauding crowds, dappled sunshine and happy, fulfilled musicians wiping Hollywood-hued droplets of sweat from their well-deserving brows, in fact I do occasionally think of other things. But nonetheless, I have to admit that the whole sunshiney experience does dwell on me, sit on me if you like, accompany me from coffee machine to writing desk and back.
Which is why.
Which is why it crossed my mind that possibly, just possibly, there are others who are not so drenched in the whole FETE experience, who have other things going on, and who may just, upon perusing the FETE website for example, or while staring at a billboard dedicated to the subject at a city intersection, while they wait for their turn to cross (never cross at the red man, not here, not if you value your life), they may just not be quite so up to scratch on what, well, let’s spit it out, what the whole thing actually is all about.
I’m here to give you the gist, the broad brush strokes, the wrap-up, the skinny
But rest assured, and yes you probably saw this coming and yes you were right,I am here to let you in on the lowdown. I am here to enlighten you to all things Fete de la Musique. But we’ll leave the intricate detail to another time: Today I’m here to give you the gist, the broad brush strokes, the wrap-up, the skinny, the TLDR; version.
Here it is:
- The Fete de la Musique was called into life by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, and his mate Maurice Fleuret, French Director of Music and Dance.
- The first ever Fete de la Musique took place in Paris in 1982.
- From there it spread first across Europe and then across the world.
- Over 120 countries now celebrate the Fete de la Musique.
- Don’t worry, this isn’t all going to be historical information.
- Some countries (like you guessed it Germany) keep the French name to acknowledge where it came from; in other places it’s translated and simply called for example “Music Day”.
- Anyone anywhere can come out and play music, and is actively invited to do so.
- In Berlin, the Fete de la Musique is financially supported by the Senate, via the Berlin Musicboard.
- Official stages (having been registered by 26.3) are included in the official program, have their GEMA fee paid, and are granted a licence to allow them to make some extra noise without the neighbours calling the rozzers on them.
- Musicians can register on the website until 30th April, and will be added to a list for people who organise stages to contact.
- The Fete de la Musique runs from 4pm to 10pm.
- In Berlin there is also the Fete de la Nuit – where the festivities are carried on inside, in various clubs and venues. This is separate from the FDLM and above-mentioned GEMA payments, official recognition and noise licences are not applicable.
- It’s really a lot of fun and you should get involved, whether as an organiser, musician or just fellow-party-person/music fan.
- There is a Europe-wide singalong planned, just as in 2018, for exactly 6pm, where people across Europe are encouraged to sing two mutually agreed songs at exactly the same time, and ideally film, stream, record it (also doing quick scribbled drawings on paper are totally fine).
So there you go. More information coming, in future blog posts! Hope you enjoyed our TLDR version and gentle encouragement to musicians to REGISTER BY 30.4 TO BE OFFICIALLY PART OF IT.
Any questions, comments or wry observations, please pop them in below the line (I believe Facebook lends itself admirably to this purpose).
Thanks for reading!
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.