Paris, Fete de la Musique (June 21)

Jun 15th, 2006, 03:53 PM
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Paris, Fete de la Musique (June 21)

Quite by happy coincidence we will be arriving in Paris on June 21, the day of the Fete de la Musique. Had I thought of it earlier we would have arrived the day before so we wouldn't have to deal with jet lag.

Last year we happened to be in Milan on June 21 for White Night. It was very exciting with music going on all over town.

Have any of you experienced Paris' summer solstice? We are staying at the Hotel de l'Abbaye so will be near the Luxembourg Gardens and San Sulpice which I hope will have music venues.

I would love to hear from anyone who has been to the Fete de la Musique.

Judi is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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Last summer we also happened upon the very happy surprise of the summer solstice. It seems that all over France, musicians come out and play to celebrate the summer. We were walking in the 11th around 9:30 PM and on every corner and in every cafe musicians were setting up. We just enjoyed all the activity, the excitement, and of course the music-which had a little bit of everything. The next day we struck up a conversation at an internet cafe with a man who happened to be one of the performing musicians from the night before. He told us about the traditional annual celebration and even gave us his card with a web site from which we could download his original music. One of the many serendipitious encounters we had with Parisiens.
Another celebration we happened upon was on the last Saturday in June. It was the Gay Pride parade which was centered around the Bastille. Quite a spectacle!!!
egspa is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 06:28 PM
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I enjoyed the Fete de la Musique in 1996. I didn't even know about it until it happened! It was wonderful--I loved it. I particularly remember a jazz trio of young musicians on a street corner in the Quartier Latin who were awesome!
DejaVu is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 06:32 PM
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yes, I've been there for it. It's basically a city street festival, with various groups playing at sites around the city where you can hear them in the street. There is a program available for who is where, when. I got one at a metro stop or maybe online, I don't recall. There isn't anything special I planned for it. Some of these groups are not that great and can be rather annoying, actually, if they aren't the kind of music you like and they are blasting at full volume some horrible rock music across the street from where you are having dinner.
Christina is offline  
Jun 15th, 2006, 09:08 PM
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We'll be there, too, Judi!
I'm really excited.
Bon voyage!
dina4 is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 01:34 AM
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The transit authority (RATP) has filed for a strike on the 21st. I doubt that much will come of it, but they want a special bonus for keeping the metro and RER open all night as in previous years. (The metro also runs all night on July 14, the Nuit Blanche in October and December 31st.)
kerouac is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 04:32 PM
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Thanks, all, for your replies. I am looking forward to a fun evening. I understand that anyone can perform so am prepared for all levels of music.

Dina, I wish I was leaving on Monday! I saw on another thread that you are interested in an after dark tour. If you go to the Vedettes web site you can print off an internet coupon for 2€ per person. I hope you have a wonderful trip! BTW, the weather forecast shows rain on Tuesday. Take an umbrella in your carryon!
Judi is offline  
Jun 16th, 2006, 09:01 PM
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I've got my umbrella, and I've got my vedettes coupon. I really hope it doesn't rain, though. and predict clouds and sunshine, so I'm hoping they're right!

Au revoir!
dina4 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 01:29 AM
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The Fête de la Musique is really nothing more than a day when many amateur musicians set up shop on the street and play music. There are also a few official concerts and other events. After hearing some of the amateur musicians, you'll understand why they only appear once a year.

It's a mostly daylight festival, since the sun doesn't set until 10 PM on June 21, and the sky remains light almost until midnight.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 01:37 AM
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I can understand why it would be interesting for tourists and once it is interesting. Frankly, as a resident, I hate it and plan to be away if possible.
moxie is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 05:50 AM
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For anyone else who will be in France at the same time, the Fete de la Musique happens all over the country, and so you may well find that the town or village you are in will be participating. I remember one amazing night in Sarlat with a choir singing in the grounds of a converted monastery, the moon hanging over the cathedral in the background. Quite magical. However, a lot of the other groups playing were less than magical. So you take your chances. Often fun, sometimes we residents, like Anthony, prefer to be somewhere else.

By the way, as I post this I hear the school festivities across the field from our house beginning - with Ravel's Bolero pouring out over the countryside. Not sure how this will fit in with the basketball court they've installed in the field, so I guess I'll go down and have a look.

Bon weekend
Carlux is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 05:51 AM
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moxie, I can understand that. As no license is required anyone, talented or not, can hang out on the street and perform. It would be interesting to tourists.

dina, it looks as if the weather has improved! Just put your umbrella in your suitcase. Happy travels!
Judi is offline  
Jun 17th, 2006, 07:26 AM
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kerouac is offline  
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