Friday, June 22, 2012

Fête de la Musique 2012 - Dijon, France


What a party it was.  Wish you could have been here.  All of France took to the street Thursday night as part of Fête de la Musique.  You might know it as World Music Day, an event that started in 1982 as a fun way around the globe to mark the summer solstice.  Perhaps your city did something to recognize it?  In Dijon music was found on practically every plaza and major intersection.  All of the entertainers were local.

The people of Dijon usually respond in abundance for events like this.  And they happen often in this city.  For the rest of this month there’s a music festival that presents music at all the lesser parks as a way to highlight outlying neighborhoods.  On the last weekend of this month there will be a jazz festival in another corner of the city.

People poured into the center of the city for the festival

That doesn’t even include the organ concerts in the cathedral, the summer opera season, and the music series that brings music to many little pubs and cafés throughout the downtown area.  And about 85% of it is free.  And then we have July . . . more of the same.

So the people showed up in abundance Thursday night.  We were elbow to elbow.  Many of the smaller food sellers moved to the sidewalk to entice pedestrians with crepes or hotdogs or beers.  Cotton candy was my poison of choice.  And the people did conga lines down the street or waltzed or head-bobbed to the music.

"Barbe a Papa" definitely bigger than my head
-- and this wasn't even the largest size they sold

A lot of my favorite music was on the side streets.  I don’t think they were official performers.  More like “I have a monitor and microphone so let’s play something!”  Since you couldn’t come to the party, I’m bringing a bit of the party to you (it's my first time uploading to youTube.  Sorry if you experience technical errors).

I found these guys at the end of rue Berbisey (my street), far from the "official" festival.  They were the most fun, sort of like klezmer music on speed.

How about some smooth French jazz?

Care to dance to some regional music?

I seemed to be the only one in the courtyard who didn't know this tune.

So, what does your community do to celebrate summer?  Please share in the comments box and let us know how many spaces you have available for friends to spend the night when we come to join you in the fun.


Tami Clayton said...

Oh, that looks like so much fun! I'm so glad you shared clips of the music.

My town celebrates the beginning of summer with festivals and music, too: Oregon Bach Festival, Art & the Vineyard, Oregon Country Fair, and so on... Lot's to see, eat, drink, and listen to around here. And I'd be glad to host you, Julie, if you made it out west. :)

Melinda Farrar said...

Thanks for posting the videos. This is a great way to know exactly what you are experiencing over there. Looks like a lot of fun.

Julie Farrar said...

Well, Tami, Oregon is unique that way. There's always something going on. And believe, I haven't been there in two years and that's two years too long.

Glad to know the videos worked, Melinda. My first time and everything.

Rossandra said...

Oooh, how I envy you. Laguna Beach just had its Fifth Annual Fete de la Musique, honoring Laguna's sister city, Menton, on the French-Italian border, on the edge of a bay between Monaco and the Italian Riviera. I was in Aix a couple of years ago and enjoyed a parade with singing and dancing, along with a wedding in the middle of town. Loved it. Hope to get to Menton next year.

Julie Farrar said...

Oh, how I love that the weddings are so public, what with everyone going to the city hall on Saturday for the civil ceremony before moving on to the church for the religious ceremony. The streets are filled with brides and families and decorated cars.

Patricia said...

This post brought back lovely memories! We lived in Antibes for four months last summer and were there for June 21. What a wonderful way to welcome summer!

Julie Farrar said...

Thanks so much for reading, Patricia. I'm sure you got a lot of writing done while staring at the Mediterranean Sea. One day I'll be here as long.

Lynne Favreau said...

What fun! I wish our town did more public music events. We sometimes go to Newburyport where they usually have musicians playing in the square on weekends. It adds so much to the atmosphere.

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