Summer Starts With Music
On June 21st 1981 the first edition of what is now known as Fête de la Musique, or World Music Day, was held on the streets of Paris. Back then, it was a celebration of the fact that one out of every two French children played a musical instrument. A way to show appreciation towards all the people who brought us joy through their art.
Over the years, as the event spread to over a hundred countries, it grew to represent the unifying power of music and culture. The first weekend of every summer now embodies the festival’s motto: Faites de la musique !
Even in little Belgium, over seven hundred concerts were happening all at once, completely free and open to the public. Plus, the festivities were not limited to just music. Artists of all kinds were abundant: street performers, cosplayers, food trucks, artisans and of course, musicians.
And the cherry on top: it was a beautiful, warm and sunny day.
As we arrived at the Parc du Cinquantenaire, one of the festival’s many locations, we found ourselves discovering one of the more original artists: the nice people from Bugs in Mugs.
Yes, this is us eating crickets:
Although the bugs-on-a-stick left quite an impression on us (as well as an invertebratey aftertaste), we decided to skip the earthworm quiche. One piece of advice for fellow brave adventurers: remove the wings first.
Once full, we continued through the crowd and stumbled upon a very intimate stage where Leaf House was preparing to play.
As an indie rock band with electro jazz tunes from Liège, we had absolutely never heard of them. But they were cool and we were delighted by their juicy chords. The light and sound of the place made for a tranquil atmosphere, as if we were hanging out with some immaterial beings.
Dusk fell, and an entirely different scene exploded before us.
The park lit up in the darkness as people gathered near its large artesian fountain.
A gentle spray of steam cooled us off, and rightly so. The closing performance of the evening would be an impressive fire-juggling display.
We spent a great day in the company of artists and enjoyers of art, and we left with a smile and some fantastic images.
Over 30 years, the Fete de la Musique has become more than just music: it is a love-letter to culture and life.
If you’ve enjoyed our little story, don’t hesitate to share it with everyone you know, and maybe we’ll meet at next year’s festival. Or if you were there, how about you share with us your own point of view?