Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fete de la Musique - Paris

When Aymeric from Airbus told me that I must try and make it to Paris on the 21st of June because it not only was the Paris Air Show but also Fete de la Musique, I was intrigued. What is Fete de la Musique? It was declared so by one of the past French Presidents who wanted the French to let their hair down officially once a year. “Organized chaos” is what Aymeric called it.

Completely different from a music festival, the FĂȘte de la Musique is above all a free popular fĂȘte, open to any participant (amateur or professional musicians) who wants to perform in it. This Music day allows the expression of all styles of music in a cheerful atmosphere. It aims at a large audience, working to popularise musical practice for young and not so young people from all social backgrounds. It gives an opportunity to communicate and share a very special moment through music.

Well after much enquiring, we decided to narrow our evening to the St Germain area. This was because of the location of 2 important Lycees and the high student population which would in turn guarantee some entertaining music. Aymeric was to judge whether Paris would put on a better show than his home city of Toulouse. In Toulouse, most people would play recorded music on the streets or they would have a DJ mix music.

When we enquired of our Taxi driver from Le Bourget to the St Germain for the best places to witness this event, he handed us over a newspaper supplement that had all the important details of the Fete de la Musique and the kind of music you could fine in every part of Paris. In some places, the entertainment actually began at noon. But am sure this was the case only in the student areas. Most places, the evening started only at 7 pm and continued until the wee hours of the morning.

We walked the streets of St Germain for about 4.5 hours and listened to all kinds of genres – rock and roll, pop, jazz, heavy metal, soul, 50s hilly billy rock, etc. We decided that we would listen to a group or band for not more than 2 songs so that we could experience the maximum. Though we walked for over 4.5 hours, miraculously we did not walk the same street twice or hear the same band twice!! The Notre Dame even had organ music and a church choir.

Paris is always lively, but on this night even more so. It seemed as if everyone took this opportunity to party all night. When we left at around midnight, the party in Paris appeared to be just beginning. And Aymeric’s final verdict was that he was “happily surprised” with the talent and performances.

Looked very Indian.

A young group outside the Pharmacie, the owners were quite upset with the loud music but the crowd loved the group.

Good idea to carry your glass of Sangria and listen to live music.

The Notre Dame.

Fete de la Musique @ the Notre Dame!

Aymeric and me enjoying the live music.

Former Life - Aymeric is a fan.
Heavy metal band.
The drummer was superb.

Hilly Billy Rock and Roll

This couple's son did not quite like the attention they were attracting.

Aymeric's favourite band.
Woohoo........You've got another thing coming!

Finally we came across a party on the street. The music - a DJ mix.