All kinds of music will be heard: classical, jazz, rock, hip-hop, Celtic music, Corsican chants... and of course the proverbial accordion tunes.
This festival is held on June 21st. And the information put out by the ministry specifies "... you are free to play music in Paris from 6 pm to 12.30 am, provided that you keep to a noise level which is bearable for the neighborhood. You simply need to make a declaration at Police headquarters, by email or by post." What could be easier?
Among places around the globe that will hand over the streets to musicians are New York City and Chicago, Vancouver, London, Lisbon, Brussels, Berlin, Rome, Lausanne, Athens... even tiny Luxembourg. Developing countries have signed on over the years: Rio (a natural, with its samba self), Senegal, Morocco, Lebanon, Madagascar, China and La Paz, for instance. Oman was supposed to have a music festival too, but who knows what will happen now that the Arab Spring has sprung. And then there are places like Medellin (Colombia), where they may be dancing in the streets but I’m not sure I’d venture out in the wee small hours of the morning.
And then of course there’s Montmartre, where I live. Which reminds me of a story that happened two Fêtes de Musique’s ago.
Carol and Leslie came to Paris to visit and tour a bit. My apartment is small and they elected to stay at a hotel, so I booked them into the hotel on the tree-studded square just around the corner. All went well on the first few nights. Then the amplifiers appeared.
The ladies inquired at the desk and were briefed on the Fête de la Musique by a concierge who assured them that it all stopped at midnight. Over dinner I told them to go get their pyjamas and toothbrush and I’d make up the guestroom and the sofa-bed. They assured me that they could handle it. And off they toddled to bed.
Fifteen minutes later, they were back with their overnight kit. When they’d reached the hotel, reggae music was playing and they thought that would be nice to fall asleep to. Then those musicians packed up, which they thought was the end of the Festival. Until techno music started to blare, volume set on "Stun". A call down to the night desk brought them confirmation that the day guy had been overly optimistic and that music was scheduled to continue until 2 am, at the very least. So back they trudged, beds were made up and we all laughed about it - sort of - oh, say, a year later, when their hearing came back.
Photos thanks to my good friend Leslie Blum, who is the Leslie of the story