Fete dela Musique. First, let’s dig in the roots of where and how this astounding festival begun. “Faîtes de la Musique, Fête de la Musique” (a play on the French words for “Make Music, Festival of Music”), was created by Jack Lang, Minister of Culture, from an idea taken from French Music and Dance Director Maurice Fleuret, who noticed that 5 million people in France, including one youth in two, played a musical instrument. The “Fête de la Musique” was launched on 21 June, 1982, the day of the summer solstice and the shortest night of the year, thus making it ideal for partying until the early morning.
The most fortunate artists and musicians of different genres are invited to play their music, express their art, entertain and pour out their passion, through dance and music for free. Yes for free. This is the solemn propaganda of Fete dela Musique: to share your art for free and play it on the streets. That’s what makes it more exceptional and distinct. To be a part of this festival is a great gratitude. But how they organize it maybe differs on various nations.
As with Philippines, stages are arranged per genre. Except for two main stages that were set in Makati, and the other in Manila. These main stages had a mix of different genres and consisted of different bands and artists that are more known (mainstream, if that’s what they call it). There were also what they call “pocket stages” set all over the nation. These pockets stages were arranged per genre. The pocket stages are held on either streets or bars. Only artists or musicians of the same genre are invited to perform on the same stage. However, a couple of years ago, Fete dela Musique in the Philippines approach was more likely of a usual fest. It was held in one place, with different stages, food and liquor stands dotted all over the venue, just a walk away from each other. But recently, Fete is celebrated at different locations, different bars, different cities all over the country. There are pros and cons of this change, but what’s important is that more artists and musicians are given the chance to be a part of this wonderful event.
I witnessed the happenings on ‘world stage’ held at Polaris Street, Makati. It happened in a bar named Cafe Cureux, a French bar with a moderate space. Artists and bands that performed are: Ukulele Philippines, Planet Zips, Flow Arts Philippines, Kadara Capoiera, Talahib, Navy Blue Pants, Dayaw, Kontra Gapi, UP Kekeli West African Ensemble, Jam Perez, Karen Lou Mesina, Anahata, Christ Man, DJ Tribal Enkanto, DJ Lapu Lapu. Art Installation by: Cherry Ann Fulo, Levi Cruz, Beatrice Cruz Puertollano, Delfin, Luis Hernandez. World stage consisted of tribal bands, cultural arts. The stage was filled with arts and musics that resembles our tribe’s but with a twist of a modern taste.
No doubt, the night was fun. The roads were closed. People were seen everywhere having fun, talking, laughing, interacting, but the bar seemed too small for an event like that. Earlier that night it rained that caused almost everyone to be jammed in the bar. It was almost suffocating, because almost everyone was dancing and moving. It was so hard to move from one place to another. But luckily, the rain stopped and so the people went outside to hang out. The fun continued. Hooray!
As one of the performers I could say, for an independent (indie as what they say) band like mine, I have never felt such warmth and support from the audience and friends that came. I could say that Fete dela Musique is one of a kind and the most magical event I have been. The people’s energy, bliss, and ties, even of different races, had been heart-stirring. Plus it ended peacefully despite of the liquor teeming in every corner of the venue. Everyone was just having fun, united. All of this because music called us together. Music gave us an eve of peace and remarkable happiness. One night that made a difference in our lives. One night that gave us an exceptional experience that we would carry our whole lives. I could say through Fete, I have been convinced of the magic of music.