As spring turns to summer, music will most definitely be in the air in Paris, thanks to the Fête de la Musique.
This once-a-year festival sees amateur and professional musicians perform in scheduled concerts that run all day June 21st. Hundreds of musicians participate, setting up on sidewalks, outside restaurants, in parks and train stations all over the City of Light.
The festival celebrates the summer solstice—the longest day of the year—and effectively kicks of the summer season.
And what’s even better, it’s free. All performers donate their time and talent, meaning you can stroll the avenues from one gig to another without incurring a cover charge (although we’re not quite sure how that would work even if they tried).
Music styles run the gamut from rock to rap and everything between, making it a great way to experience new sounds and artists. Not digging the crooner on the corner? Simply meander down the street until you find something more your style.
For those who like to take a less spontaneous approach, a full list of venues and musicians are available on the official event site.
Don’t have plans to greet the season in Paris? Don’t worry. While the festival has its origins here, other countries have followed suit—from Algeria to Venezuela. There are even options for those stateside, with free music celebrations in NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco, among others.
photo credit: Fête de la Musique