The Fête de la Musique last weekend was a WONDERFUL experience. Although I hadn’t heard of the celebration until this last month living in Paris, it will definitely be an aspect of Paris life that I will recommend to everyone to experience! I went to explore the festivities with a friend of mine who was visiting from the States. At 10 PM, we wanted to listen to the Paris Ensemble Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s 4th symphony under the pyramids of the Louvre. Unfortunately, we were running late, and arrived after the space was filled. They wouldn’t let anyone else in, so we had to satisfy ourselves by peering through the glass pyramid, and listening to sound bites floating out of the revolving doors. The pyramids are surprisingly soundproof! The concert sounded beautiful, and if you were one of the lucky ones inside the pyramid, good for you! I imagine that it was a great concert.
We sat by the pyramids for awhile, appreciating the Louvre, and listening to what we could of Tchaikovsky, and then decided to find some other concerts. We ended the night wandering down the Champs Elysees, where musicians and performers of varying talents were entertaining crowds. We walked by a particularly large crowd and stopped to see what they were drawn by. The performers, calling themselves “Drôles de Mecs”, were break dancers, and had an entire choreographed routine. The routine was pretty silly, and had a lot of the younger crowd laughing with their references to popular songs, etc. I was very impressed with the amount of strength it must have taken for them to perform some of their moves, and they were constantly on their heads or their hands or in the air.
The next day, signs of how much the French (and visitors) had enjoyed themselves the previous night were still very evident. Almost every green recycling bin I walked by was surrounded by a sea of wine and beer bottles that didn’t fit into the giant container. At least there was a clear effort to recycle! The Fête de la Musique is one night where Paris seems to truly relax and have fun. The atmosphere of the night is contagious, and I know that I will remember it as a very enjoyable experience. I hope everyone that participated this year feels the same, and if you’ll be in Paris next year for the Fête de la Musique, be sure to go!