What is La Fête de la Musique? Your Guide to World Music Day 2024

Fete de la Musique

La Fête de la Musique, now known as World Music Day, is one of the most dynamic and exciting days to stroll through the streets of Paris and other cities across France listening to live music happenstance. What began as spontaneous musical performances in the city’s bistros and bars has evolved into a full-fledged festival, today requiring (some) preparation to catch the most anticipated performances, DJ sets, and live musical events.

Taking place on Friday, June 21, 2024, La Fête de la Musique is set to usher in a weekend of musical entertainment, fun, and dancing. Marking the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, it is the perfect occasion to hit the streets to sing, dance, and discover innovative or established bands and artists gratuitement, for free. Whether you’re a fan of rock, jazz, electro, rap, metal, or classical music, you’ll find something to enjoy as the Fête de la Musique celebrates all styles and genres for just one unique day. The guitar is the most played instrument on this day in France, followed closely by the piano, and today — internationally recognized DJ sets also take the spotlight. 

Fete de la Musique Flier

While some prefer to wander the streets, letting chance lead them to new talent, others meticulously plan their day and evening to catch specific performances. Regardless of your approach, the Fête de la Musique guarantees a festive and fun evening of music. Enjoy the performances in the streets, concert halls, or unexpected venues like museums or churches. The 2024 Fête de la Musique promises to be both beautiful and eclectic, and the perfect way to kick off summer!

History and Significance of World Music Day

La Fête de la Musique was created in 1982 by the Ministère de la Culture, inspired by American musician Joel Cohen’s idea for bands to play on June 21, the first day of summer. The concept was adapted by Maurice Fleuret and implemented by Jack Lang to make music accessible to everyone. The motto, “Make music, Music Day” (a French play-on-words, “Faites de la musique, fête de la musique”), encourages free concerts and public participation.

Every June 21st, France hosts over 18,000 concerts with about 5 million amateur musicians and singers, attracting nearly 10 million spectators. On this night, bars and restaurants can stay open much later than usual to accommodate the celebrations.

How It Started and Its Cultural Impact

La Fête de la Musique is celebrated worldwide on June 21, chosen for the long sunlight hours of the summer solstice. Originally, the festival was proposed to occur twice a year, on both solstices, but the Ministry of Culture opted for a summer-only event. In the southern hemisphere, the festival is held on their winter solstice. First exported in 1985 for the European Year of Music, La Fête de la Musique has now been adopted by over 120 countries. 

In Paris, Fête de la Musique is one of the year’s most popular events. It features performances at iconic locations like the banks of the Seine, the Louvre, and the Tuileries Gardens. The main Metro lines run all night with discounted fares. The festival often highlights international music, with past performances including an indigenous group from South America and a choir from New Orleans.

The first Make Music Day in the United States, however, only took place recently in New York City in 2008, and today, 30 states host their own festivals. Cities like Golden Gate and Chicago offer diverse musical styles, and New York City also celebrates Make Music Winter on December 21. Smaller towns like Wheaton, Illinois, and Huntsville, Alabama, also participate, showcasing local talent.

Fete de la musique nice

How to Celebrate Fête de la Musique

The beautiful thing about Fête de la Musique is that you can truly experience it your way, even if that means lounging on the couch or balcony, listening to live music from your window, and relaxing under an electric fan during the recent Paris heat waves. Music lovers, however, typically tend to hit the streets, walk around (often to their favorite spots), and enjoy the surprises along the way while making new friends. It’s an event suitable for solo explorers and groups, as it tends to be very social, and you’re sure to meet a variety of people who share a love for music. And that’s the great thing about it: music in Paris has always been haphazard, free, and accessible, and it’s wonderful to see this tradition continue every year.

This year, Fête de la Musique is sponsored by EF (Education First), which will host a free (yet ticketed) festival featuring renowned DJs from an international DJ lineup. Paris will transform into a blend of Tulum and Ibiza, with perhaps less beach style. The EF Festival By VL will start at 18h on June 21st, located at Parvis de la Mairie du 15e, Paris. DJs from Ofenbach to YALL and French Fuse will have everyone dancing all night long.


Other scheduled performances include a detailed list of events across all arrondissements in Paris, from the quais on the Seine to museums, abandoned spaces, concert halls, and more. Your typical corner bar and restaurant will likely present their own local artists, offering a smaller and cozier vibe that might be just your style, too. Some hotels and rooftop establishments are sure to throw their own private soirees, too, for something exclusive. The reality is that you can do just about anything. Some people choose to gather during the day for a lunch picnic and an apéro before heading out into the fun. Regardless of your choice, like it or not, you will encounter music on June 21st in Paris and most French cities.

Events and Activities Across France


  1. Orchestre de Paris at the Louvre Pyramid
  2. 36h Saint-Eustache Festival
    • 36 hours of free concerts at Eglise Saint-Eustache on June 20 and 21, 2024. (Facebook event page here.) 
  3. Place du Châtelet
    • A special program combining art and sport from June 21-23, 2024. This event is free of charge, but reservations are required by registering here
  4. Sunset Sunside
    • Tribute to six jazz legends. Admission is reservation-free, but consumption compulsory. 
  5. Swedish Institute
    • Concert by Jelly Crystal and traditional Midsommar dances. 
  6. Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme
    • Free concert by the Yaïa quartet.
  7. Memorial to the Martyrs of the Deportation
    • Classical music concert by Musique des gardiens de la paix. A quartet will offer a unique, classical musical experience from 14h30 on the Île de la Cité (free concert). Then, at 18h30, Nuits Musicales (free with reservation: [email protected]).
  8. Paris City Hall
    • Free concert by the Orchestre de chambre de Paris. 
  9. Irish Cultural Centre
    • Performances by young Irish musicians. 
  10. Quai Anatole France
    • Free open-air electro event (reserve here) and after-party by Planète House (paid event, from 9.99 euros). 
  11. Place de la Bastille
    • Japanese drum concert from 20h to 21h
  12. Palais de la Porte Dorée
    • Performances by Fulu Miziki, Pamela Badjogo, and DJ Ka(ra)mi. 
  13. Bercy District
    • Free open-air event and clubbing after party (for a fee) by CARE/MESS
  14. Maison de la culture du Japon
    • Japanese hip-hop concert by COMA-CHI and Namichie (ticket required here).
  15. Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Grenelle
    • Eclectic repertoire of classical music, African songs, and musicals. 
  16. Radio France Auditorium
  17. Musée Guimet
    • Chinese music concert by Wang Li and Wu Wei on June 22, 2024 (fee of 18 euros, book here.)
  18. Musée Henner
    • Classical music concerts in the winter garden (reserve online for free.)
  19. Citéco (Cité de l’Economie)
    • Classical music by students from the École Normale de Musique de Paris at Hôtel Gaillard (reserve online for free.)
  20. Canal Saint-Martin
  21. Open-air electro event by E-Klozin Collective featuring Mathieu Becquerelle, Nass le Cuisto Rap, Rock’N Beach and The Frenchy Captain’s.


  1. Place Masséna
    • The main stage will feature a variety of performances throughout the evening.
  2. Promenade du Paillon
    • Open-air concerts with a mix of genres, from rock to classical.
  3. Old Town (Vieux Nice)
    • Wander through the narrow streets and discover impromptu performances by local bands and solo artists.
  4. Place Garibaldi
    • Known for its vibrant atmosphere, hosting jazz and blues bands.
  5. Place Rossetti
    • A more intimate setting with acoustic and folk performances.
  6. The Port of Nice
    • Enjoy pop and electronic music near the waterfront.
  7. Castle Hill (Colline du Château)
    • A scenic spot offering classical music performances with a stunning view of the city.
  8. Nice Opera House
    • Special evening of classical music performances, free to the public.
  9. Place du Palais de Justice
    • Dance to various genres with live DJ sets and performances.
  10. Promenade des Anglais
    • Open-air concerts along the famous promenade featuring a mix of local and international artists.
  11. Parc de la Colline du Château
    • Various music genres in a picturesque park setting; great for families.
  12. Museums and Cultural Centers

Other Major Cities

Bordeaux: City-wide Celebrations in bars and restaurants spill out onto the streets, and performances range from local amateur bands to professional classical musicians, club DJs, and traditional folk bands. This event transforms the city into a massive open-air concert venue, so just go outside. 

Lyon: In the Old Town and Presqu’île you can expect a diverse range of performances, including jazz, rock, and classical music. The streets and squares in these areas are filled with both amateur and professional musicians, creating a festive atmosphere throughout the night.

Marseille: The Vieux-Port and Cours Julien, known for its vibrant music scene, will host numerous open-air concerts. The Vieux-Port area will have stages featuring local and international artists, while Cours Julien, known for its bohemian vibe, will offer eclectic performances.

Toulouse: Capitole Square will be the hub for large concerts featuring a mix of genres, including pop, rock, and electronic music. Saint-Cyprien will host smaller, more intimate performances by local artists.

Lille: Grand Place and Old Lille, the city’s central squares and historic districts, will come alive with music ranging from classical orchestras to contemporary bands. Grand Place is expected to have major performances, while Old Lille will feature street musicians and smaller concerts.

Nantes: Place Graslin and Île de Nantes will host a variety of musical acts, including indie bands, jazz ensembles, and electronic music DJs. The entire city will be transformed into a celebration of music with events suitable for all ages.

Strasbourg: Cathedral Square will feature large-scale performances, while Petite France will have more intimate concerts.

Montpellier: At Place de la Comédie and Antigone District, you can expect a wide array of music genres with performances in these bustling areas. Place de la Comédie will host major acts, and the Antigone District will offer a variety of smaller performances.

Rennes: Place de la Mairie and Thabor Park, known for its dynamic cultural scene, will feature performances by local bands and artists across these popular spots. Thabor Park will offer a relaxed setting for enjoying music in the open air.

Cannes: Go to Allées de la Liberté and Place de l’Etang, where the festival will include performances by choirs, pop/rock bands, and international music groups. The events are designed to be family-friendly and celebrate the diversity of musical styles. 

Fete de la musique street music

Planning Your Visit

Travel Tips for Fête de la Musique

To ensure a smooth experience at Fête de la Musique, it’s absolutely necessary to book your accommodation and transport (flights) early, as both fill up quickly due to the popularity of the even. Check detailed event schedules available on local tourism websites or the official Fête de la Musique site to plan your day effectively. 

Best Places to Stay During the Festival

Try to stay in centralized locations in the city of your choice that make it easy to access the fun by foot. Consider that you might not get too much sleep, though, as the celebrations can last all night. Check out soem of Frenchly’s favorite Paris hotels and Airbnbs.   

Best Places to Eat During the Festival

During Fête de la Musique, immerse yourself in the local culinary scene by visiting central area cafes and bistros to experience authentic local cuisine. Additionally, many cities enhance the festival atmosphere with food trucks and street vendors offering a variety of delicious options (crêpe, anyone?) And also, don’t forget to pick up a pinte

Do’s and Don’ts During the Festival

Do: Respect local customs and regulations, enjoy various music genres, and engage with other festival-goers.

Don’t: Don’t litter, don’t push through crowds, and avoid loud conversations during performances.



What is La Fête de la Musique and why is it celebrated?

La Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, is an annual music festival celebrated on June 21st. It encourages amateur and professional musicians to perform in the streets and organizes free concerts to make music accessible to the public. 

How can tourists participate in Fête de la Musique?

Tourists can participate in Fête de la Musique by attending free concerts and street performances held throughout the city. They can explore different neighborhoods to experience a variety of music genres and join in the festivities by enjoying food from local cafes, bistros, and street vendors. Tourists can also check event schedules on local tourism websites or the official Fête de la Musique site to plan their day.

What are the must-visit cities in France for Fête de la Musique?

Must-visit cities in France for Fête de la Musique include Paris (where the event was born,) Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, and Nantes. Each city offers unique musical performances and vibrant street celebrations. 

Are there any specific traditions or customs associated with World Music Day? 

The primary tradition is that both amateur and professional musicians perform for free in public spaces, such as streets, parks, and squares. It encourages community participation and celebrates all music genres. In many cities, local authorities waive normal licensing laws, allowing festivities to continue late into the night. The event promotes the universal appeal of music and aims to make it accessible to everyone.

Fete-de-la-musique-street concert

Can I attend any events for free during Fête de la Musique?

Yes, you can attend many events for free during Fête de la Musique. The festival features free concerts and performances by both amateur and professional musicians in public spaces across cities.

What are some tips for first-time attendees of Fête de la Musique?

For first-time attendees of Fête de la Musique, it’s essential to plan ahead. Book your accommodation and transport early, as they fill up quickly. Check event schedules on local tourism websites or the official Fête de la Musique site to plan your day effectively. Use public transport, as many streets will be closed and parking will be limited. Wear comfortable shoes since you’ll be walking and standing for long periods, and stay hydrated by bringing water, especially if it’s hot. Explore different neighborhoods to experience a variety of music genres and performances and engage with locals as the festival is a social event, perfect for meeting new people.

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