♪ Faites de la musique ♫ Fête de la Musique ♪

Every year, the French welcome summer with music. On June 21, the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere, amateur and professional musicians offer free performances in public places. This music day, known as la Fete de la Musique, allows the public to discover new styles of music, popularize obscure genres and even help young people from all social backgrounds enjoy a free concert by one of their favourite international band. Above all, it’s an opportunity for people to communicate and share a special moment through music. In Washington DC, the French community also celebrates la Fête de la Musique, though not necessarily on the 21st.

L’Alliance Francaise typically kicks off the celebrations on Friday night. This 
year is no exception. L’alliance offers up its space and promotional support to
emerging artists and up-and-coming musicians who can show off their skills
during a 6 hour musical program from 5:30-10:00pm on Friday, June 18. After 
10, l’Alliance turns into a bit of a nightclub, with a DJ spinning French and 
international hits. This event is free until 8pm, after which l’Alliance charges a
$5 cover for members and $8 cover for non-members.

Center stage at the French Embassy in Washington, DC

The following day, La Maison Francaise hosts a musical soiree in its gardens
filled with music, dance, drinks and food. On Saturday, June 19th, from 4pm
to midnight, over 50 musical acts from a ukulele group to a rock band, will 
perform while guests savour barbecued merguez (the music isn’t bad, but I 
basically only come for the merguez!), French charcuterie and cheese plates, 
pastries, crepes and of course beer, wine and bubbly. The event costs $8, 
with food and drinks requiring additional purchase. Trust me, those merguez
alone are worth trekking to Reservoir Road!

Finally, this year, the Sofitel is rounding up the celebrations with a musical 
fiesta featuring the grooves of Duende Camaron, a mojito bar and a special 
latin inspired tapas menu created for the occasion by Chef Yeni Chacon.

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