For the first time since the pandemic, Fête de la Musique will bring back French and Filipino artists to live stages this June 23 to 25 to celebrate music, artistic collaborations, and charity and relief for victims of natural disasters.
Fête de la Musique, which started in the streets of Paris in 1982, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. This edition of the music festival in the country, organized by Alliance Française de Manille (AFM), will also kick off celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of French-Philippine diplomatic relations.
“We’re very happy to be here with you for this new edition which will be very special for two reasons,” said AFM executive director Xavier Leroux during the recent media conference to launch Fête de la Musique.
“First, because we are back to having staged celebrations this year. And second is because we are going to have a celebration of the anniversary of the French-Philippine diplomatic relations.”
Leroux added: “We have invited several artists from France who are not only going to perform here but who are also going to have ‘co-creations’ with Filipino artists. We are very proud of that because it’s going to be a real artistic partnership.”
French artists Marc Fichel, DJ Blutch, and Maxime Cozic will be in Manila to join the celebration. Filipino musicians and creative groups are also ready to perform in various stages around the country.
This year’s Fête de la Musique Philippines is called “Tara Allez!” The title combines a Filipino slang and a French word, both of which means “Let’s go.” Since borders between countries and cultures have fallen, AFM, according to Leroux, wants to take the opportunity to promote music, culture and tourism by tapping local artists and holding events in different parts of the country.
“We want people to see that we’re open for local and foreign guests,” said Noe Fuentes, AFM cultural manager. “We’re open to promote the richness of our talents and I think it’s about time. We still try to be cautious, but we’d like to invite everyone. We want to celebrate.”
In 2020 and 2021, Fête de la Musique Philippines was held online because of pandemic restrictions. Since the guidelines are easing up, AFM decided to push through with live stages, but it is still reminding everyone to adhere to health protocols.
The main stage will be at Intramuros’ Puerta Real Gardens. The show here will be on June 25 and will be graced by the invited French artists and local acts Cheats, The Itchyworms, Lola Amour and Anima Tierra. There will be special performances by Brass Pas Pas Pas, Curtismith, Toni B., Faye Yupano and Zsaris too.
Aside from Intramuros, there will be performances at Sofitel Manila on June 23 and 24.
Similar to previous years, Makati will hold independently-produced gigs on Saturday, June 25.
The festival will also have its “island stages” in Siargao, Cebu, Baguio and Palawan.
According to Giselle Tomimbang of B-Side Productions, one of the longtime partners of AFM in organizing the festival, there will be donation drives during the various events for the benefit of those who were affected by the recent calamities in the participating islands.
“We’ve all been changed (by the past two years) somehow and music really does heal,” said Tomimbang. “It has really expanded our celebration of Fête dela Musique. It used to be very Manila-centric but the pandemic has really made us more active in activating spaces outside of Manila, re-discovering the rich landscapes and heritage and the diversity of our cultures.”
Creative partnerships among communities and the participating artists are championed in this year’s Fête de la Musique.
To give a glimpse of this endeavor, the organizers released a music video titled “Tara Allez!” during the press conference last June 9 at Sofitel Manila. It showcases the festival’s theme song made by different Filipino musicians.
There will also be French-Filipino collaborations.
DJ Blutch will be having a performance with innovative theater group Daloy Dance Company. Fichel will team up with The Voice Teens Philippines champion Cydel Gabutero. Meanwhile, Cozic is expected to stage a performance with embodiment artist Dona Tumacder-Esteban and creative group Bathala Na.
“It still feels exciting to be part of Fête,” singer-songwriter Zsaris said. “I’ve played in its different stages and production numbers through the years and the energy of the community is what keeps me hyped to collaborate and explore. The family just keeps getting bigger.”
Fête de la Musique’s stages are free for everyone. For more details, visit www.alliance.ph.