FOR THE 24th year, Fete de la Musique is coming back for a three-day, free-for-all music festival this month, this time featuring almost 40 pocket stages scattered across the metro and main stages in Makati; Intramuros, Manila; Baguio City; and Pagsanjan, Laguna.
The festival — often called World Music Day — will be held in the Philippines on June 23 at the A-Venue Parking Lot and Greenbelt 3 Park in Makati, on June 29 at the Puerta Real Gardens in Intramuros, and on June 30 in Baguio City and Pagsanjan, Laguna.
Fete de la Musique was established in 1981 by Maurice Fleuret, the then-director of Music and Dance of the French Ministry of Culture. The festival became a way to bring people out on the streets and perform in a festival where “music [is] everywhere and the concert nowhere.”
The festival is now celebrated in more than 700 cities in 120 countries.
The Philippine leg of the festival is considered “probably the most important one in Southeast Asia,” according to Jean-Pierre Dumont, director of Alliance Française de Manille during the event’s launch on June 7 at the cultural center’s offices in Makati City before noting that last year’s festival had more than 30 pocket stages and welcomed 30,000 people.
This year’s festival is said to be the biggest yet as its organizers expect almost 40 pocket stages playing different music genres, from an acoustic stage in ASpace Greenbelt featuring artists such as Ransom Collective and Basti Artadi, to a spoken word and open mic stage by Words Anonymous in Soma Bistro, Green Sun Hotel which will include 20 to 30 spoken word performances.
Other genres which will have their own pocket stages include an extreme metal stage in 888 Viber’s Resto Bar in Makati, a Ska stage in Alchemy Bistro Bar in Makati, and a jazz stage in ABV in Makati, among others.
Meanwhile, the festival main stage on June 23 in Makati will see performances from Baihana, Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas with Pochoy Labog, and Orange and Lemons, among others
Scheduled to perform at the main stage in the Puerta Real Gardens, Intramuros on June 29, are Ebe Dancel, Autotelic, Sandwich, and French band Lady’s Symphony.
At the Baguio main stage on June 29, performers include Ang Bandang Shirley, JCBX, and Assembly Generals, while the Laguna main stage will see The Chongkeys, Bare and Loops, and Sunken Roots perform.
A pre-Fête celebration is also scheduled this Saturday at the Rizal Park Open-Air Auditorium which will see Chicosci and GRT-Gin Rum and Truth, among others, performing.
“[Fete de la Musique] blurs the lines between a musician and spectator,” said Giselle Tomimbang, president of B-Side Productions, one of the organizers of the festival.
She added that the festival exemplifies the thought of music as a universal language as one would typically see musicians from other stages, and even the main stage, popping up in different pocket stages and enjoying different genres of music.
The festival will see more than a hundred local bands and performers bring their music to thousands of people.
Because of the great number of performances scattered over the three days of the festival, Fete launched a dedicated Fete PH app which will include a directory of the main stages and pocket stages, live push notifications informing festival-goers which band is currently playing on which stage, and if there are delays in the performances and other announcements.
While the current mobile app only offers basic features, Ms. Tomimbang said that one of their goals for next year’s festival — the 25th and thus a landmark year — is to integrate a live streaming feature, among others.
The mobile app is free for download on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
For more information and for the complete schedule of Fete de la Musique events, visit the festival’s Facebook page at ​​ — Zsarlene B. Chua