My First Fete De La Musique Was on Fire… Literally

Year after year, I’ve tried to catch Fête De La Musique but due to prior appointments and forgotten dates, I’ve never caught the annual celebration of music. If you’ve been living under a rock, Fête De La Musique is the celebration of World Music Day and every year in June, people all over the world organize free events to celebrate music.

Since its conception in France in 1982, Fête De La Musique is now celebrated in over 120 countries around the world, including the Philippines. This year, for its 24th celebration in the Philippines I was able to experience the full Fête de la Musique event and it was on fire… literally. If like me, you missed it last year, here’s how they kicked it off.

The 24th Fête de la Musique had a rainy start. When I got to the venue, I could hear the music playing even before I got out of the car. The sound of the bass thumping heavily, Chemical Love by Basically Saturday Night echoing through the speakers as concertgoers swayed to the rhythm and danced to the beat.

Even though I was already at one of the main stages, it wasn’t bursting with people as it was coinciding with over 30 pocket stages sprinkled all over Makati. With over 100 people huddled close to the front of the stage of A. Venue, it was welcoming. It was tight-knit, but it felt soulful to be enjoying music with the community.

The eccentric music of the Hernandez Brothers x Planet Zips and Flow Arts PH is something worth noting. Their performance is probably the one that stayed with me the most from that night. They were able to transcend music in a very soulful way even in the absence of lyrics. The percussion duo has a way of making you dance and making every fiber of your being excited. It was made even more enchanting by combining it with flow arts, which is are the acts that we see commonly that incorporate dance with lights, fire, and even hula hoops sometimes.

I was mildly shocked when the fire lit up but it just made the music more captivating and made the performance whole by bringing a visual element.

By the end, even one of the audience members joined them on stage to play. I’m not gonna lie: I kinda wish I was that guy.

Before I ran off to some of to some of the pocket stages, I had to catch Cheats perform. I’ve probably seen them over three times but I never grow tired of Jim Baccario’s suave voice combined with Saab and Candy’s tooth-achingly sweet voice. Everyone was singing along to fan favorites like “Melon” and “Glassmouth” as they rocked out on the stage.

Moments where everyone was dancing and singing to the music is what made Fête de la musique special to me. Fête de la Musique reminds us of the sense of community and intimacy bought by music into our lives, how it speaks to our soul, and understands a feeling even in the absence of words.

No matter where you are in the world, whether it be Philippines, France, or any other of the 120 countries that celebrate Fête de la Musique, music will always bring us together.


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