Summer Solstice in Paris

Eiffel-TowerThe volume increases once I surface from the metro.  The heart thumping bass reverberates through me as I take my last step up to the streets of Paris.  A faint fiddle can be heard through the percussion of techno music.  Stepping in any direction will lead me to a new sound.  There is music everywhere.  There are people everywhere.

Paris seems to have its own soundtrack on any given day.  It may be the accordion player on the bus, or the violinist playing at your favorite café haunt.  On the longest day of the year, every corner musician builds on the soundtrack of Paris.

The event is known as the Fête de la Musique.  Since 1982, musicians both large and small have been bringing their equipment out to the streets.  There are some acts during the day, but the real buzz begins at night.  Paris is a giant, free party welcoming anyone to step out of their hotel, and groove to the music (whatever your taste).  Here are my top five tips for this special day:

1. Make a Plan-What type of music do you want to hear?  Look at the schedule to see what catches your attention.  Interested in a Gregorian Chant?  Check out Notre Dame.  Sometimes my strategy is to wander and follow my ears.  Check out my sampler video on youtube to get an idea of what it is like.

2. Travel Light-Pickpockets will definitely be out tonight, so keep the essentials in your money belt.  I don’t even bring my big camera out on this night.  Take in the

3. Be Prepared for People-There will be a lot of people everywhere.  If you suck it in, you may be able to fit on the metro.  Humanity is good, right?

4. Move On-Not all acts will be music to your ears.  If you’re not pleased with what you are hearing, move on and find something else.  The options are abundant.

5. Eat Late-This would be a great night to have a late dinner at a café near the music, or pick up the necessary materials for a picnic.  Dinner and a show.

Are you visiting Paris or another participating city?  Check out the website to see if you can join in!

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