The official start of summer will bring “music” to Washingtonians’ ears… and sweat to every other part of their body. It’s hot out there 😉 But with the soaring tempteratures and three day heat wave also comes the annual celebration of music that is known as la fête de la musique. In France, it’s a huge thing, with free concerts everywhere aiming to encourage amateur muscians to get out there and perform in the streets or other public forums. It’s also a day for people to discover new genres of music, with free classical concertos for example or for those who may not be able to afford expensive concert tickets to see their favourite artists perform at no cost. In D.C., it’s a smaller affair… and it’s not always free… or in streets… but it’s there…
In France, the 2012 edition of la fête de la musique celebrates the anniversary of pop musique but Sofitel D.C. decided to give its celebration at Le Bar a Spanish twist (clearly they planned this before knowing that France would face Spain in the Euro Cup quarter finals on Saturday… allez les bleus!) with a menu of spanish tapas, sangria and the vocal jazz performance of Cecilia Esquivel. Le Bar has a gorgeous patio, but the inside is nice and cool and air conditioned.
On Friday, l’Alliance Francaise is taking its annual Fête de la Musique event to a new locale to accomodate increasing crowd. The line-up at Malmaison (the latest venture from the Popal Family at 3401 Water Street NW in Georgetown) this year includes a little bit of everything as usual and is free to the public. You can see a complete line-up of performances on l’alliance’s website.
And on Saturday of course, there’s the event at French Embassy. I love la fête de la musique at the French Embassy because it’s very laid-back event. There’s usually some 50 different bands and performers (pretty much none of them French…) presenting a very wide spectrum of the local artistic scene. You can purchase drinks or snacks (try the merguez sandwishes!) sit on the lawn while you enjoy the performances and there’s animations for children too. It’s very family friendly… until the sun goes down and the whole place turns into a massive dancefloor…
Fête de la Musique at Le Bar at the Sofitel, D.C. Thursday June 21, 2012 6PM-9PM. Free.
Fête de la Musique at Malmaison with l’alliance francaise Friday June 22, 2012 6:30-11PM. Free.
Fête de la Musique at the French Embassy, Saturday June 23, 2012 4PM-Midnight. $13 in advance (tickets here) $15 day of event.