World Music Day: Why and When is it Celebrated
The idea was conceived in the 1970s by American musician Joel Cohen who then worked for a French radio station.
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The World Music Day is celebrated every year on June 21 in over 120 countries including its country of origin France where it is known as ‘Fête de la Musique’ meaning “festival of music” to honour both amateur and professional musicians.
The idea was conceived in the 1970s by American musician Joel Cohen— then working for a French radio station—as he wanted bands to play on the evening of June 21 to welcome the first day of summer.
It was finally adopted by France’s Ministry of Culture in 1982 due to the efforts of Minister of Culture Jack Lang and French composer and music journalist Maurice Fleuret who had joined the ministry the previous year.
The first Fête de la Musique was held on the streets of Paris and became a huge success within a few years.
1985 was celebrated as the European Year of the Music and, in 1997, the European Party of Music charter was signed in Budapest, encouraging countries outside Europe to join the annual World Music Day celebrations.
The Fête de la Musique has become an “event which mobilises the musicians of the whole world for the pleasure of the audience of more than 120 countries, starting with the European countries,” according to France’s Ministry of Culture.
The country hosts several concerts of both amateur and professional musicians to enthral millions of spectators.
Bars and restaurants which usually close around half past midnight are given special permission to stay open late into the night so they can welcome the public.
In cities across the world, musicians perform for free in public places.
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