Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fete de la Musique in Bordeaux

Every year on June 21st, the first day of summer, cities around the world hold festivals where amateur and professional musicians alike are encouraged to take to the streets to perform. I was in Bordeaux this year for Fete de la Musique and it was one of the most unique events I've ever experienced. 

For this one day of the year in Bordeaux, people throw caution to the wind, ignore restrictions and let loose for a full day and night of fun, music and all things summer. Revelers hang out their windows with stereo speakers. Musicians of all ages from children to elderly take the streets as their stages performing everything from rock & roll to polka. Those who aren't musically inclined flock from near and far to the streets of Bordeaux and truly enjoy themselves dining alfresco, enjoying warm weather and literally dancing in the streets. There's no real way to put it into words… I've never seen anything like it. It's like a massive flash mob that goes on for hours and hours. It's crowded, amazing and loud… Everywhere you turn there's something different. It's like the music festivals we know here in Britain on a without the main stages and speakers, but let loose all over town with very few rules. 

If you're planning a trip next summer during the solstice, I definitely recommend checking out Fete de la Musique in Bordeaux. There are a few things to remember… It's completely free to get involved, however you'll want to enjoy yourself with food and drinks, so plan for that. Most restaurants in Bordeaux close between lunch and dinner. On June 21st, the city is very crowded, so aim to get to a restaurant around 12:30 when lunch starts and for dinner at 7:30 or 8pm. If you wait too late, you won't get a table for dinner as most places stop seating for food at 9pm or 10pm even though the music goes on all night. The safest bet would be to book a reservation, although you probably don't have to if you plan to get to a restaurant early. Another thing to consider is the noise level. There could be a band playing or a DJ blasting right outside your window until the wee hours, so don't be surprised if it's noisy. Just relax and try to enjoy it - it's only one night and it will be quiet again in the morning.

Click here for more information on Fete de la Musique in Bordeaux.


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