Music is rarely celebrated on as grand a scale as it is across the globe on June 24th each year. Fête de la Musique or World Music Day is a celebration that has been held in more than 500 cities all over the world since its inception in Paris in 1982. In Berlin Fête de la Musique first began in 1995 and today attracts thousands of people to the city streets to enjoy live music, song and dance of all kinds at over 100 official stages and plenty of fabulous unofficial ones. The key component of the music is that it is performed live, acoustically and unplugged. It wouldn’t be a Berlin music festival without our DJs so there’ll definitely be the requisite electronic beats for those in need.
World Music Day is 24th of June but in many cities the festivities take place on June 21st and this is always the case in Berlin. This Thursday 21st of June, from the late afternoon until around 10pm, Berlin will be filled with the colour and life that comes with musicians in costume, cellos on the U Bahn and rock music in the middle of the street. The full programme can be viewed here online (in German) but you can also just get a recommendation of a good neighbourhood from the concierge and wander around, enjoying the element of surprise.
All genres of music are represented at the Fête – swing, gipsy, folk, Balkan, electronic, classical, traditional, choral, house, techno, rave, meditative music, Afrobeats, rock and more. Concerts are held in the usual venues, but also the unusual – from the streets, to the parks and squares, by the River Spree, to steps to train platforms, bars, clubs, cafes, theatres and even lounge rooms.
Entry to everything is free everywhere and though the official start time is 4pm, you may stumble across surprise performances here and there earlier in the day too. Many of the performances are held outdoors but it all moves inside by 10pm to abide by Berlin’s outside noise restrictions.
You can keep track of all the action on the day using the hashtag #FETEberlin2018.