The Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, is an annual music festival taking place on June 21, the first day of summer in cities around the world. Bulawayo took part in worldwide celebrations.
Alliance Francaise De Bulawayo hosted the Bulawayo celebrations at the Bulawayo Centre. The concept of an all-day musical celebration on the days of the solstice was originated by American musician Joel Cohen, who spent two seasons as a producer of musical radio programs for the French National Radio (France Musique) The idea later was adapted as a national celebration each June 21 in France. The idea was embraced and made official by the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang.
In October 1981, Maurice Fleuret became Director of Music and Dance at Minister of Culture Jack Lang’s request, and applied his reactions to the musical practice and its evolution: « the music everywhere and the concert nowhere«.
When he discovered, in a 1982 study on the cultural habits of the French, that five million people, one child out of two, played a musical instrument, he began to dream of a way to bring people out on the streets. It first took place in 1982 in Paris as the Fête de la Musique.
Ever since, the festival has become an international phenomenon, celebrated on the same day in more than 460 cities in 110 countries, including Germany, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, South Africa, Australia, Vietnam, Congo, Cameroon, Mauritius, Fiji, Colombia, Chile, Nepal, United States and Japan.
Its purpose is to promote music in two ways:
Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform in the streets.
The slogan Faites de la musique (Make music), a homophone of Fête de la Musique, is used to promote this goal.
Many free concerts are organized, making all genres of music accessible to the public. Two of the caveats to being sanctioned by the official Fête de la Musique organization in Paris are that all concerts must be free to the public, and all performers donate their time for free. This is true of most participating cities, now, as well.
The Bulawayo festivities featured musicians from all over the city including all genres from Hip-Hop represented by K.L.A.P. Jazz represented by Afro Fresh just mention a few. The event saw large crowds gather at the shopping center and enjoy the musical talents that were on offer.