Tonight shall see one of the biggest musical festivals of the year take place as over a hundred different artistes covering most known musical genres perform at the Fête de la Musique in the beautiful surroundings of Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

By Mubashra Siddiqui (Staff Reporter)

Published: Tue 21 Jun 2005, 12:06 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:20 PM

This annual festival, which has taken place in France since 1982 every summer solstice (June 21) also the longest day of the year, has spread over the years to more than a hundred and twenty countries. In Dubai, the Fête de la Musique is in its seventh edition organised by the Alliance Française.

On the origins of this worldwide festival, Rima Homaidi, Cultural Coordinator at the Alliance Française, said, "The Fête de la Musique was initiated by Jack Lang, the then Minister of Culture, after he discovered from a 1982 study on the cultural habits of the French that five million people, one in every two children, played a musical instrument. Lang began to dream of a way to bring people out on the streets, 'music everywhere and a concert nowhere.' And what better way to celebrate the arrival of summer?"

Homaidi added that expectations of success locally for this year's festival were very high as well, "Last year, we counted around 1,500 people. So, we expect this year to have much greater impact since it's going to be held at one of the most attractive spots in Dubai."

This year's location of the Souk Madinat Jumeirah is also what gives a different feel to this year's festival in Dubai. "For the first time, the Fête de la Musique will be held in the alleys of the Souk, which would reflect the real ambience and atmosphere of this festival in France. A player of the traditional 'habban,' skin bagpipe, will also entertain audiences and visitors in the alleyways," elaborated Homaidi.

Additionally, the Fête de la Musique is also considered one of the most prestigious platforms for promoting amateur and rising artists worldwide. In the UAE too, it has served as a springboard for local talent like Aurore Dib, the professional opera singer, and the Lemonada Band who released their first album last year.

When asked if there was any particular act that audiences here shouldn't miss any under circumstance this year, Homaidi resorted to a French proverb, "To each his own taste. I think all the musicians are sincere and excellent in their respective categories. We have a variety of musical genres available, it is now up to the audience to choose the kind of music they prefer."

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