June 21, marks the beginning of summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year and is also celebrated as Fete de la Musique or World Music Day. The day also coincides with International Day of Yoga. World Music Day has its origins in France, but soon got adopted by over 120 nations across the world, including India. Today, musicians from all genres and all ages, amateurs and experienced performers, gather together to express themselves through music at various public platforms. The events are primarily hosted in open areas like streets, parks, gardens, stadiums, stations or halls. Most events are non-ticketed as the idea is to spread the cheer through music.
World Music Day: Interesting History Behind It
World Music Day originated in France in 1980s, but was first proposed by by American artiste Joel Cohen back in 1976 to mark summer solstice.
In October 1981, French Minister of Culture Jack Lang appointed Maurice Fleuret as the director of music and dance. The duo conceived an event that will allow all musicians - amateur and experienced - to creatively express themselves.
The first World Music Day or Fete de la Musique took place on June 21, 1982 - the year's summer solstice in the North hemisphere. Thousands of citizens came out to part in the initiative all across France, till late at night. It later became a (part) national holiday in France.
Over the years, World Music Day has evolved to explore new musical trends and music from across the world, and revives traditional music.
The Fete de la Musique has evolved into 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,” said France's Ministry of Culture. France hosts several music concerts to mark the day.