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French festival celebrates music

Video by James ANDRE , Kate WILLIAMS

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-22

France turned into a giant concert hall on Sunday with its annual Festival of Music, a tradition that has now been exported to several cities and nations. In Paris alone, there are some 450 concerts planned, most of them free.

AFP - Thousands of musicians took to the streets and stages across France on Sunday for the annual "Fete de la Musique", one of the nation's most popular festivals celebrating rhythm and sound.

Even the Elysee presidential palace joined in the festivities, opening its grounds to an eclectic programme of jazz, swing, gyspy and Caribbean music for the second year running.

Launched in 1982, the "Fete de la Musique" has spread to more than 100 countries where the festival held on the day of the summer solstice has taken off.

Some 850 free concerts are planned across the globe in Brazzaville, New York, Hanoi and Beijing, mostly held at the local French cultural centres.

In France, the festival is celebrating 50 years of chanson francaise, with amateur and professional artists offering all-day free concerts in the streets, theatres, schools and local churches.

US singer Chris Isaak and British pop star Seal are headlining an evening concert in Paris's Bois de Boulogne, while the Paris orchestra is performing at the Louvre museum.

Some 2,600 police officers will be mobilised for the festival that runs until midnight.
 

Date created : 2009-06-21

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