The Insider's Guide to Fete de la Musique Philippines
You should probably go to Fête.
No, seriously. If you can buy tickets to concerts, then you should be willing to go to Fête de la Musique (World Music Day), which costs absolutely nothing. No RFIDs, no long queues, no separate entries for general admission and VIPs. It's all about giving everyone free access to music. You just need to shell out for your transportation (find the nearest stage near you), some snacks, and your time. That's it.
But what the heck is Fête?
This is not the official press release.
As Fête hits its 23rd year, the international phenomenon has evolved from a modest event in Paris to a full-on celebration with more than 100 participating countries. And it just keeps getting bigger.
This year, in the Philippines, you have over 30 stages all over Makati on June 17, another one in Intramuros on June 23, and one more in Baguio on the 24th. From the Rock Stage, Indie Stage, Blues-Soul-Funk Stage, to the Circus stage, this festival offers everything for every type of music fan.
Fête is about gathering and cultivating an open-minded audience that’s ready to take in all kinds of music. One of its objectives is not to grow quickly, but to constantly introduce the discerning Filipino music fan to other genres. We don’t want to look like a group of snobby "music enthusiasts" who hate on those who come from different corners of the industry.
The event celebrates the balance between nature and technology, with mostly independent musicians on the bill, and a bunch of live acts tiding over the analog and digital worlds. This connection between our organic base and our electronic inclinations is what makes the worldwide festival worth going to. Plus, we're also celebrating the 70th anniversary of France’s diplomatic relationship with the Philippines.
For some musicians, festivals provide them enough exposure for national and international attention. Festivals like Fête, however, act as leverage. According to overall project manager Ziera de Veyra: “This is the festival-goers’ chance to see their favorites for free. Also, their chance to discover other bands. That’s more than a hundred acts in one festival. And, I think this is the only international music festival where the people don’t really go for the foreign act. Festival goers have been supporting Fête regardless who the French act is. People attend Fête for the experience itself, and French acts are an absolute added treat for them."
She adds, "Madaming magaling na artists sa Pilipinas. And fortunately, they are spread out in all the stages of Fête. Wag tayong masanay sa yun at yun lang. OPM is very much alive and kicking! I hope you can check out all the stages, or at least visit as many as you can. I don’t know if it’s possible for one to go to all 30+ stages, but one can try. Stage-hopping is fun. Enjoy and appreciate the artists, as well as the producers of each and every stage.”
The secrets to getting the most out of Fête?
It’s a battle with the elements. “Every year, it’s either raining or it gets really hot (We’re hoping for no rain this year). Just bring the essentials. Bring an umbrella, a power bank, fan, tissues/towel, and a change of clothes.” Ziera advises.
Bouncing from one stage to another requires a ton of energy. Make sure you eat a substantial carbo-loaded meal to keep you up 'til dawn. And, stay hydrated!
“We have 30+ pocket stages this year. Some of the stages reveal their program flow ahead of time. To make the most out of Fête, plan ahead.” List down your chosen genres, plot the venues’ schedule and distance, then you’re all set for a field trip. “You should also expect heavy traffic and full parking. Most of the stages are relatively close to each other, especially in the Poblacion area, so invite your friends to just walk during your stage-hopping. Enjoy and spread the good vibes!”
Unfortunately, a few days before Fête, Greenbelt decided to back out because of the “current political atmosphere”; so did A-Venue along Makati Avenue, but, don’t let these cancellations and security threats stop you from listening to free live music.
The feeling when people come together for music is something that is, at its best, unexplainable. These events can get crowded and chaotic, but audiences are more than ready to endure an array of obstacles for something intangible: a shared musical and social experience.
For a complete list of artists and stages, visit Fête de la Musique Philippines' official Facebook page.