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Tomorrow here in France, it'll be music day, as it's always been on every June 21 since 1981. It's a big celebration all over the country, with many free gigs everywhere on the streets. Here in Tours, there are a lot of amateur and pro musician (Mick Jagger even owns a mansion nearby!!). I'm posting this message today because, obviously, I'll be wandering around downtown tomorrow evening!!! ^^ Do you guys have same kind of celebration in your countries?

Here are some exerpts of Music Day 2010 in Tours :

 

 

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Comment by Pascal Proust on June 23, 2011 at 6:04am
Yes, I think there's no national event in the USA. On Tuesdays, as it was the 30th Music Day here, there was a report on TV news showing that Music Day was organized in some cities such as Chicago for instance, whereas here in Europe, some countries have it now scheduled on the official calendar, on June 21 as well.
In the very beginning, it was an idea of the French Minister of Culture in 1982 (sorry I made a mistake about the start year on my first post), just to celebrate the first day of Summer, and of course as an attempt to make some positive, popular publicity of the government of that time. They didn't expect such a huge success: naturally people came out to play any kind of music on the streets or to get together. And year after year, it became more organized, always with free gigs only, even for big stages with professional musicians (because Music Day shall remain a popular celebration, nothing commercial). It has also improved alot regarding security forces and assistance staff as, obviously, some guys always go out on that day only to drink booze and bother people around.
I didn't wander around that much on Tuesday night, as I had a long busy day at work, and I had to get up early on the following morning. And the city center was overcroweded too, forcing you to walk slowly with tiny steps. I'm quite a tall guy (about 6' 2) and marching this way is pretty tiring! There were less street gigs than last year though. I guess it's because they set up more security-medic stations on key spots. To my mind that was a good compromise as I didn't notice any major incident, which is a good thing as many people went out that night with their kids to celebrate (Wednesday is off for primary school kids here in France). But there wre a bunch of good buskers and free gigs out there though.
The heart of Tours, the go-to place, is the old city with medieval-like houses and narrow streets. In this district are most of pubs, restaurants and pubs, and is the main meeting point for students for instance. So that's where I went cruising. I had the funny opportunity to get 'walked over' - is that English? lol - by 2 samba drum & percussion bands (there are many music schools and samba schools here)!! Each band paraded around the main streets of the old district, trying to play the loudest they could, no matter the gigs playing around when passing by! And you could see the odds following up, dancing behind the bands! Many amateur musician (kinda 'garage' bands) settled down their houses to play, some other outdoor gigs were organized by cafés too. On the banks of the Loire, I saw capoeira dancers, with guys accompanying them with tradtional instruments used for that kind of dance. They also invited people looking around to get in the dance, no matter the level of dancing! I didn't go, but I heard a gospel choir was sing along the river nearby Wilson bridge (the main historical bridge downtown). I wish I had gone to see them, but it was so crowdy. All styles were represented, from classical, folk to even heavy metal! I came across a celtic hornpipe-bagpipe band, playing tunes from Britany's folklore. And on rue Nationale (Tours' main street), 2 brass bands were playing like they were performing a fun contest, on each oposite ends of the street. Here we call these particular small, basic and fun brass band 'bandas', which are very popular in South of France ('bandas' is a Spanish word actually). They played in a very fun way, with more or less silly costumes!
I didn't take my camera, but I guess they'll be some pics or video available on the internet shortly. I may post here a little selection if I ever find some good ones ;)
Comment by Dan Hugen on June 23, 2011 at 4:27am
Pascal, Wow! Looks like fun on steroids! I can't think of a country-wide thing, but most college towns in the U.S. are full of all kinds of good music about every night. In northwest Arkansas where I live there are several cool towns that support the live music scene. Here are some of the best: Fort Smith,Fayetteville,Eureka Springs,Mountainburg,Little Rock(more central AR).

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