GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The Fête de la musique or World Music Day is a not-to-be missed musical extravaganza around Switzerland.
If you are new to Geneva and have never been to one the fetes around the world, let me tell you that it transforms the city into a gigantic amphitheater with a wide range of musical ensembles entertaining thousands of revelers.
According to Wikipedia, the idea for a festival celebrating music, was first broached in 1976 by American musician Joel Cohen, then employed by the national French radio station France Musique.
“Cohen proposed an all-night music celebration at the moment of the summer solstice,” many other countries soon followed suit.
If you are a resident of one of those communes celebrating on the solstice, you can double your fun by visiting Geneva from 22-24 June, after your hometown celebration.
The city holds the largest festival in Swiss romande (French-speaking Switzerland) with three-days of music in the Old Town and in Bastions Park.
If you have never been to one of these fests I would suggest looking at the program before you head out, and mapping your way around the many concerts. Usually large salsa concerts are held in Meyrin and Lignon, not in the city center and are super crowded so plan in advance.
All concerts are free of charge and outdoors, with a few exceptions held indoors (churches, music halls, etc.), where it is necessary to get a ticket in advance (see the program for exact info).
Do not try to drive; most streets in and around the old town and Place Neuve are closed. Instead take public transportation, walk or bike.
Note that bus #36 to the Old Town stops running on Saturday 23 June at 14:00 until Monday 25 June.
Here’s to a great weekend of music!