Fête de la Musique celebrates friendship and culture as it goes back live

Get ready for live Fête-stivities this year

By Dexter R. Matilla

Dust off your dancing shoes and get ready to start grooving to the beat because after two years, Fête de la Musique will be going live once again.

“We’re excited to bring the Fête de la Musique celebrations back to the beautiful places of the Philippines,” says Xavier Leroux, executive director of Alliance Française de Manille. “This year’s festivities will find us rediscovering the joys of live and in-person music once again.”

And to make sure that its return will be one for the books, Fête de la Musique is making it easier for more Filipinos to participate through live celebrations not just in Metro Manila but also in Baguio, Palawan, Siargao, and Cebu.

Giselle Tomimbang of B-Side Productions with Noe Fuentes of Alliance Francaise de Manille (Photo courtesy of the French Embassy)

Fête de la Musiqe, after staging online editions in the past two years, hopes that music lovers in the country will join in this unique event that promotes French-Filipino cross-cultural exchange and harnesses the healing power of music, forges friendships, and supports local communities.

Entitled “Tara Allez!” or “let’s go!” in both colloquial Filipino (“tara”) and French (“allez”), Fête PH 2022 will feature new and exciting collaborations between artists from the Philippines and France. This year also happens to be the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Franco-Philippine bilateral relations.

In partnership with the Department of Tourism (DOT), Fête de la Musique will celebrate not only the artists and music from different parts of the country but will also be an opportunity to highlight the rich and natural beauty of some of the Philippines’ popular tourist destinations.

“Now that the Philippines is open to fully-vaccinated individuals from all over the world, there’s no better time than now to explore our islands, and immerse in our vibrant arts, music, and culture,” says Howard Uyking, DOT assistant secretary for Branding and Marketing Communications.

The main stage for Fête de la Musique 2022 will be at the Puerta Real Gardens, Intramuros on June 25 with performances from Cheats, The Itchyworms, Lola Amour, Anima Tierra, and a special number by Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas featuring Curtismith, Toni B., Faye Yupano & Zsaris. More surprises and performers will be announced soon.

Pushing 2021’s virtual #FeteFromMyIsland theme even further, Fête PH 2022 also teamed up with various partners across the Philippine archipelago to support their own physical Fête-stivities, namely Lokal Lab for the Siargao Stage on June 21 in Santa Fe Beachfront Playground; Kalye Artisano x Lio Estate for the El Nido Stages on June 26 and 28 both at Kalye Artisano; and Melt Records x Alliance Française de Cebu for the Cebu Stages on June 25 at Draft Punk and on June 26 at La Vie.

French artists Marc Fichel, DJ Blutch, and Maxime Cozic will also be flying in from Paris to perform around the country.

Singer-songwriter and pianist Marc Fichel will perform at Sofitel on June 23; at the main stage at Intramuros on June 25, in a collaboration with The Voice Teens grand winner Cydel Gabutero; and alongside Palawan-based musicians in El Nido on June 26.

DJ Blutch, known for his abstract hip-hop and house mixes with video mapping will also perform at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila on June 24; at the main stage at Intramuros on June 25, in a collaboration with a surprise Filipino movement act; and will be joining Cebu-based musicians in the City of Smiles on June 26.

Dancer and choreographer Maxime Cozic will perform both his 18-minute solo piece and in collaboration with embodiment artist Dona Tumacder-Esteban, and improvisational drum circle Bathala Na at the final Fête PH 2022 stage in Kalye Artisano at Lio Estate on June 28.

Representatives from Alliance Francaise de Manille and B-Side Productions with executives from the French Embassy in Manila and the Department of Tourism

In addition, Fête de la Musique has once again partnered with over 30 independently produced pocket stages in Metro Manila to simultaneously feature various genres and musical moods on June 24. The participating venues include Alchemy Bistro Bar, Archipelago Makati, Boogie, Braiser’s The Village Cafe in Paranaque, Commune, Craven’s Bar and Restaurant, Dear Adam Sweet Lucy, Elements Boutique Hotel, Futur:st, H&J Restaurant, Kampai, La Collina, Leisure HQ, OTO, Pardon My French, Pura Vida Manila, Saguaro Bar & Cafe, Skinny Mike’s Sports Bar in BGC, The Apartment, The Green Door, The Astbury, The Social on Ebro, The Spirits Library, Topic, Thumbayan Grill, White Banana, WYP, Z Hostel. Some performers include Basically Saturday Night, Johnny Alegre, Ean Mayor of UDD, Coffeebreak Island with Bing Austria & Tuesday Vargas, Tropical Depression Apartel, Mulan, and Samantha Nicole.

Fête de la Musique also partnered with Funkybeat Entertainment, a music production company led by Francis De Veyra to produce and compose an anthem for “Tara Allez!” Featuring an inter-island collaboration among artists across the country, from Manila and Cebu to Palawan, the song perfectly captures how music brings people together, giving a sense of community through good vibrations and camaraderie.

“Let’s come together again, let’s be with each other again, let’s choose joy,” says Giselle Tomimbang of B-Side Productions. “This has been a difficult two years but music has always been a great way to only express but also process all kinds of emotions—pain, pleasure, sadness, happiness—and so I feel like it’s one way to help us remember. Music can help us remember where we come from and likewise help us see where else we can go. And from that there’s that message of hope. We’re still here, we’re still choosing to live.”

Fête PH 2022 will run from June 21 to 28.

Fête de la Musique in the Philippines 2022 is presented by Alliance Française de Manille, in partnership with the Embassy of France to the Philippines and B Side Productions, and co-organized by the Department of Tourism. The event is also organized in partnership with SM Malls, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Intramuros Administration, Outbound Asia Inc., Funkybeat Entertainment, Kumu, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, Institut Français, TV5 Monde, Baba Manila, and Jagged Perspective. With the support of Lio Resorts and AirSwift.