Life After Lockdown: Fete de la Musique

The band starts playing at the local pizzeria. Fete de la Musique 2020. ©Lisa Anselmo

Today would normally be my Music Monday offering but this week, I’m showcasing other people’s music. We’re talking about Fête de la Musique, which happened yesterday, a citywide music festival that celebrates the summer solstice. Usually, the city comes alive with musical acts performing in the public squares and streets of every neighborhood, but this year, due to Covid-19, there were many restrictions. You could only play if hosted by a café who had to get a permit for you. That made this year’s fête more de la silence than la musique. And it rained for the first time in five years.

Did that stop Lisa and friend Patty from fête-ing? No way! We only needed one live act to make it a party, and we found one in a pizzeria on Avenue Parmentier. They were kicking out the jams, Latin-style, inspiring everyone to dance, rain or not. And there were plenty of people as undaunted as Patty and I. Take that, Coronavirus. We thought about having pizza on their terrace, but the band was pretty loud—and there was a crowd gathering. So we wandered across the street to another pizzeria (yup, there are two in one block) and sat on their terrace, which was fairly empty and tranquil. There we shared a pretty decent pizza and some red wine while the band across the street provided our entertainment. The rained stopped and the skies cleared just in time to enjoy the longest day of the year. Not too shabby.

We didn’t compare this year’s non-event to last year’s. We didn’t think about how this summer would not be the way we’d planned. We simply took this moment and maxed it out—creating a truly memorable afternoon. If this virus is teaching us anything, it’s how to be happy right now with the gifts we’ve been given.

Fête-goers on Rue de la Roquette. A bit trop de monde (crowded) for us. We passed by. Below, 10 p.m. in Paris on the longest day of the year. Still bright.

©Lisa Anselmo

Celebrate Fete de la Musique right here!
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