I got the impression that Fete de la Musique in France is a free-for-all, that it’s a crazy day of anarchy and mayhem, where by government decree anyone can play any kind of music anytime, anywhere they choose. And that’s possibly the spirit the day was started in, back in 1982.
I love playing for French audiences, but even booking a show in a tiny bar in the back of nowhere here requires a sitdown with the proprietor, various family members and some friend of theirs that owned a guitar once.
And it’s not surprising they take it very seriously – if the French performing rights society catches wind of them putting on live music, they are subject to heavy charges.
So June 21, Fete de la Musique, seems like a perfect day to get around all that and just go out and play. We’ve rented a generator and have a plan to go around to some of the more populated towns neaby, set up our PA, plug in the guitars and play.
But just to be on the safe side, at the suggestion of our friend Michel who would hate to see us languishing in a French jail, I checked the rules on the government’s website. And found, to my amusement or horror, I’m still not sure which, this chart regarding the organization of this very spontaneous day:
This, for an event that gives the impression of being about freedom. And it’s written there in the really fine print that one is obliged to inquire in each town what their policy is regarding public performances on June 21, “for the safety of the public.”
But we’re going to pretend we never saw any of this stuff, and play anyway. Is there internet in jail?