Tuesday, June 19, 2018

24th Fête de la Musique, the biggest so far with more than 40 stages (and counting)

Right after the Manila leg of the 23rd French Film Festival, it’s time for me to switch gears from film and go back into music mode in time for the Fête de la Musique starting this June 23, 2018 at various venues in Makati and in surrounding areas.

Now on its 24th edition, the Fête is one of the longest running music festivals in the country and this year is poised to be the biggest yet with performances happening on 2 main stages plus 40 (and counting) pocket stages in Makati and surrounding areas on June 23, at Intramuros on June 29, and then all the way to Laguna and Baguio on June 30. And add to that the Fête at the Park pre-event concert that happened at the Rizal Park last June 16, 2018.

I was actually looking forward to going back to the Fête last year (I missed it back in 2016) but due to security concerns, the organizers opted not to have any of the outdoor main stages.

Now, the main stages are back with the A Venue Main Stage having August Wahh, Baihana, Basically Saturday Night, Hernandez Brothers x Lowleaf x Planet Zips Philippines,  Lady I,  Cheats, Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas x Pochoy Labog, Oh, Flamingo!, Tukar Sinati x Radha, Kjwan, and Motherbasss  in its lineup.

Over at the Greenbelt Main Stage, the acts scheduled to perform are Ourselves the Elves, Hansom, Toni B., Bawal Clan x Butta B., The Blue Rats, She's Only Sixteen, LUSTBASS x Kat Agarrado, Pedicab, Orange & Lemons, Tarsius x bp Valenzuela, and Red-I x Ras Taro. The performances at the main stages will start at 4:00 PM lasting until midnight.

Lady's Symphony
Percussionist Narjess, DJ Liz Candy, and violinist Nyna

One of the main highlights of the festival is the visiting French music act performing during the prime spot at the main stages. But this year’s French act, Lady’s Symphony is not among the lineup at any of the main stages on June 23. Instead, the group, composed of DJ Liz Candy, violinist Nyna, and percussionist Narjess will perform at the Intramuros Main Stage at the Puerta Real Gardens on June 29. Other acts for Intramuros include Better Days, Shirebound and Busking, Joee & I, Shamanism, Dayaw, Tom's Story, Apartel, Ebe Dancel, Autotelic, <S>andwich.

As always, I’ll be heading over to the A Venue Main Stage (although I am also very tempted to check out Intramuros Main Stage too) and then I’ll see what I can check out from the handful of pocket stages that are within walking distance. Usually, there is a map where one can get a glance of where the various stages will be. But keeping track of the numerous stages, the music genres that has gotten a lot more specific now, as well as the acts per venue could be a tad overwhelming.

To aid the overwhelmed festival goer, a Fête PH mobile app was recently released where one can find out everything about Fête this year. I’ve downloaded it already but it’s not as user friendly as I hoped it would be. The app becomes cumbersome whenever I navigate to a pocket stage as I get directed to a facebook event page. I understand that not everything about the pocket stages is set in stone yet with all these updates. For example, I just learned that MTV Philippines is now the official music channel which is a recent development. Those running the app probably have a lot on their plate right now and I don’t envy their position.

I can’t say that I am a Fête expert but my simple advice to those attending, especially those who will troop over to the A Venue Main Stage is to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. And also be ready just in case the rain decides to join in the fun. But most of all, keep an open ear and be receptive to all the new music that one can discover in festivals such as this.

The 24th edition of Fête de la Musique in the Philippines is presented by Alliance française de Manille, in partnership with B-SIDE Productions and the Embassy of France to the Philippines, and is co-presented by San Miguel Beer.

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