Parisians dance on the streets and cram into bars for the city's summer music festival

Dancing in the streets, a central part of any Fête de la musique, was not overlooked this year
Dancing in the streets, a central part of any Fête de la musique, was not overlooked this year Copyright Cyril Fourneris/Euronews
By Cyril FournerisMichael Daventry
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After months of silence, the French capital's streets were packed at the weekend for the annual Fête de la musique — even though some people flouted coronavirus rules.


Many Parisians mark the start of summer with an annual music street festival and this year was no exception regardless of restrictions on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Indeed this year's Fête de la Musique went ahead on Sunday with dozens of revellers packed tightly together as bars were authorised to hold parties as long as they took sanitary precautions.

"We put signs on the wall, we limited space, but we can't control everything," said Mickaël, a DJ at one of the bars.

"The people have come, this is the most important, the Fête de la Musique has to live on!"

In previous years, spontaneous concerts on the streets captured the soul of the festival, but those were officially forbidden due to the pandemic.

But there were still some who could not resist taking their instruments out with them: one jazz band featured an entire drum set.

"We missed this so much," said Gilles, a sousaphone player in the band. "And now we feel so good. Even though we should not be here, but we're here anyway."

There were other large events too, such as a karaoke party at the Paris Arab World institute.

Among the guests there was France's culture minister, Franck Riester, who said it "feels good to celebrate music after these two months of confinement, after this virus".

But he added it was important to still respect safety measures while celebrating artists and musicians, who he called "the people who give us happiness".

Public access to culture has begun to widen as France phases out its coronavirus lockdown measures.

From Monday, cinemas and theatres are set to reopen. The world-famous Louvre museum will reopen on July 6.

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