MUSICFEST 2006

Make your own music, create your own stage!

Live music filling the streets, spilling from houses and shops. Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons and grandparents -whole communities playing instruments as a celebration of the joy of music. This is the world of Fête de la Musique (Festival of music).

It is inspiring to know that around our planet, there are groups of people, individuals and organisations – each working towards positive creative expression. One such group is the Fête de la Musique. Initiated in France, its name and concept have since caught on and spread right around the globe. Today, Fête de la Musique brings together more than 120 countries and 330 cities each year – always on the 21st June. So what is Fête de la Musique?

Some 25 years ago, a musical idea was born. It began with the concept that everybody can play music on some level and has a right to self-expression through music. The next step was connecting and reconnecting people to instruments: With so many of us having one or more musical instrument stored in an attic or stowed behind boxes in a garage, it wouldn’t be hard to bring everything out, dust it off and find a playable instrument for everyone. Then musicians of every skill level would all come together for one day, to play and share their communication with others.

In the spirit of Fête de la Musique all performances are live and free. All audiences are welcome to enjoy the music and explore new sounds in new spaces and venues as the festival relies on the involvement of all sections of the community and invites everyone to participate. The performances showcase all styles of music in a range of indoor and outdoor locations, including places not traditionally dedicated to music – such as museums, hospitals, corporate foyers, churches, streets, public transport and schools.

Cities participating included London, New York, Berlin, Rome, Bamako, Tel-Aviv, Havana, Tokyo and Cairo – and Sydney, where this year for the first time, MusicFest (the Australian version of Fete de la Musique) welcomed the contribution of Kenja Communication’s Sydney music action. With the charter of MusicFest harmonising so beautifully with that of Kenja Communication, our contribution to this uplifting and exciting event was enthusiastic.

More than 5,000 people ultimately attended the Sydney 2006 event across 35 venues.  Around 200 amateur and professional acts participated – including Endorphin, Pnau, Declan Kelly, Rephrase, Café of the Gate of Salvation, Sydney Omega Ensemble (Sydney Symphony) as well as local music ensembles from India, Pakistan and France. MusicFest is growing in popularity each year - with next year already being planned as a national event, taking in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. It seems the future of MusicFest promises to call out to an ever-expanding world of hidden musical talents!

So next June, why not dust off your own musical instrument (if you can’t find one, grab a pair of spoons or a gumleaf) and join in this wonderfully positive celebration of the joy of expression through music, at MusicFest. One thing’s for sure – the musicians of Kenja will be there with bells on!


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