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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Fête de la Musique festival brings back all stages to one venue, since Covid pandemic

As a measure of not spreading Covid, Fête de la Musique was hosted at in different parts of the city in the last few years.

For the first time since before the Covid-19 pandemic the Fête de la Musique (FDLM) festival will take place in the same vicinity at Victoria Yards in Johannesburg.

The last time the free music festival took place in the same space was in 2019, where the festival’s six stages were scattered around Newtown precinct, giving it a proper festival feel.

Back together

Covid took away that intimacy and convenience of being able to walk to all the stages without a hassle.

Due to the pandemic, there wasn’t an edition of the festival in 2020 and it returned in 2021, introducing the stages in various parts of the city. The 2021 instalment was hosted during spring season, instead of June.

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“We wanted to bring the audiences together and provide a more united music experience. Vic Yards makes the perfect setting for this. It’s is vibrant and energetic much like the Fête audience,” Culture Attaché and Deputy Director of the French Institute of South Africa (Ifas) Sophie Boulé, told The Citizen.

FDLM is a music festival organised by the Ifas in partnership with Total Energies Marketing South Africa.

The free-entry concert annually takes place on 21 June, which is Music Day, but will take place the following day in Johannesburg for the 13th time.

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Celebrating music

Fête de la Musique, which is French for World Music Day, originated in France in 1982 and has since become a global phenomenon, celebrated in over 700 cities worldwide in 120 countries for more than 40 years.

This year’s headline acts are rap artist Stogie T who will be headlining the Tiered Garden Stage, folk singer Muneyi will be on the Lower Precinct Stage and vocalist from Lesotho Maleh will lead the Western Courtyard Stage.

 “The headliners are influenced by the diverse line-up chosen this year. We have poets, rappers, Afro Pop and traditional artists who will all be performing on the various Vic Yards stages. Also represented and part of the diversity is the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Boulé.

The supporting acts include Sun Xa Experiment, Xhanti Nokwali and Jae Nuune among the 12 selected performers.

Since its inception in 2010, the festival has provided a vital platform for emerging talents to shine on the South African stage.

This year, from a pool of 300 applications, a dozen acts have earned their place on the FDLM stage following a rigorous selection process overseen by a panel of esteemed judges from the South African music industry.

“Year after year, we are impressed by the breadth of talent showcased in the applications. Our line-up reflects the vibrancy and diversity of South Africa’s musical landscape, promising an unforgettable celebration of local talent,” said Boulé.

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