FÊTE DE LA MUSIQUE REVIVES MELVILLE VENUES
Fête de la Musique was launched in France in 1982, to give audiences and musicians an opportunity to communicate and provide a platform to celebrate music.
The popular street music festival is held on 21 June in Paris every year. Celebrated in over one hundred cities around the world, it is no surprise that three years ago it also found a home in South Africa.
In South Africa, the festival is held in four cities: Port Elizabeth, at Richmond Hill, Durban, at the City Hall, Cape Town, at Alliance Française and Johannesburg on Melville’s 7th Avenue.
In its third year, Fête de la Musique continues to be one of the most spectacular festivals of its kind in South Africa. The festival not only bring music fans and musicians together, it also plays a vital role in bringing communities together and uplifting businesses around the areas in which it takes place.
This year Melville’s 7th Street was turned into a pedestrian friendly zone for music fans to truly enjoy the live music performances in restaurants, bars and on various stages. With at least 10,000 people estimated to have attended the event including performers, the festival seems to have put the spotlight back on Melville.
Lindy Pretorius owner of Brauhaus and La Luna on 7th Avenue in Melville says the festival was a breath of fresh air because a lot of people had come to think of Melville as a dangerous area with drugs and crime on the streets.
“The festival has turned that around, as people now come to experience the music and what the festival has to offer. Patrons of the festival are beginning to appreciate and experience what the neighbourhood offers, from an entertainment and arts point of view,” she says.
Pretorius noted that if the festival could bring together so many people in winter, it would perform even better in spring as August and September are warm and very good months for business.
Melville business owners noted the following as some of the benefits of Fête de la Musique since it launched in South Africa three years ago:
•As the festival was founded by the French, it provides a great opportunity for French musicians and South African musicians to come together and perform.
•It is great for tourism because we get a lot of people travelling from France to come and experience Fête de la Musique in South Africa and across the various cities. It also attracts French nationals based in South Africa.
•It presents a great platform for musicians to showcase their talent to a diverse crowd with an interest in music.
•It helps boost business in Melville especially during the winter season, where business would ordinarily not be slow.
•It puts Melville venues on the map; as well as other South African venues that participate in the festival.
Although Fête de la Musique is mainly about music, this year’s festival also attracted diverse arts such as street art and street performance, kiddies’ activities such as face painting. The festival is organised by the French Institute of South Africa (IFSA) in partnership with the Melville Residents Association (MRA), the Melville Business Association (MBA) the Delegation Generale des Alliances Françaises (DGAF) and the Alliance Française of Johannesburg.
Talking about venue licensing, Pretorius noted that SAMRO plays a vital role in the licensing of music. However, she believes that more information needs to be provided to venue owners to ensure that they understand the value of licensing, and the obligation thereto.
PUBLIC NOTICE TO VENUE OWNERS:
Our interaction with venue owners in Melville revealed the need for deeper education on venue licensing, and we would like to call on ALL venue owners who have queries on venue licensing to contact SAMRO on 011 712 8363/73 or email: email@example.com to provide feedback and advice on venue licensing.