Skip to content

Fete De La Musique

Fête de la Musique is back to bring Jozi to fever pitch this winter

It’s free, it’s fun and it’s all about celebrating the unifying power of live music! On Saturday 8 June 2019, Newtown will again turn into a festive pedestrian zone when the eighth annual Fête de la Musique parties into Johannesburg. This popular festival of music and pan-continental expression is once again brought to Joburg audiences by the Alliance Française of Johannesburg and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), with the support of Total South Africa and in partnership with Bassline Live, the Market Theatre Foundation, Trace, Newtown Junction, Workshop Newtown and News Café.

Between 11am and 7pm on the day, French, South African and international music acts – both professional and emerging – will perform at this free music event that has steadily grown in stature and popularity over the years. It’s all about discovering new forms of music and expression, and bonding with friends old and new through the shared universal language of music. Joburg’s cultural heartland of Newtown is ideally placed to host this meeting of minds, trends, cultures and sounds, which has made its mark on major centres around the globe since originating in France in 1982. Today, the Fête de la Musique is celebrated in 700 cities in 120 countries across the world in June, including South Africa. With ample parking at Newtown Junction and a family-friendly, secure environment, plus all the genres under the sun to be heard across six open-air and indoor stages, as well as a choice of great restaurants and bars, the Fête de la Musique is set to be the ideal winter warmer for young and old.

This year, following an exhaustive application process, a number of music acts have already been confirmed, with more to be announced soon. One of the headline acts will be iconic local reggae band Tidal Waves – who have earned legendary status for their live shows over the years, with their roots reggae infused with traditional African sounds as well as rock, ska and blues influences. Joining them will be South African Music Award-nominated indie Afro-folk composer and songstress Msaki, whose soulful folk is interlaced with symphonic movements, Xhosa lyrics and African polyryhtms.

Revellers can also look forward to seeing Mozambican Afro-soul artist Deltino Guerreiro, South African all-girl art collective PG_13, Zimbabwean Afro-house doyenne Jackie Queens, Cape Town-based neo-soul singer-songwriter Refentse Solo, the DRC’s mesmerising “couturier of music” Grace Attalie, Durban-born alternative multi-instrumentalist Red Robyn, and Afro-folk act Urban Village, who incorporate Zulu rock, Xhosa funk, mbaqanga and maskandi into their sound. With such a melting pot of intriguing sounds on offer, the stage is set for a highly entertaining afternoon of musical expression, experimentation and discovery.

This spirit of bonhomie is borne out by Corinne Verdier, the head of IFAS’s cultural section, who says: “The Fête de la Musique is an amazing adventure for everyone involved. For us, for the artists, for our partners and sponsors, we all share one common goal: to put on a really fun and free music festival with that unique French flair! We also want to promote this new generation of wonderful artists.” Total South Africa is very proud and grateful to announce that once again, they will support this event. The Fête de la Musique is part of their heritage portfolio, which is dedicated to supporting and advancing cultural and artistic endeavours across multiple disciplines.

Come one, come all, for the street party of the year! For more information on the Fête de la Musique’s 2019 edition in Joburg, and the full programme will soon be available on; you can also like @fetedelamusique on Facebook, and follow @JoburgFDLM on Twitter and @fetedelamusiquejhb on Instagram.