Much like the people who attended the June 23 outing of Fête dela Musique, photographers EMMAN PEREGRIN and LEAH DE LEON endured the sporadic rains and dense crowds for a night of live music, visual arts and vibrant energy. (Words by KENDRICK GO.)
That Saturday evening, at the event space of Acceler8, a co-working space in Makati City, a man was seen sitting on the floor surrounded by a dense crowd packed in front of a stage.
He was standing up earlier that evening, head swaying for about 40 minutes as music from the band Aoui filled the room, but since they left, he has been occupying a spot middle of the crowd, legs crossed while tinkering with his phone.
“Is he really just going to stay there?” a woman from the back asked.
“Maybe he doesn’t want to give up his spot,” her companion answered in Filipino, and if this was indeed the case, he wasn’t the only one.
It was the 23rd of June 2018; Since four in the afternoon, Fête dela Musique has been hosting simultaneous free concerts throughout Makati City and its stages have been giving people a chance to showcase their dedication to local music. At A-venue, for example, heavy rains afflicting the afternoon accompanied by warnings of more showers in the evening did not sway people from crowding the parking lot where one of two mainstages were set. At the corner of the streets Alfonso and Fermina meanwhile, light drizzles failed to disperse a crowd waiting to get into Agimat Foraging Kitchen and Bar for the bands playing at the venue’s Bedroom Beats stage. Meanwhile, at the Paseo de Roxas branch Acceler8, the presence of a much more spacious waiting area could not call on a few people to abandon the spots they’ve taken over near the stage. It was in that same venue where people have been staying since 4pm, waiting for the set of the last band, the widely popular Math Rock group, Tom’s Story.
According to Jean-Pierre Dumont, the executive director of Alliance Française de Manille, one of Fête’s primary organizers, it is this kind of passion that has been responsible for the festival’s successes in the Philippines. It was first launched in the country about 24 years ago and the enthusiasm of artists and music lovers alike have kept it going.
“Having a good [Fête] is always a challenge,” he said but he nonetheless confirmed that “many musicians over the years have chosen to be part of it [because of] the motivation to share something.”
For this year, what was shared came in droves—from local music spanning various genres, to live visual arts, to palpable weather-proof enthusiasm. Fête isn’t done, however. Come June 29, it will be hosting another stage at the Puerto Real Gardens of Intramuros; it will be bringing in the French trio, Lady’s Symphony and it will once again be featuring local bands. Weather forecast from various sources suggest that the area might see rainfall in the afternoon, but if the dedication to local music present on the 23rd resurfaces that day, it may not guarantee the event’s cancellation.