THOUSANDS of people attended this year’s Fete de la Musique (Musical Celebration), the most anticipated event in the French Spring Festival at El Pueblo, Ortigas last June 18.

Featuring different stages and the best local acts today, the climactic end to the festival gave the clear statement of this year’s spring festival theme, “Unity in Diversity.”

Because of the number of acts that performed, some stages started as early as three o’clock in the afternoon to accommodate the 150 bands. The event also induced heavy traffic on J. Vargas Street in Mandaluyong.

The main stage featured world music, ska, and reggae. Around here, people danced and enjoyed the ethnic rhythms of acts like Makiling Ensemble, Cynthia Alexander, Jr. Kilat, and the Radioactive Sago Project.

The more intense audience was found at the rock stage, where bands like the Sandwich, Chicosci, Sugarfree and, Typecast made the mosh pit go wild. The crowd looked like they were going to picket as they carried different flags and streamers.

The people who found the rock stage too wild were at the alternative stage, at The Podium driveway. This stage was filled with crowd-pleasing acts such as Hale, Juan Pablo Dream, Pedicab, Spongecola and Kitchie Nadal.

Bars that housed some stages likewise filled with people. Fans of trip-hop, electronica and the like were at the electronica set at Pasto that featured acts like Drip, Wolfmann, and Day Dream Cycle. People at the San Mig Pub meanwhile were soothed by rhythms from Mishka Adams, Isha, Skarlet and Jazz Friends, and Johnny Alegre Affinity in the Jazz set.

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It was a blast from the past meanwhile at the blues set in Sidebar as it featured The Jerks and Blue Jean Junkies. While rappers united in the Hiphop/R&B set where SVC and Seven Shots simply blew the night away at Friends.

After last year’s move to Eastwood, where the stages were washed away literally by heavy rains, the Fete de la Musique returned to El Pueblo. However, it was noticeable how organizers didn’t prepare for the large crowds. The lack of security men, for example, made the rock stage stop for a few minutes because of people climbing the low stage. This security lapse also made some bands pull out from the event.

Young and old, rich and poor, the Fete de la Musique always brought together audiences from different walks of life because of the music. This year’s Fete left us with anxious anticipation for next year. Brian Sales

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