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Beaucoup fun, music—and love for Philippine waters

By SCOTT GARCEAU, The Philippine STAR Published Jun 12, 2023 5:00 am

Forty-three stages. Twenty-nine years. Hundreds of OPM artists performing on streets and venues around the country. But the thing that distinguishes Fête de la Musique Philippines this year is the strong focus on ocean conservation. With a launch held on World Oceans Day, this year’s #FetePH is themed “MerSea” (“mer” being French for sea, “merci” meaning “thank you”) and it’s a cri de couer to protect the world’s waters and marine life.

As Alliançe Française de Manille executive director Xavier Leroux, explains, “In spite of all our differences, music—just like the oceans—connects us humans with each other,” adding that “France and the Philippines have in common being maritime nations, so we have a lot of related challenges—protection, conservation, reef preservation.”

Fête de la Musique Philippines has always drawn fans to free concerts during the month of June (which is World Environment Month as well). Now it broadens its horizons for 2023 to advocate for our oceans. 

“More than just merry-making, we also seek to use our collective voice as Fête de la Musique PH as a platform for causes close to our heart,” says Giselle Tomimbang, president of B-Side Productions, which co-produces Fête de la Musique.

What conservation efforts?

NFTs from top Filipino nature photographers will be sold on to raise funds for LAMAVE (Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines).

Fête art drop fundraiser for ocean conservation. Fête de la Musique PH has partnered with, the first blue-chip NFT launchpad, for a fundraising campaign for the Philippine seas. Offering 1,000 NFT art pieces by 10 renowned oceanographic photographers (namely Chino Neri, Mike Eijansantos, Lancer Salva, Camille Robiou du Pont, Terence Ver Angsioco, Kat Jack, A Decade, Ganden Medved Po, ADAM, and Archie Geotina), buyers can purchase random works from their chosen photographer at P3,000 apiece; lucky buyers receive a special “surprise” NFT, including augmented reality versions viewable on the app Artivive. The sale starts June 19 at Part of the proceeds from NFT sales supports LAMAVE (Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines), a Filipino non-government organization dedicated to the conservation of marine megafauna (gentle creatures like sea turtles and dugong).

Blaster and The Celestial Klownz

Fête ties up with UNDP. #MerSeaFetePH will also serve as the launch for various activities under its partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Philippines and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the 2023 Environment Month celebrations. UNDP and #FetePH will co-organize a series of activities inspired by both the World Oceans Day theme as well as the theme for this year’s World Environment Day. In a global effort to #BeatPlasticPollution, there will be coastal clean-up and tree-planting activities around the country, including Metro Manila, Siargao, and Cebu.

Lola Amour

#FetePH expands focus with DOT. As part of its long-standing collab with the Department of Tourism, this year’s Fête festivities continue its #FeteFromMyIsland theme from its virtual edition in 2021. Joining forces once again with various organizations across the islands, #MerSeaFetePH’s Destination Stages will be in Albay, Baguio, Baler, Cebu, El Nido, Laguna, Pampanga, Palawan, Siargao, Tagaytay, and Zambales. With the exception of Siargao hosting its stage on June 21, all these destinations will celebrate on June 24.

In spite of all our differences, music — just like the oceans — connects us humans with each other.

And there's... Music!

Did we forget to mention there’s LOTS of music? As always, Fête de la Musique showcases some of the country’s best, freshest, and most diverse local acts with a series of live celebrations nationwide.

(Clockwise from top): Uncle Bob’s Funky Seven Club, of Mercury, Cheats, and Ena Mori are just a few of the local acts appearing at Fête 2023.

The Main Stage for Fête PH 2023 will be Greenbelt 3 Park on June 23 with performances by Blaster & the Celestial Klownz, Lola Amour, She’s Only Sixteen, Cheats, Ena Mori, and Uncle Bob’s Funky Seven Club (heard jamming at the press launch) with surprise announcements to come. From France, catch jazz act Rémi Panossian Trio performing at the Long Bar at Raffles Makati on June 21, and at the Alliance Française de Manille on June 22.

Here’s a lineup of key stage dates:

  • June 16: SONIK Sessions
  • June 17: Makati pocket stages
  • June 21: Siargao and Cebu destination stages
  • June 21: Remi Panossian Trio at Long Bar Raffles Makati
  • June 22: Remi Panossian Trio at Alliance Francaise de Manille
  • June 23: Main Stage at Greenbelt 3
  • June 24: Destination stages in Albay, Baler, Baguio, Caloocan, El Nido, Laguna, Pampanga, Tagaytay and Zambales.

Another tie-up this year: #FetePH collaborates with SONIK Philippines through the support of the Institut Français and the French Ministry of Europe & Foreign Affairs to hold the first-ever SONIK Session Fete: Music Export France conference on June 16, with sessions on “How to Play in an International Festival,” “How to Grow Your Music and Fanbases in Foreign Markets,” and “Collaborating with Artists from Foreign Countries.” The goal, says SONIK CEO Mike Constantino, is to get more Filipino musicians to perform at global festivals, such as Fête de la Musique in France, and collaborate with French and other artists.

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The 29th Fête de la Musique Philippines is presented by Alliance Française de Manille in partnership with B-Side Productions and the Embassy of France to the Philippines and co-organized by the Department of Tourism. Visit for more details on lineups, stages, and schedules.