Day of Music Fullerton, part of a worldwide festival, returns on a small scale

Each year, Fullerton Music Day takes place on the summer solstice, corresponding to the annual Fête de la Musique in France and music festivals around the world.

“This stemmed from the love of the city of Fullerton and grew out of the music that this town brought to us,” said Day of Music Fullerton board member Brian Torres.

The eighth annual Fullerton Music Day took place at Downtown Fullerton Plaza on June 21 and included performances from ’80s sensation and Fullerton native Stacey Q as well as other musicians, like funk and R&B band Brown Sugah and local family act Darden.

The Darden Sisters sing the national anthem at the start of the Day of Music Fullerton festival at Downtown Fullerton Plaza.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

The first Fête de la Musique was celebrated in Paris in 1982.

“I lived in France for a number of years, and this is a national holiday there and it was always a wonderful experience with music in the street,” said Day of Music Fullerton founder Glenn P. Georgieff.

Georgieff decided to bring the event to Orange County, and today Day of Music Fullerton is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that joins 120 countries worldwide in encouraging its citizens to play music outdoors and host and attend concerts each year on June 21 .

Music lovers sat in folding chairs in front of the stage, and others huddled in the shade with their own beach chairs and blankets as musician Benny Chadwick played between sets.

“It being the first day of summer and all, you know the longest day of summer, it just kind of heightens the fact that music is essential to our well-being and music shines so bright in our lives,” said eventgoer and Fullerton resident Mary Olander.

Benny Chadwick performs live during the Day of Music Fullerton festival.

Benny Chadwick performs live during the Day of Music Fullerton festival at Downtown Fullerton Plaza.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Many were excited to see the event return in person after the pandemic made it impossible.

“Fullerton is such an arts community anyway – we’ve got lots of great music and theater and education systems. After not doing this live for three years it was important to bring it back if we were given the opportunity, ”said Todd Huffman, Day of Music Fullerton board member.

That opportunity came this year, Huffman said.

“It happened at the last minute, thanks to the city approving some things to help pay for it. “Once it was for sure happening, it just sort of snowballed,” said Huffman. “The bands jumped in and the sponsors jumped in to make it happen, and here we are.”

This year’s festival was pared down due to concerns about the pandemic. The festival usually includes mini concerts throughout the city, but this year performances were concentrated in the plaza, which made for a more intimate event.

The Fullerton Museum hosted a beer garden and a lineup of food trucks that included Locke Down BBQ, Tokyo Style Food Truck and Drizzle Funnel Cake & Ice Cream, joined by a small market of local artisans.

Visitors explore the various food trucks during the Day of Music Fullerton festival.

Visitors explore the various food trucks during the Day of Music Fullerton festival at Downtown Fullerton Plaza.

(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Of course, live music was the biggest draw.

“Hearing live music again, it just gives me goosebumps,” Torres said. “There is nothing like it.”

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