The streets are alive with the sound of music.On June 21st, the longest day of the year, Vancouver hosted a free, five-hour outdoor music festival. The event took place on the oldest streets in the city - the cobblestones of Gastown. It ran from five in the afternoon till ten at night and featured musicians from various musical backgrounds. They all performed in the nooks and crannies surrounding Water Street. The sounds of guitars, voices and percussion instruments blended into a musical quilt of auditory diversity.The event was titled Fete de la Musique Vancouver - or in English, Make Music Vancouver. The festival has its roots in France, where the idea was formed to create a free annual music festival on the summer solstice that would be accessible to everyone. It was the brainchild of Joel Cohen, an American employed by the national French radio station, Franc Musique. The idea took on a firm form under Maurice Fleuret, a French Music and Dance director, who spearheaded the first gathering. The inaugural festival in France was held in 1982. It has since spawned similar festivals on the same date and under the same conditions in countries around the world.There are now over 100 countries taking part in the annual event. In Canada, the festival has premiered in Toronto, Moncton, Ottawa, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec City and Montreal. This was the first year that it took place on the streets of Vancouver. The two francophone institutions responsible for organizing it were Alliance Francaise de Vancouver and Francais du Monde a Vancouver. The event also had the support of the French Consulate.With a distinctly French background, organizers encouraged French-speaking artists to submit their applications for a festival spot. The final line-up showcased a variety of culturally diverse acts, with vocals in a number of different languages.The festival site had 35 musical zones, or temporary stages, where artists rotated through a set line-up. Each zone had a specific musical feel. For the rock fans, there was the corner of Water and Richards. The hip-hop fans had the bottom of Cambie, by the rail yard.With a mix of professional and amateur musicians, the festival included raw and polished talent. None of the musicians performing were paid - a key element to the festival. The performers shared their music for the love of their craft.The musicians were asked to bring their own instruments, chairs and music stands, with the festival organizers supplying only the location. The performances concluded at 10 pm, when the bylaw noise restrictions came into effect.Make Music Vancouver also encouraged local bars and nightclubs to continue the party indoors, after 10 o'clock. Bar and club owners were asked to stick to the same principals and not charge for admission.If you missed out on FÃªte de la Musique, make sure you buy your tickets early for this summer's most anticipated music festival, Live at Squamish. Metric and Weezer will headline this two-day event in the middle of August.