Launched in 1982 in France as the Fete de Musique, Make Music Day is a free celebration of music that takes place in more than 120 countries around the world. Each year on June 21, the longest day of the year, millions of people head to public parks, venues, and sidewalks around the world to play, make, enjoy, and celebrate music. From the sidewalks of New York to the parks of Los Angeles and everywhere in between, there’s plenty of opportunity for music lovers in the United States to celebrate Make Music Day. And the best thing? It’s all open to the public, and it’s all 100% free.
Make Music Day in North America
Although the first Make Music celebration took place in 1982, it didn’t cross the Atlantic until about a decade ago, with the debut of Make Music New York. Since then it’s expanded to over 30 North American cities, including Cleveland, Denver, Portland, San Diego, and Buffalo. For a complete list of participating cities, check out the Make Music Day website. What began as a small grassroots campaign by a team of volunteers quickly turned into critical success. In 2015, North American cities organized over 2,000 free concerts at 839 locations across the country. Over 35 cities are participating in 2016.
In an effort to coordinate and expand their efforts, the Make Music Alliance was founded in 2014. The Alliance is open to organizers who coordinate live music performances on June 21 that are free, participatory, open to the public, and held in public spaces and/or multiple venues. If you’re interested in joining the Alliance and bringing Make Music Day celebrations to your city, learn more here.
How Can I Join?
Whether you’re a rapper, instrumentalist, or musician, you’re invited to collaborate on making June 21st a musical masterpiece. If your hometown is already a Make Music city, joining is easy- simply click on your city and follow the prompts to register. If your city isn’t on the board yet, you can create your own Make Music event where you live. Since this event is grassroots in nature, it’s easy for anyone to create an event. Simply download this Make Music toolkit and register to be included in the national listings. If you’re interested in organizing a large scale Make Music event in your city in 2017, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how to bring the spirit of Make Music to your city.
Can Anyone Participate?
The best thing about Make Music events is that they’re open to everyone- amateurs, professionals, and part-time musicians are all invited to join. If you’ve never touched an instrument before, initiatives like “Mass Appeal” were designed with you in mind. Mass Appeal brings together thousands of musicians- of all levels and ages- to make music in large, single-instrument groups. From accordions and recorders to pianos and percussion, you’ll have the opportunity to play an instrument you’ve never played before. For a list of Mass Appeal events near you, check out the Mass Appeal schedule. If you can’t attend an event but would still like to show your support, Make Music accepts donations via PayPal or checks. Make Music is a non-profit organization, and your donation may be eligible for a tax write-off.
Don’t have your own instrument, but still want to participate? Don’t worry! Music & Arts makes it easy to rent a musical instrument. If you need to brush up on your skills, check out The Lesson Studio, and celebrate music all year long with our selection of music games and puzzles.
Photo via Zhu, CC