Start a Chapter

Make Music Day

Bring Make Music to Your Community!

On the first day of summer, musicians in over 120 countries turn public spaces into musical stages. Tens of thousands of amateur songwriters, professional mariachis, jazz combos, glee clubs, and MCs come out to perform on streets and parks.

If Make Music Day is not happening in your community, why not get it started? Whether you are a government agency, an arts presenter, a music school or store, or just a passionate individual, starting a Make Music chapter may be easier than you think. (In fact, the first Make Music Day in France came together in just three weeks!)

Most chapters aim to organize a city, but in some cases a chapter will tackle a county, a region, or even a whole state.

Why organize Make Music Day in your city?

  • On June 21, thousands of amateur musicians, of all ages and genres, play for some of the biggest crowds of their lives. Everyone can experience the joy of performing, even those without the skills or connections to find gigs in regular venues.
  • Professional artists and presenters showcase their music to a new audience, reaching people who would never normally hear their work.
  • Participants feel part of a larger musical community, and the freedom to wander around and improvise with each other. For most musicians, it’s unlike any other musical experience they have had.
  • Listeners can come out from under their headphones and experience live music up close. Audiences feel no pressure to stay if they don’t like a particular band; with no money spent and no walls holding them in, they can wander to discover unfamiliar genres and groups risk-free.
  • Local business districts attract customers by hosting musicians in front of shops and restaurants.
  • For neighbors, it’s a chance to turn ordinary sidewalks and streets into impromptu stages, dance floors, and social meeting points, and bring their community together.
  • For the city as a whole, it’s a way to attract tourists from other parts of the region to come experience the city’s cultural richness.
  • And through the Make Music Alliance, it’s a way to showcase the city’s local music scene through a nationwide PR campaign and listings platform on June 21.

How do I get started?

There are four key steps to bring this musical holiday to your city.

1. Identify a local champion for the event.

In Chicago it’s a nonprofit music presenter; in Milwaukee, it’s a local musical instrument retailer; in San Jose, it’s the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs. In cities like New York, Nashville, and Madison, individual civic leaders have formed new nonprofits to manage Make Music.

2. Raise funds for basic expenses… or round up volunteers.

Budgets for Make Music can be much smaller than for traditional festivals. Since musicians and locations collaborate on their own concerts, you don’t need a production team to run around with extension cords and banners – people will do it all themselves. That said, there must be either a budget for coordination and marketing, or significant in-kind and volunteer contributions, especially early on when the concept is still unfamiliar.

3. Make the permits as easy as possible.

This is the key to encourage spontaneous outdoor participation. Every city has a different permitting situation, but we’ve found a way to make this work everywhere. In no case should individual musicians or venues need to cover permit costs.

4. Promote the holiday.

Public awareness drives this event. Businesses, media partners, music schools, associations, respected local artists, and elected officials can all spread the word. City Halls have held press events; promoted Make Music on city-owned websites and bus shelters; and invited public schools, block associations, community boards, and senior center choirs to sign up.

Tools and Support from the Make Music Alliance

If you are ready to start a Make Music chapter, the Make Music Alliance is ready to help.

By joining the Alliance, you will receive everything you need to launch a successful event: a complete software package and website to help manage the event in your community, logos and marketing materials, regular phone consultations, access to nationally sponsored creative projects, and much more.

And you’ll be joining an active, international community with hundreds of Make Music organizers eager to share best practices and provide peer-to-peer support.

Learn more about the Make Music Alliance