Make Music Day is a global celebration of music that takes place in 125 countries on 21 June every year.
The concept, which originates from France’s Fête de la Musique, started in 1982, and now involves two thirds of the population of France. The event traditionally involves performers, venues, event organisers, volunteers and supporters, with performances in a full range of musical styles and in a variety of spaces, including libraries, hospitals, schools, town squares, train stations, parks, shopping centres, pubs, cafes and traditional gig venues.
The event first came to the UK in 2012, and 2017 marked the first UK-wide, coordinated celebration with support and funding from national organisations, resulting in 147 performances. In 2020, despite the unique challenges of the pandemic and social distancing, 1,739 live and online performances took place across the UK, involving 11,162 performers who brought inspiring musical experiences to over 531,700 people and with Nicola Benedetti CBE, Frank Turner, Elin Manahan Thomas, Apollo5, The King’s Singers, Iona Fyfe, Sam Sweeney, Emma McGann, Charlotte Hoather, Zoe Alexander of The Nick Alexander Memorial Trust as ambassadors, its truly attracting music royalty.
To celebrate this biggest grassroots, DIY festival, there are a range of inclusive 2021 projects and event, with zero barriers to participation and attendance. Thousands of free events will be taking place up and down the country to mark the global celebration, which takes place annually on 21 June.
The event encourages, musicians, producers, communities, solo performers and groups of music creatures of all types to take part, regardless of age, ability or musical genre and in addition to organising their own events for Make Music Day, musicians are invited to take part in one of the many projects.
Following the unprecedented challenges of the past year, many of the projects planned for 2021 aim to support those most affected by the pandemic, with others encouraging global collaboration between cultures and communities across the world to celebrate our shared language of music.
This year’s national and international projects include:
● Window Serenades – sharing the joy of live music with those in care homes
● MMD Schools – free resources and virtual events for school, in partnership with Durham Music and the Charanga platform
● MixMash Studios – international project with music makers and sound samplers coming together virtually to create electronic music, in partnership with Plugged
● Global Folk Challenge – exchange of traditional and folk music with performers around the world
● John Cage 4’33’’ – international online premiere of the John Cage piece 4’33”, in partnership with Northern Irish peace-building initiative Beyond Skin and the John Cage Trust
● Make Music Day Anthem – record or perform this year’s official anthem, Stand by Me, with free sheet music available and a competition for best cover version, supported by Hal Leonard and Sony Music Publishing
Other ways to get involved include Doorstep Gigs, an international Drum Battle, contributing to the official Livestream Broadcast, and libraries can host a film premiere charting the rock ‘n’ roll gigs and misadventures of Get it Loud in libraries.
Barbara Eifler, Chair of Make Music Day UK, said
There are even more reasons to get involved in Make Music Day this year, when Covid-19 has shown us how much music can help and heal. As we look forward to a gradually post-pandemic world, celebrating Make Music Day seems particularly fitting way of bringing our communities together again after months of isolation, pain and loss. Of course, it’s not yet all over – but the resilience of this celebration is that it can be online or offline and speak to millions of people, and also connect us to musicians just like us across the world
A range of free, comprehensive support is available to musicians and event organisers, including a suite of toolkits, Covid-19 rehearsing and performing guidelines, meetups and online workshops on topics from live streaming to publicity, and much more. All events can be listed on the Make Music Day UK website, where anyone can search for an event happening in their local area or online.
For more information about Make Music Day, including news, event listings and how to get involved visit: makemusicday.co.uk
You can also follow @MakeMusicDayUK on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram or by using the hashtag #MakeMusicDayUK