Make Music San Jose is a live, free musical celebration on June 21, the longest day of the year, with concerts in parks, plazas, and porches across the city.
Celebrated internationally, Make Music Day is a free, outdoor day of music held on the summer solstice, June 21. San Jose joined the celebration for the first time in 2017 with performances taking place citywide from sunrise to sunset.
Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music San Jose is open to anyone who wants to take part. The spirit of the day is that of a holiday: people getting together in their own neighborhoods, creating their own musical events in a do-it-yourself fashion.
Every kind of musician —young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion — is encouraged to take part by filling San Jose’s parks, plazas, and porches with music and share the joy of music making with friends, neighbors, and strangers.
All events are free and open to the public.
Stay tuned for 2018 listings! Registration begins March 1, 2018.
Join the Make Music Celebration in San Jose!
Make Music Day is performed by anyone and enjoyed by everyone. Whether you are a professional musician or just musically curious there are multiple ways to participate.
Call up your friends and jam on your front porch. Take a break from work to take a ukulele lesson. Have a kazoo parade around your neighborhood park. Get your choir group to create a new San Jose theme song. Get creative. Venues can be anywhere. Performers can be anyone.
Most importantly, get out there and make music!
How to get involved.
- Save the date: Thursday, June 21, 2018.
- Drop-in at one of the participatory Play-A-Long* music making events happening on June 21, or
- Set up your own event.
Setting up your own event is easy. Here’s how.
Register online starting March 1 and create a brief profile.
If you have a location already, great! If you have confirmed performers already, great! Enter your information to show up in the listings.
Don’t have a location or looking for performers? That’s okay, you can find one using the Make Music “match-making” platform by following the instructions below.
Helpful Note: This platform works like a dating website, it is up to you to reach out and set up the details of your performance “date”. Making a request increases your chances of a performance.
- Create your profile by submitting a photo, description of your act, and any relevant website/social media links.
- Check out the available venues and bid on one that will fit your needs.
- When venue confirms your request, your event will show up in the online listings.
- Stay in touch with the venue to make sure everything is set for your performance on June 21.
- Create a profile by submitting your location information and a description of the space.
- Peruse the musician profiles and request a performance with one that fits your space.
- Confirm the connection when the artist accepts and your event will show up in the online listings.
- Stay in touch with the musician and make sure your space is ready to go on June 21.
Please note, some venues may require permits. We will work with you to determine requirements, but contact us early. May 21 is the last day to register events for the print program.
Thank you to all the 2017 participants. Registration for 2018 will open in March.
*Do you have an idea for an event or Play-A-Long for 2018? Contact us at email@example.com
Make Music San Jose is facilitated by the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs. The event is free and open to the public. Community partnerships and support make it possible!
We are proud to be a part of the national Make Music Alliance.
San Jose celebrated Make Music Day for the first time on June 21, 2017 with 60 events taking place citywide from sunrise to sunset including a harmonica jams at Arena Green, drum lessons in Alviso, boomwhackers at the Children’s Discovery Museum, DJs at City Hall, and bands at the Ohlone/Chynoweth VTA station. Download a copy of the 2017 Make Music San Jose press release here.
Do you have questions or ideas?
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Make Music Day
- Who can play?
- I’m not a musician, but I am interested in learning. What kind of opportunities are there for the musically curious?
- Where do the musicians play?
- How can I sign up to play or host a performance?
- Having trouble registering?
- Can I register multiple locations or artists to participate in Make Music San Jose?
- I’d like to take full advantage of Make Music San Jose and perform all over town!
- How do I curate a show with multiple artists? Or, what if I want to play on the same show as my friends?
- What if my group signs up now, and has to back out later?
Other Important Information to Note
- Who will provide a stage/backline/tuned grand piano/ for my concert?
- Will musicians be paid to perform?
- What will Make Music San Jose do to help promote my concert?
- Do I need a permit and insurance for my event?
- Can performers sell CDs, or ask for donations?
- Can I charge admission for a Make Music San Jose Concert or make it by “invitation only”?
- Can we serve alcohol at our event?
What is Make Music Day?
Make Music Day (or just “Make Music”) is a free celebration of music around the world on June 21st, the summer solstice.
Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music is open to anyone who wants to take part. Amateur musicians play in public spaces, often for their first time. Professional musicians perform for new audiences, who come out from under their headphones. And everyone is invited to sing along and enjoy the first day of summer.
Today, Make Music is observed on the same day in more than 750 cities around the world. It is the world’s largest annual music event.
At what time do events take place?
Events will be taking place from sunrise to sunset on June 21, starting at approximately 8:00 am until 9:00 pm. Please refer to the listings for specific event times.
Who can play?
Anyone and everyone. All musicians are welcome, regardless of whether they are amateurs, professionals, students, or established artists.
I’m not a musician, but I am interested in learning. What kind of opportunities are there for the musically curious?
Several events are being planned for Make Music San Jose that require no prior musical experience—only a desire to have fun. Several locations will be hosting free music lessons or Mass Appeals, which encourage anyone and everyone to play along. Check out the events listing or follow the Play-A-Longs – Participatory Programs link for locations.
Where do the musicians play?
Possible locations for musicians include, parks, plazas, schools, courtyards or community gardens. Get creative! If you want to use a location not already on the venue list, send an email to email@example.com with a detailed proposal of what you want to do and who you have already spoken to at the location and we’ll do our best to make it happen.
How can I sign up to play or host a performance?
Make Music San Jose uses a “matchmaking” platform that allows you to register your own concert, or to collaborate on a Make Music event with local musicians and venues that fit your tastes. Click here to register.
Having trouble registering?
To view detailed video tutorials on how to use the matchmaking software, please see below.
*We have gotten reports of people having trouble registering with Internet Explorer. If using a different browser doesn’t work, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I register multiple locations or artists to participate in Make Music San Jose?
Absolutely! You are welcome to create multiple venue profiles if you would like to host concerts in more than one location. And, if you play in more than one group, or are curating a show with multiple bands, you can create profiles for each one. Just be sure to create a separate profile for each location and each artist, so that each one can be officially matched in the system and included in our promotions.
I’d like to take full advantage of Make Music San Jose and perform all over town!
Scheduling more than one performance is fine. However, please allow reasonable time for travel and set-up if you plan to perform more than once.
How do I curate a show with multiple artists? Or, what if I want to play on the same show as my friends?
Each artist should sign up separately — we need to have a unique musical description and web address for everyone. Then have each one match themselves to the same location, at different time slots. If the entire program has a particular theme or title, put that in the location’s description box.
What if my group signs up now, and has to back out later?
Once your event is confirmed by your chosen location and by Make Music San Jose, we will block off your spot. We are counting on you to perform! If you do need to cancel, it is your responsibility to find another performer to take your spot. Please let the location – and us – know about all program changes ASAP.
Who will provide a stage/backline/tuned grand piano/ for my concert?
Make Music San Jose is not a typical music festival. The spirit of the day is that of a holiday: people getting together in their own neighborhoods, creating their own musical events in a do-it-yourself fashion. Make Music San Jose provides the framework and helps facilitate the match making process — the rest is up to you! Artists and locations are responsible for producing their own events. This includes finding electricity, and providing whatever equipment is needed.
Will musicians be paid to perform?
As the Make Music facilitators, we do not pay musicians. As the coordinators of Make Music Day, we are simply setting up the framework for performances to happen and publicizing the event citywide.
Please note: Artists and venues are welcome to make any financial arrangements they wish, as long as the concerts are free to attend, un-ticketed, and open to the public.
What will Make Music San Jose do to help promote my concert?
All confirmed performances made through the matchmaking platform are promoted on the Make Music San Jose website through listings, interactive maps, smartphone apps for iOS and Android, and dynamically-created promotional posters. Remaining promotions (social media, radio, TV, print media) will be for Make Music San Jose as a whole. We rely on the musicians and venues to promote their own shows in all the ways they normally would — sending out email blasts, putting up notices on websites, calling up their friends, etc.
Do I need a permit and insurance for my event?
Permits and insurance may be required depending on the venue. We will work with you to determine the requirements. Please note, we will not be able to accommodate requests after June 1.
Can performers sell CDs, or ask for donations?
Musicians are not allowed to solicit donations nor can we provide the permits to allow vending at your event. On the other hand, musicians are encouraged to pass out fliers to promote their upcoming shows and recordings, ask listeners to sign their mailing list, and generally promote themselves.
Can I charge admission for a Make Music San Jose Concert or make it by “invitation only”?
No, all Make Music San Jose events must be free and open to the public.
Can we serve alcohol at our event?
Make Music Day is an alcohol free event. Venues with existing alcohol and entertainment permits are welcome to participate and are responsible for adhering to the regulations of those existing permits.