Each year, over 1000 cities around the world throw citywide music celebrations on June 21.
It all started 40 years ago in France.
In 1982, France’s Ministry of Culture dreamed up an idea for a new kind of musical holiday. They imagined a day where free, live music would be everywhere: street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, store fronts and mountaintops.
And, unlike a typical music festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join and play music, or host performances. The event would take place on the summer solstice, June 21, and would be called Fête De La Musique. (In French, the name means both “festival of music” and “make music!”)
Amazingly enough, this dream has come true. The Fête has turned into a true national holiday: France shuts down on the summer solstice and musicians take over. Almost 8% of the country (5 million people) have played an instrument or sung in public for the Fête de la Musique.
Three decades later, the holiday has spread throughout the world and is now celebrated in more than 120 countries. In the U.S., the presenting sponsor is the NAMM Foundation.
Wednesday, June 21, 2023 is the 2nd Annual Make Music Day Atlanta!
On Wednesday June 21, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST Atlanta will celebrate Make Music Day on summer solstice in conjunction with over 100 cities around the world. This one-day celebration will showcase music by local artists throughout five of Atlanta’s historic districts: Sweet Auburn, East Atlanta, Virginia Highland, Little 5 Points and West End. These five districts that make up the Atlanta Main Street cohort.
In all of these neighborhoods, Make Music Day Atlanta will celebrate and promote the natural music maker in all of us, regardless of age, ethnicity, background or skill level. Make Music Day Atlanta is a free and open invitation for everyone to make, enjoy, perform, teach, learn and experience the joy of making music on the longest day of the year and the launch of summer.
Some perks of attending include complimentary Alfred Ukulele Books provided in Virginia Highlands and Hohner harmonicas in Little 5 Points. Head over to East Atlanta to use Vic Firth Mallets to play music on flowerpots! In the West End we will have bucket drumming lessons and participants can keep the drumsticks. Wrap up your day in Sweet Auburn where you can hear some steel drumming on Panyard Jumbie Jams.
MMDATL mobilizes the community to self-produce a collaborative city-wide celebration where music is the medium and independent businesses and nontraditional venues are the location. The event is free and open to the public.
About the Main Street Cohort:
The Atlanta Department of Planning launched the Atlanta Main Street cohort program in 2019 to bring the principles of design, organization, promotion and economic vitality to Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods and the nonprofit organizations representing each neighborhood.