Make Music

2023 Listings: Wednesday, June 21st




Raleigh joined more than 1,000 cities worldwide in the annual Make Music Day celebration, June 21!

Imagine a free, global music festival that encourages everyone who attends to sing and play. That’s what Make Music Day features. The City of Oaks is a part of that celebration.

It started 41 years ago, in France.

In 1982, France’s Ministry of Culture dreamed up an idea for a new kind of musical holiday. To celebrate the summer solstice, they imagined a day where free, live music would be everywhere: street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, storefronts and mountaintops.

Unlike a typical music festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join, play music, or host performances. They called the event 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. Nearly 5 million people — nearly 8% of the residents of France — have played an instrument or sung in public for the Fête de la Musique.

The holiday has spread throughout the world and is now celebrated in more than 120 countries.

In the Triangle, Carrboro established its music festival in 1998 as an affiliate of Fête de la Musique. The Carrboro Music Festival later moved to early fall, ending its formal relationship with Make Music Day. Cary and Raleigh occasionally have hosted Make Music Day celebrations, but 2023 marked the first year Make Music Day has a permanent presence in the City of Oaks.

Check out Make Music Day’s national press release:

CBS17’s Amalia Roy visited our Harmonica Mass Appeal at City of Raleigh Museum and filed this report:

At left, George Douglas leads a harmonica workshop, accompanied by Rick Henderson of MMD Raleigh. (Screenshot from CBS17)

Who performed? Where and when did they play?

Check the “Listings” below.

The presenting sponsor in the U.S. is the NAMM Foundation.

Make Music Raleigh’s founding sponsor is Campbell University Raleigh Campus.


Find your place to play. Provide a place to play.

While the 2023 Summer Solstice has come and gone, we’ll soon formally seek performers — musicians, teachers, and their fans — and locations and venues, which could be businesses, parks, libraries, museums, even sidewalks or front porches, for Make Music Raleigh 2024!

Make Music Raleigh promotes the spirit of the day on local media and through community organizations and civic groups. Also, by signing up as a performer or a location, you’ll be highlighted on Make Music Raleigh promotional materials, including our website and social media. You can use these links to highlight your performance or your venue, including the chance to upload and promote your work on your matchmaking page!

Questions? Please contact

Thanks, and see you on the solstice!


Make Music Raleigh is organized and supported by volunteers. With your help, we can create a successful 2023 event and then form a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to grow Make Music Raleigh into a must-go annual community celebration!

Anyone who signs up as a performer or venue is listed on the Make Music Raleigh website and promoted on our social media and outreach materials. Your profile includes photos, links, and ways to get in touch. Sponsors get special recognition.

We appreciate all the performers and venue hosts who have signed up, making our first MMD Raleigh a success!

We’re seeking continuing support from sponsors. They’ll help us find even more performers and venues, and improve our community outreach in 2024 and beyond. If you’d like to make a financial or in-kind donation, contact We’d love to work with you. No contribution is too small (or too large)!

For a fast, easy way to show a little love, buy us a coffee!


Get in touch with us at