Black Star Drumline performs at the UW Memorial Union at a previous Make Music Madison.

People from 80 different cities around the U.S. will enjoy and participate in free outdoor concerts, music lessons, jam sessions and other magnificent music-making events on Friday, June 21st, to coincide with the summer solstice. Here in Madison, musicians are already gearing up for the 7th annual Make Music Madison Day.

This tradition started in France in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique, in which musicians of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels get together to make, perform, teach and learn music. The daylong, musical free-for-all celebrates music in all its forms, encouraging people to band together and play in free public concerts.

Last February, the Madison’s Tasks Force on Equity in Music and Entertainment presented to the Common Council the 2019 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan. The primary goal of the plan is to intentionally connect with diverse artists and venues and in communities that have been underrepresented in the past. Natasha Sattin, Managing Director of Make Music Madison, sees this event as a great way to unify residents’ relationships and sense of community.

“We want to make sure that amateur musicians as well as more experienced artists share their talents and create a platform where their art is widely appreciated,” said Sattin. “This event reflects the Madison Cultural Plan of increasing public access to creative activities, integrating creative resources into civic development and sustaining creative workers.”

Around 100 venues, 200 music groups and over 300 performers participated last year all over the city. Madison has a culture to share and Make Music Madison would like to expand their program from classical to folk, hip-hop to opera, Latin jazz to punk rock, live music of all kinds resounds on streets, sidewalks, porches, plazas, parks, gardens, storefronts and other public spaces on the longest day of the year.

Venue registrations started last April 1st. Musicians and bands will be able to register on April 8th. Organizers invite any musician, amateur or professional, young or old, to take part by signing up at Registration closes on May 7th. Likewise, businesses, buildings, schools, churches, and other institutions can visit the website to offer their outdoor spaces as concert locations.