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Music Education Hub

Norfolk Music Education Hub in partnership with Musicians Union and Soundsense

24 performances took place across Norwich – at Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, the Millennium Library, City College and Chapelfield Bandstand. Performers (aged from 4 years to over 80) were recruited through schools, community groups and arts organisations. The performances featured 120 performers in total, including steel pans, capoeira, blues, hand bells, urdu and folk in addition to singers, harpist and classical musicians. The library service also partnered with a local music shop who loaned and set-up an electric piano and PA for the day in return for some publicity. Now regular performances take place in libraries across the city. “It’s a great initiative to develop performance opportunities for both professional musicians and young people developing their own practice. It also enabled us to form new partnerships with new organisations. It was particularly wonderful seeing the effect of the music at the hospital; one audience member said ‘this is so beneficial to patients and staff in a stressful, busy hospital. I have spent a few moments of peace and bliss while listening to this awesome music. Live music heals the soul.’”

Train station

London Bridge Station

London Bridge Station offered two spaces for performances throughout the day, featuring a number of musical acts. Some tips and advice for other transport hubs – “good planning and communication with the volunteering team in the weeks before the event is key. Some of the groups (e.g. the acapella groups) had to work hard to fight against the station announcements. Next time we’ll think carefully about the positioning of musicians in the station, and programme louder, amplified performances in noisy spots. Some other factors were taken into consideration during planning, such as the event coinciding with the Mayor’s Busking London initiative and the impact on pedestrian flows and station staff.” “Make Music Day is a great opportunity to showcase musicians and provide some entertainment to passengers. Seeing the passengers enjoying the music and taking part (there were even a few dancers!) made all the planning and paperwork worthwhile. We are planning to publicise our event more next time as we think it’s worth shouting about.”


Nottingham Performing Arts Library

Nottingham Performing Arts Library hosted live music from 10 different artists throughout the day, in collaboration with a local music shop. It was a great success – there were a large number of visits to the Library, new partnerships forged and some great live music accessible to everyone. Some tips and advice for other libraries – “we found it difficult retaining audience numbers throughout the day, so next time we will try programming for late afternoon / early evening, as this will be the best time to build an audience.” “This is a brilliant way of attracting new visitors to your Library and letting the local community know you are there. It’s an opportunity to make live music accessible to everyone and has the potential to inspire the musicians of tomorrow.”


Victoria Embankment Gardens, London

Making Music is the UK’s leading organisation for voluntary music, with over 3,000 member groups around the UK, and this was the first year that they got involved in Make Music Day. For them this annual event is a perfect opportunity for musicians around the country to do what they do best and to bring live
performances into public places for free.
On Make Music Day they held a morning of performances in Victoria Embankment Gardens, situated alongside the River Thames in central London. Making Music said, “This was a great way to kick off our involvement with Make Music Day and give members a chance to perform in such a beautiful setting. We hope to extend our participation in coming years and that it will continue to grow, bringing live music to more people by providing opportunities to enjoy playing, listening to, and creating music together.”

Music venue and pub

The Birds Nest, London

The Birds Nest is a classic South London boozer and lively music venue. Musically they manage to focus both on local bands from the area and yet remain very international – often playing host to touring bands. The venue is keen to provide support bands and promote music in general.
They already had an awareness of Fête de la Musique (the original event in France) but it took a French native who started working with the venue to point out that the UK equivalent, Make Music Day, was starting to take hold. The Birds Nest then came on board as a regular venue and an eclectic range of bands were arranged to perform over the whole day, rather than an evening spent within one genre.
The first event was a success, which was built on in the second year, and they now plan to take part every year on the same date – being happy to know that they are contributing to something global.

Music festival in a park

Springfield Park, London

Each year the national coordinating group have also organised a flagship event in London, where they are based. These have developed from a last-minute impromptu street concert in Shoreditch in 2012, to single-stage events in parks in 2013-2014, to a three-stage festival in Springfield Park in 2015. In keeping with the general Make Music Day ethos these events feature a wide variety of musical forms and with several acts drawn from people responding to the general Make Music Day call-out.
Even though all Make Music Day events are free, they are rarely free of cost to put on but the organisers have always managed to cover their costs, despite catering for 1,500 people with their last barnstormer festival in 2015. They achieve this by doing smaller quarterly fundraiser events and most importantly by running a bar on Make Music Day itself. Other fundraising tactics include tombola, a donations bucket and sale of Make Music Day merchandise. There isn’t a problem with raising money during the events – as long as entry is free and unrestricted.

Village green

Islington Green, London

This event was organised by Oxjam Islington and took place in a prominent green in central London that is flanked by two high streets. This densely populated and awesome location played host to a five hour event which was very well received.
The charity representatives, police and council were all very complimentary – the only complaint came from a resident was that the music wasn’t loud enough!
Kate Kandiah of Oxjam Islington thinks, “Make Music Day is a lovely idea and great to get the community together, showcase the importance of music in the community and help local music charities”. They hope to do more Make Music Day events in the future.


Bute Park, Cardiff

The charity Music in Hospitals stationed local acoustic musicians along the pathways of the beautiful Bute Park in central Cardiff. Opera, bluegrass, folk, classical guitar, popular songs and çifteli music drifted across the park that afternoon and collection buckets and banners raised money and awareness for the charity. This shows that people can contribute towards Make Music Day whilst promoting their own cause at the same time. Music in Hospitals are continuing to be involved on 21st June.

Town festival

Saffron Walden, Essex

This was a sprawling event with around 300 musicians taking part over 10 venues and with some 3000 visitors in attendance. The food stalls sold out, there were healthy queues at the bar and all of the artists had an appreciative audience.
Jayne Drinkwater, a musician from Bassingbourn, said, “There was a real buzz in the town and a lovely carnival atmosphere. It was fun walking through the town, drifting from one performance to the next”. Locations included the town hall, Jubilee Gardens and Market Square. The event was also more than just music. More than 100 scooters, bladers, skaters and BMXers signed up for the free competitions at the Skate Park’s Get Active and Skate Jam Day.
The event was organised by the Saffron Walden Arts Trust and stewarded by 60 volunteers. As this event in particular required lots of planning they aim to repeat it every three years. Pat Lodge from the Trust said, “At just one venue you could hear swing, jazz, folk, blues, light classical, a sitar, indie and rock… This is what we were aiming for, to give people a chance to hear every sort of music, with all given equal importance.”