Summer in Miami means torrential downpours, stifling heat, and swarming mosquitoes. But many other cities welcome the sunny season. The French, in fact, have been celebrating Fête de la Musique every June 21 since 1982 to welcome summer. City by city, this tradition has spread with Make Music Day, a sonic summer solstice event presenting free musical performances in public spaces. And even though summer might not be Miami's most popular season, South Florida love its music. Thus, Make Music Miami was born.
This year's edition will offer dozens of performers in a multitude of locations, from Lincoln Road to Bayfront Park to the North Beach Bandshell to Coconut Grove's Peacock Park. "The idea is to expose as many residents of Miami-Dade to music as we can," Buskerfest Miami cofounder Justin Trieger explains. His organization, along with the Rhythm Foundation and Guitars Over Guns, was asked by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance to help organize this year's Make Music Miami into a more cohesive event than previous iterations.
"But that doesn't mean we're dictating who is performing," Trieger is careful to add. "We're not disqualifying anyone from anything over artistic reasons."
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That means anyone with a guitar, a voice, a maraca, a tuba, or any other musical instrument can take part in the June 21 event.
Among this year's performances is an 8 p.m. concert at the North Beach Bandshell featuring local musicians Apache and Inez Barlatier, as well as French electronic musician Worakls. Bayfront Park will present youth-empowerment student ensembles, and Hounds Tooth Cottage will host a house party featuring a label showcase at 8855 SW 50th Ter. Finally, the Mamma Mia Sing Along Truck will drive around town with a karaoke machine and encourage people to sing along to their favorite Abba tunes.
"We're also going to have group music-making events on Lincoln Road with harmonicas and drumsticks," Buskerfest Miami cofounder Amy San Pedro says. "We want to lower the bar of entry to music. Everything is free, so we want to encourage people to find music. We've got a lot of fun things planned for a very slow time in Miami."
Make Music Miami. Thursday, June 21, at various locations; makemusicday.org/miami. Admission is free.