On a typical day, blaring car horns and chattering pedestrians compose much of the soundscape in Miami-Dade County. On the Summer Solstice, however, residents and visitors can hear new tunes and melodies on the streets of Miami Beach, Kendall, and most other cities and neighborhoods south of the Broward County line.
Make Music Miami will return to South Florida this month, and as per tradition, the event is set to happen on the longest day of the year. An upbeat introduction to the summer months, Make Music Miami is part of a larger symphony of music festivals taking place around the world on this date.
On June 21, bars, parks, restaurants, and public libraries throughout the county will host free concerts for locals to enjoy. As a reflection of Miami’s diversity, artists of all musical styles and ensemble sizes are welcome to perform.
Buskerfest Miami, a nonprofit striving to strengthen the public-street-performance presence in Miami-Dade, is leading Make Music Miami. Justin Trieger, one of Buskerfest’s cofounders, says this event aims to provide all South Floridians with equal access to the arts.
“For a long time, events in Miami have been advertised based on their exclusivity and how you want to go to something because it’s difficult to get into — there’s a waiting list; there’s a VIP element to it,” he says. “But this is like the polar opposite of that.”
Trieger believes community involvement in hosting performances is critical to the development of making the arts more accessible in Miami-Dade.
“The appeal for Miami-Dade County is that this is an event about empowering people to produce their own concerts and to perform and host their own concerts rather than saying, ‘Oh, the onus is on the Arsht Center to provide all of your programming. If you want to see a concert, you have to go to the Fillmore on the Beach,’” he says. “No, you don’t. You can have a conversation with the local bars and restaurants in your neighborhood in Doral and see if they’ll host a performer for the night.”
In addition to giving residents access to quality music performances, Make Music Miami also aims to provide local artists with exposure to audiences in their own backyards. The event also offers networking and supportive events for musicians of all ages and skill levels to learn about their craft and meet fellow performers.
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Additionally, teenagers can connect with their peers at the Make Music Miami Youth Music Summit. This educational opportunity is available to youths aged 14 to 18. Buskerfest Miami cofounder Amy Trieger says this is an exciting opportunity for young artists to be exposed to music as a profession.
“The workshop element is something we’re really excited about,” she says. “We’ve got a lot of great local instructors, but we’re also flying in instructors from some notable cities and universities across the country. And it’s all free and should be a lot of fun and a really, really great experience for these young musicians to meet one another and start building that network that we are always trying to help support of performing artists in the city.”
In addition to Buskerfest Miami, many other South Florida organizations are coming together to make this event possible. For a complete list of sponsors and programming information, visit makemusicmiami.org.
Make Music Miami 2019. Friday, June 21, at various locations in Miami-Dade; makemusicmiami.org. Admission is free.