I don’t know about you, but I’m more than excited about Make Music Day Salem coming around again. Last year’s event was one of the most enjoyable times I’ve had in Salem. And I’ve lived here a long, long time. It was so good the City of Salem bestowed their “Distinguished Project Award” upon organizers Mark Green, Doug Hoffman, Carlee Wright and Brian Hart. (You may recognize Mark Green from RiverCity Rock Academy, Doug Hoffman from the wildly popular nightclub The Space Concert Club, and Brian Hart and Carlee Wright from bringing TedTalks to Salem, among many other things.) In fact, the head organizers for the North American organization said that Salem had the most successful first year. And yeah…it was amazing.

Ok, wait. Maybe you missed it last year, so let’s get you caught up. Make Music Day is an all-day music festival which started in France in 1982 and occurs on the Summer Solstice, June 21st, each year. France’s Fête De La Musique has since spread worldwide to 700 cities in 120 countries, even into the United States. New York was the first city to bring this holiday to life in the States about 10 years ago. Since then the festival has spread to over 30 cities in the US. Salem again joins the celebration on Wednesday, June 21, 2017. It is a one-day event where free, live musical performances in Salem are part of a global celebration of music.

Again, Salem’s event last year was off the chain. There ended up being over 70 performers participating in over 30 venues around town. There was literally music everywhere. My personal favorite were the performances that took place in the alleyways later on at night. The people of Salem didn’t want it to end. Citizens were involved with their city and I heard more than once, “Why doesn’t this happen more than once a year?” So far, it doesn’t. So mark Wednesday, June 21st on your calendar and don’t miss it.

This works best when everybody participates. The festival needs venues, performers and volunteers to make this another amazing event. It doesn’t matter what skill level—everyone is welcome: solo performers, bands, DJs, school choirs and bands, orchestras—EVERYBODY. Please join in the celebration and sign up early so you can be added to the posters and t-shirts. Please go to www.MakeMusicDay.org/Salem and click on the “Participate” link. The website is pretty slick and does much of the work for you. It matches up bands and venues depending on parameters that you set. It’s like a music matchmaker for Salem.

This year the festival will be even more focused on the downtown area. Pack a picnic lunch, load up your bike and don’t forget your umbrella for rain or shine. Salem will be out in the streets celebrating the solstice and our shared gift of music.