Last year on the summer solstice, June 21, 800 cities threw free music celebrations where anyone could perform, anyone could host and anything could become a venue. Storefronts, rooftops, parks and porches became stages, and garage bands, children, musicians and bands filled the air with music of all kinds.
If local organizers have their way, Montclair will join others with its own Montclair Make Music Day.
Make Music Day began in France 32 years ago as Fête de la Musique, a national holiday to celebrate free music everywhere. Over the last few years Montclair residents have taken part in Make Music NY events as performers and “stage” organizers.
Greg Pason, an organizing collective member, worked with Make Music New York to manage a state (14 bands) at “Punk Island” over the last three years. Now he is working closely with Serendipity Café and has gotten over 20 volunteers acting as an organizing collective to make the event happen in Montclair.
He adds, “The event is more a holiday than a festival, so while we’re hoping to have at least a dozen formal local events we’re also hoping community residents will take part by hosting BBQs and picnics to celebrate.”
The following locations have been confirmed for formal free events:
- 12 noon – 5 pm: Edgemont Park “Festival Underground” (Serendipity Cafe)
- 12 noon – 6 pm: 73 See Gallery 73 Pine St. Montclair (73 See Gallery)
- 12 noon – 4 pm: Crane House (Montclair Historical Society)
- 12 noon -2 pm: Montclair Farmers Market
- 9 pm: “Punk Basement” at The Meatlocker
In order to make Montclair Make Music Day happen, they need volunteers and contributions, and thankfully, they are coming in. The Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence (MFEE) is working with the group to make the High School Amphitheater available for an event.
They also need donations of musical instruments and/or song books and are hoping to work with local music teachers or residents to organize free adhoc concerts of random community residents who either bring their own instrument (guitar, ukulele, etc) and play a song out of a donated songbook or get a free instrument (harmonica and possibly some other) and do the same.
Pason says the best part of the planning so far has been that Montclair youth have taken the lead. “While we have residents of all ages involved, most of our volunteers/collective members are under 25. These include Montclair High School students, local college students involved in Serendipity Café and youth involved in either street performing of playing local venues. Ed Carine of Serendipity has been a real supporter of this project.”
Next up for the group is to get a formal proclamation for the special day from the Town Council.
Anyone wanting to get involved to make Montclair Make Music Day happen is invited to attend the Organizing Committee meetings every Thursday at 8 pm at Manny’s Diner on 12 Church Church Street, Montclair.