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Make Music Los Angeles

Your Neighborhood - Your Music

Questions

Where did the idea come from?

Make Music Los Angeles is based on France’s Fête de la Musique, a national musical holiday inaugurated in 1982. The festival has become an international phenomenon celebrated on the same day in more than 700 cities in 120 countries, including Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Japan. American cities include: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Denver, Nashville, Boston, and Seattle, among others.

Who can participate?

Anyone and everyone can participate. Amateurs, students, professionals, and established artists are all welcome. Make Music Los Angeles is open to artists of all ages, all levels of ability, and all musical categories.

How do I sign up to perform / host a concert?

Musicians and locations use our Solstice Matchmaking tool to register and make concert arrangements with each other.

To host a concert you might consider becoming a Neighborhood Organizer.

Neighborhood Organizers are the backbone of Make Music Los Angeles. Hundreds of volunteers will work for 6 months with an experienced organizer or MMLA manager, to meet and inspire members of their communities to take part in this unique, participatory music festival.

Relationships will develop with talented local artists, local businesses, community leaders and other amazing MMLA organizers throughout the city.

Some Neighborhood Organizers will have the opportunity to take on a special project and create an MMLA mini-music festival of their own design. No previous experience is necessary.

Neighborhood Organizer Responsibilities

  • Recruit Musicians
  • Recruit Venues
  • Follow Up with Musicians and Venues
  • Throw a Party in the Spring for Musicians
  • Coordinate with local volunteers/team members
  • Make Promotional Decisions
  • Distribute Posters and Programs
  • Manage the Permits

Registration for Make Music Los Angeles is opens in April. To be notified when registration begins for the future please sign up for our email newsletter on the MMLA website.

Where do the musicians play?

A variety of locations are possible for concerts. Some sites are sidewalks, community gardens, plazas, schools, courtyards, and parks.

If you want to use some other kind of outdoor location — such as a cemetery, bridge, subway platform, pier, or bus or train — send an email to D.Dujon@MakeMusicLA.org with a detailed proposal of what you want to do, and who you have already spoken to at the location. We make no promises but we’ll see what we can do.

Who will provide a stage / backline / tuned grand piano / for my concert?

Make Music Los Angeles is not just another music festival. Make Music Los Angeles is about neighborhoods and people getting together in their neighborhoods in a do-it-yourself fashion, putting together their own musical events. Our organizers set up the framework for concerts — the rest is up to you! Artists and locations collaborate to produce the events, find electricity, and provide whatever equipment is needed.

Unlike most music festivals:

  • Los Angeles is your stage. We’re not constructing stages (though some local promoters are doing so — and securing additional permits as needed). Performances generally take place at the same level as the audience.
  • You have complete artistic control. It’s your concert. If you want to perform with a different guitarist than previously announced, or take an extended 20 minute bass solo, you don’t have to ask our permission! (But let us know if we need to update your concert description.)
  • Everyone can take part. From professionals to amateurs, from the mainstream to the unfashionably bizarre — if you can find a workable spot for your performance, you can be part of Make Music Los Angeles!

How do I sign up to perform with my friends? How do I curate a show with multiple artists?

Great idea! Each artist should sign up separately — we need to have a unique musical description and web address for everyone. Then have each one match themselves to the same location, at different time slots. If the entire program has a particular theme or title, put that in the location’s description box.

How do I register more than one location on the website?

If you manage more than one location that you want to offer to musicians, email D.Dujon@MakeMusicLA.org to request a special multiple-location account. Please include your name and phone number so we can call you to verify details.

What if my band signs up now, and has to back out later?

We are counting on you to perform! If you do need to cancel, it is your responsibility to find another performer to take your spot. Please let the location and us know about all program changes ASAP.

What if I play an instrument, but don’t have my own band?

Join one of our “Mass Appeal” events! We are organizing hundreds of musicians to band together to perform massive pieces written for a single type of instrument. Each performance works differently, depending on the genre, the instrument, and the location. To learn more go to our Mass Appeal page once registration is open.

Will musicians be paid to perform?

Our organization does not pay musicians — nor do musicians pay us. We are simply setting up the framework by coordinating the concerts, and publicizing the event city-wide with tens of thousands of posters, earned media stories, concert listings with our media partners, an interactive website, and a volunteer street-team.

Most musicians perform for free. But artists and venues are welcome to make any financial arrangements they wish, as long as the concerts are outdoors, free, and open to the public.

How late in the evening can my performance go?

If your music is un-amplified (meaning that you don’t use any electricity), musicians can perform outside until 10pm. If it’s amplified, it depends on where you are.

How can I close my street for a block party concert?

If you want to close off a street for a block party you must apply online for a Special Event Permit. The applications must be submitted 45 days before the event. Event permits are issued by Street Services Investigation & Enforcement Division. Fees/Cost associated with the permitting of the event will be provided once the application has been reviewed by all affected City Department. Call 213-847-6000 for more details.

Can MMLA performers sell CDs, or ask for donations?

Musicians are not allowed to solicit donations, nor can we provide the permits to allow vending at your event. On the other hand musicians are encouraged to pass out fliers to promote their upcoming shows and recordings and to ask listeners to sign their mailing list, and generally promote themselves.

What will MMLA do to help promote my concert?

We list all concerts on the MMLA website (with descriptions and artist websites), in the LA the LA Weekly, our MMLA program to be distributed citywide, METRO, our social media Facebook and Twitter pages. We pitch stories about noteworthy concerts to the press. MMLA Neighborhood Organizers also promote the performances in their area with fliers, posters, postcards, etc.

We are counting on musicians and locations to promote their own shows, in all the ways that they normally would — sending out email blasts, putting notices on websites, calling up all of their friends, etc. Everyone who signs up on our matchmaking website describes what they will for promotion.

Can I charge admission for a MMLA concert?

No.  All Los Angeles concerts are free, outdoors, and open to the public.

Can my concert be “invitation only”?

No.

Can I create a MMLA event that does not include any live music?

No.

Can I have my event indoors?

Only if it rains.

Is this an annual event?

Yes, Make Music Los Angeles will take place every June 21st. It is our hope that Make Music Los Angeles will eventually expand to the point like Halloween Los Angeles residents will organize themselves largely without prompting.

Who puts this all together?

Make Music Los Angeles is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization.

The board of directors consists of Dorsay Dujon, Founder and Chief Executive Officer,  LeRoy Downs, President Genelle LeVin, Vice President, Rebecca Hogan, Marketing and Training, Mark Hummer, Chair Education Committee, Linda McShan, Chair Outreach Committee, Barbara Leung, Educational Programming and Event Production, Jene’e Patitucci, Berklee School of Music Intern, Community Organizer.

Over 100 volunteer organizers will work throughout the city to help recruit musicians and venues, and promote concerts. If you’re interested in joining us, see below!

How can I get involved as a volunteer?

Hundreds of volunteers will come together to put on Make Music Los Angeles — the largest musical event in Los Angeles history. With your help, we can make it even bigger! Over 100 MMLA Neighborhood Organizers are needed to inspire and coordinate dozens of MMLA concerts.

Working about six hours a week, organizers meet hundred’s of musicians, develop relationships with local venues, decide on a promotional plan, collaborate with other organizers throughout L.A., and (some) may create a mini-MMLA festival of their own design. No prior organizing experience is required — if you commit the time, we will guide you through it.

To learn more, please download the MMLA Neighborhood Organizer Handbook (PDF). Then email D.Dujon@MakeMusicLA.org to get started!

Where can I donate to Make Music Los Angeles?

We’re glad you asked! As we expand and transform into an annual cultural landmark, we need your support to keep it going. Make Music Los Angeles is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization; contributions are 100% tax-deductible.

Thank you for your interest in Make Music Los Angeles.