Tune in! Make Music Day returns to Brooklyn on Friday

Ear buds: At last year’s Make Music Day festival, participants in the MP3 experiment charged across Brooklyn Bridge Park. This year’s experiment will happen in Prospect Park on June 21.
Brooklyn Paper
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If you can make it here; you can make it — anywhere!

The streets of Brooklyn will ring with music on the longest day of the year! The 13th annual Make Music Day festival, on June 21 — the summer solstice — will feature hundreds of free, outdoor music performances throughout the five boroughs. At many of the shows, anyone who wants to can join the music, said the event’s director.

“Every year we have about 1,000 free concerts in over 400 locations in New York City alone,” said James Burke. “This event is special because it is open to anyone who wants to participate.”

Some of this year’s most exciting events are happening in Brooklyn, including “Water Night,” a choral piece with singers floating along the Gowanus Canal. Members of the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club will row along the polluted waterway, while 30 singers spread amongst the boats will perform a choral piece written by Eric Whitacre, according to Burke.

“His vocal composition is going to be presented with singers on canoes that will be paddling up the Gowanus canal, starting at the Dredgers Boathouse,” Burke said.

Those who want to hear the composition can stand on the Third Street Bridge over the canal, or along the banks between Carroll Street and the Fourth Street Basin from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The festival has also teamed up with the performance art group Improv Everywhere to create a musical experiment in Prospect Park. Those who want to join “MP3 Experiment 16” should download the app from the Improv Everywhere site, put on their headphones, and bring a small musical instrument, a flashlight, and something that glows in the dark to the northern end of the Long Meadow in Prospect Park. At 8:30 p.m., the app will play instructions, sending people dancing, playing, and meeting up all over the Park.

This is the third time Make Music has worked with the group, said Burke, and it is always a fun time.

“In the past over 1,000 have attended this special event,” he said.

Elsewhere in the borough, musicians and bands will perform on the sidewalk on the evening of June 21. Among the busiest thoroughfares will be Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Atlantic Avenue; and Fifth Avenue between Union Street and the Old Stone House.

“I just encourage everyone in Brooklyn to hit the streets, open their ears and listen to the music,” said Burke.

Find a show near you at the New York Make Music Day website:

Reach reporter Chandler Kidd at or by calling (718) 260–2525. Follow her at
Posted 12:00 am, June 19, 2019
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