In 1982, Jack Lang and his staff at the Ministry of Culture, France dreamed up an idea for a new kind of musical holiday. They imagined a day where free, live music would be everywhere: street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, storefronts and mountaintops.
And unlike a typical festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join play music or host performances. The event would take place on the summer solstice, June 21, and would be called Fete De La Musique. (In French, the name means both “festival of music” and “make music!”)
Amazingly enough, this dream has come true. The Fete has turned into a true national holiday on the summer solstice and musicians take over. Almost 8% of the country (5 million people) have played an instrument or sung in public for the Fete de la Musique.
The festival has become an international phenomenon, celebrated on the same day in more than 120 countries, including Germany, Italy, Greece, Russia, Lebanon, Ivory Coast, Australia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada. and Japan.
In the United States, Make Music is celebrated in over 40 states. Makemusicday.org spearheads the events, sponsored by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation.
In Africa, over 50 cities celebrate Make Music including Cote d’ivoire: Abijan, Benin: Cotonou, Burkina Faso: Ouagadougou and Togo: Lome.
And in 2016, Lagos joined the World Music Day Celebration.
In 2016, SHOWGEAR Limited (a supplier of musical instruments and audio equipment) teamed up with select Nigerian artists and brands to produce the first edition of Make Music in the city Lagos aptly tagged, Make Music Lagos. An entertaining edition that featured over 35 performances across 3 concert venues with over 5,000 in attendance, and thousands more tuning in online. Notable amongst the performers were BEZ, Cobhams, Wole Oni & Wura Samba. The venues were: Muri Okunola Park, Ozone Cinemas & e-Centre.
And following the success of the first edition, the Make Music Lagos team once again teamed up with select Nigerian artists and brands to present another edition in 2017. This time around, the number of venues grew to twelve (12) and over 120 artists performed to a live audience of over 6000. Some leading names amongst the performers were King Sunny Ade, Daddy Showkey, Adewale Ayuba, Omawumi, BEZ, Sound Sultan and Johnny Drille.
The venues were: Balmoral Convention Centre (Fed. Palace Hotel) which hosted the Grand Finale; Bogobiri; Select Cold Stone Creamery Stores around Lagos, Select Domino’s Pizza Stores around Lagos, e-Centre (Ozone Cinemas), Freedom Park & MUSON Centre.