Everyone has their own way to limber up for a performance; Londonist finds the best way to get the juices flowing is to wildly flap our arms about like one of those giant inflatable tube men you find on car sales forecourts. And flap we must, as World Music Day is once again on the horizon and the organisers are looking for both performers and spectators to make the event’s 33rd outing a memorable one.
Held on the same date each year, 21 June, World Music Day is an event that’s been taking place in various countries around the globe since it began in France in 1982. For some reason the UK was quite slow to take up the mantle — 2013 was the first year that this country made a co-ordinated contribution towards Music Day.
It is, in short, an international day of musical celebration where people are encouraged to make music just about anywhere they like at any point during the day, for as long as those nearby can stand it. Music Day is intended as an accessible and level playing field for amateur musicians to hold what might be their first concert.
The French make this nice and easy by setting aside Music Day as a national holiday, when each town holds a cacophonous festival, but the organisers of the UK leg of the event accept that staging small festivals in this country is more of a red tape-laden pain in the neck. Their solution is to view everywhere as a small stage — parks, street corners, cafe terraces, rooftops, underpasses and playgrounds. As far as we’re aware, so long as no-one claims nuisance it’s entirely legal to play music in public places provided you’re not expecting payment for it (so a little sign proclaiming the World Music Day defence may not be a bad idea).
And while this is not a London-focused event — last year across the UK there were 20 events which took place in a variety of different locations, from Belfast down to Jersey — who among us would bemoan a few additional trombones on our city’s street corners on the summer solstice to brighten up a weekend? Happily, 21 June 2014 is a Saturday. And this year we’re surely far better prepared thanks to Londonist’s timely learn music series.
For a taste of 2013’s London-based festivities, here’s a snippet of Dream a Little Dream of Me performed by Just 5 Roma at Forest Peace Farm in Hainault last year.
There are events already planned in the capital, which you can see on this map or on the Music Day event listings page. Current performances include a selection of punk bands putting on a free show at T Chances Arts & Music Centre on Tottenham High Road to diverse live performances from 2pm to 1am at The Birds Nest in Deptford. Music Day UK, the British leg’s organisers, will be putting on their own show in Shoreditch Park.
Should you need more convincing, 21 June happens to be the single worst day for fixtures in the World Cup (Argentina v Iran, Nigeria v Bosnia-Herzegovina and Germany v Ghana – palpitating we are not), so give yourself a break from the football marathon with a strum of a guitar or bang of a drum. Please though, please, no vuvuzelas.
Music Day UK takes place on 21 June, and performers and attendees are welcome. For event listings, visit the Music Day website. Image courtesy of event organisers.