Current project

Make Music Day!



Make Music Vermont brings music makers of all ages and experience out to the sidewalks, parks, porches and public places of the state on June 21, the first day of summer — a free celebration of music-making that takes place on the same day in more than 120 countries and 1,000 cities across the globe.

Anyone can take part in Make Music Vermont. All day long, anyone lucky enough to be in Vermont can join in to make music or enjoy being surrounded by it. It’s the longest day of the year, the best to spend making music!

Thank you, just envisioning a day like this makes me smile! What a beautiful way to bring people together. It’s just what our world needs more of! — Sally Ober, Town Clerk, Town of Lincoln

If you’re a musician, sign up to participate. If you’d like to gather musicians to perform a free show, at a public place or even a front porch, register as a site coordinator. Your performance will appear on the site and Vermonters everywhere will know where to find it! (See the FAQ at the bottom of this page for more information).

Make Music Vermont is coordinated by Big Heavy World, Vermont’s independent, volunteer-run music office, uniting musicians across the state, building resources that help our music community help itself, and celebrating the diversity and talent of Vermont-made music. Learn more about ‘Big Heavy’ at, and get in touch if you’d like to help us coordinate the annual Make Music Vermont Festival. Learn more about international Make Music Day at


Make Music Vermont is coordinated by Big Heavy World, a 501(c)(3) Vermont nonprofit with a mission of promoting and preserving Vermont-made music. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact James Lockridge at (802) 865-1140 or email


Make Music Day in Vermont is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and sponsored by:

Calamity & Crowe’s Trading Post
Front Porch Forum
University of Vermont Office of the Vice President of Research
Vermont Public Radio



Where did the idea come from?

Make Music VT is based on France’s Fête de la Musique, a national musical holiday inaugurated in 1982, which has since become the largest single-day music event in the world. The festival has become an international phenomenon, celebrated on the same day in more than 1,000 cities in 120 countries, including Germany, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Australia, Vietnam, Congo, Cameroon, Fiji, Colombia, Chile, Nepal, and Japan.

Who can participate?

Anyone and everyone can participate.  All musicians are welcome, regardless of whether they are amateurs, professionals, students, or established artists. Make Music VT is open to artists of all ages, genres, and levels of ability.

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

For musicians without a venue (and venues without musicians), we have a matchmaking tool, to possibly help you find and make concert arrangements with each other. But, most performances are created by individual Vermonters, playing music among neighbors and friends. Put yourself on the map — there aren’t any ‘official’ performance sites; make your vision real on June 21!

Where do the musicians play?

Locations for musicians can include sidewalks, parks, plazas, schools, courtyards, or community gardens. Get creative!  If you want to use some other kind of location and would like to talk about how you might approach it, feel welcome to contact us at

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

Make Music VT is not a typical music festival. Yes, there are likely to be some major stages with some major artists, but the true spirit of Make Music VT is that of a holiday: people getting together in their own neighborhoods, creating their own musical events in a do-it-yourself fashion. Make Music VT provides the framework and helps facilitate the creation of concerts — the rest is up to you! Artists and locations are responsible for producing their own events. This includes finding electricity, and providing whatever equipment is needed.

Will musicians be paid to perform?

Our organization does not pay musicians on Make Music Day — nor do musicians pay us.  We are just setting up the framework by coordinating the concerts and publicizing the event across the state with posters, earned media stories, concert listings with our media partners, radio exposure, a website and a corps of volunteers. Most musicians perform for free. But, artists and venues are welcome to make any financial arrangements they wish as long as the concerts are free and open to the public.

Can Make Music VT performers sell CDs, or ask for donations?

Musicians are not allowed to solicit donations; the public expects concerts to be free, and everyone, regardless of their ability to pay anything, is welcome.  On the other hand, musicians are encouraged to sell merchandise and pass out fliers to promote their upcoming shows and recordings, ask listeners to sign their mailing list, and generally promote themselves. Since Make Music VT doesn’t issue any permits that might be needed, please check with your concert site to learn its rules about vending merchandise.

What will Make Music VT do to help promote my concert?

We list all concerts on the Make Music VT website (with descriptions and artist websites); channel concert into into the state’s main events calendar; distribute public service announcements and posters; make poster art available to artists to help promote every local show; producing video promotions and getting them onto cable TV stations across the state; ‘earning’ press from the media; and highlighting many participating artists with interviews and performances on Big Heavy World’s own radio station, 105.9FM The Radiator. We’re also counting on musicians and venues to promote their own shows in all the ways they normally would — sending out email blasts, putting up notices on websites, calling up their friends, making Facebook event pages, etc.

Can I charge admission for a Make Music VT concert?

No.  All Make Music VT concerts are free and open to the public.

Can my concert be “invitation only?”

No; that’s not in the spirit of including everyone, which is what Make Music VT is all about.

Can I create a Make Music VT event that does not include live music?

No. A real person needs to be making real music (of any variety) to participate in Make Music VT.

What about some other way to be exclusive or skip the music?

Nope, not today. We only have room for inclusive, free accessible musical concerts on June 21st.

Can I register multiple locations or artists to participate in Make Music VT?

Absolutely! You are welcome to create multiple venue profiles if you would like to host concerts in more than one location. And, if you play in more than one ensemble, or are curating a show with multiple bands, you can create profiles for each one. Just be sure to create a separate profile for each location and each artist, so that each one can be officially matched in the system and included in our promotions.

What happens if I want to play at a location that is not listed?

That’s great! We encourage musicians to create their own performance locations, especially when they have an existing relationship with the space. Make sure it’s OK with the location first, then log in, click on your name in the top upper right hand side of the screen. A dropdown will give you the option to “Manage Profiles”. Click here and register the location on the website. Finally, match your artist and venue profiles together at the time of your choosing. We’ll take care of the rest.

What happens if I want to host my friend’s band, but they aren’t listed on the site?

That’s great too! First, register the details of your location. Then either ask your friend to sign up their band, or do it for them — log in, click on “Manage Profiles”, and fill in their information. Finally, match the artist and venue profiles together at the time of your choosing using our brand new “self-match” capability. It’s as easy as clicking where it says “Already have an Artist lined up?” and we’ll take care of the rest.

What happens if it rains?

Each outdoor location will have a different rain plan. Some will be moved to a nearby indoor space and some may need to cancel. During the matchmaking process, registered locations will indicate what they will do in case of rain.

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

Join one of the “Mass Appeal” events! We are organizing hundreds of musicians to band together to create a special group event as well as gatherings for groups of individual instruments. Each performance works differently, depending on the genre, the instrument, and the location. Look for announcements of Mass Appeal opportunities!

How do I curate a show with multiple artists? Or, what if I want to play on the same show as my friends?

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.

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

Once your event is confirmed by your chosen location and by Make Music VT, we will block off your spot. 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.

I’d like to take full advantage of Make Music VT and perform all over town!

Scheduling more than one performance is fine. However, please allow reasonable time for travel and set-up if you plan to perform more than once.