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Make Music Philly in Pictures (And a Proposal For The Next Step).

June 24, 2013
MMPNalani & Sarina - MilkBoy1

Nalani & Sarina

On Friday, there was free music all around the city as part of the Make Music Philly celebration.

From the sidewalks of Market and Broad streets to a front porch in Fishtown to the University of Pennsylvania to an underground art space in North Philly to the courtyard at City Hall, people were able to experience the amazing wealth of talent that exists in the region (the majority of the musicians were local).

Opera Company of Philadelphia

Opera Company of Philadelphia

There were opera singers and bluegrass groups, rappers and straight up rockers, folk singers and jazz artists and everything in between.

It’s hard to say whether the event was a success.

On one hand, the event actually happened. In such a competitive music landscape, it’s not often you get so many people and organizations working together on one project, especially on a project that earned no money for anyone – venues, promoters, musicians, etc. This was a day to celebrate music and everyone chipped in.

On the other hand, at many of the events, the crowds were small. At some events, the only people in attendance were other musicians waiting for their time on stage.

Regardless, this was a fantastic first step, and the shows that were sparsely attended were much enjoyed by those who were there. Next year will likely be much more popular given the relative and modest success of this year.

We had an idea at JUMP to take this to the next level. A one day event is great but it’s really hard for people to appreciate so much in one day, especially on a day when many people work, go to school, head to the shore, whatever. What we need is a week-long event that celebrates the local music scene.

MMPVikesh Kapoor - PHS Garden2

Vikesh Kapoor

We propose a Philly Music Week (a la Philly Beer Week and Philly Tech Week). Any show going on during the assigned week that has a Philly band on the lineup would get the Philly Music Week logo on the poster and other supporting promotional material. We would urge every venue/promoter to get a Philly act on stage, if only as a support act for a touring crew. There would be no cost to the promoters or artists – this is really a promotional/marketing campaign.

With a concerted effort, we might be able to get sponsorship from brands or even the Greater Philadelphia Marketing and Tourism Corporation and we could advertise Philly Music Week in other markets. We could draw people to Philly to witness our talent. It would be a SXSW sort of event but on a less grand (and less corporate) scale.

If we did it next year at this time, we could use Make Music Philly as one of the anchors to the week.

Kick it around. Let us know what you think. Leave comments here or email us with ideas.

For now, check out the images from the inaugural Make Music Philly. Our photographer Luong Huynh saw 15 acts during the day. G.W. Miller III saw 8.

3 Comments
  1. Ryan Myers permalink
    June 24, 2013 1:47 pm

    I am from NY and have been a fan of “Make Music Day” for a few years and now live in Philly and love that this day is now being celebrated here. I disagree with your proposal though. It doesn’t seem like you know the full history of the day. “Make Music Day” is a celebration of over 500 cities across the world on the same day. The summer solstice. It started overseas and has spread across the world.

    More info from Make Music Day – you should read it- http://www.makemusicphilly.org/about/our-mission/

    Philly should keep to the same model and joining in this celebration. It is a Do-It-Yourself type festival. Make Music Philly is an umbrella to allow Philadelphians to put on their own free music events. Make Music Phily Does not “put on” any shows… just create an outlet for people, venues, and bands to connect to throw shows. Besides being listed on the website and APP (which was great) it is up to each individual event to promote there own event.

    I personally went to a few that were very well attended cause the band and the “venue” were promoting it very well the week of at their location and online.

    I have a friend who volunteered this year… and from the insight she gave me I think it was great for the how Make Music Philly accomplished this year. And with no budget. The city doesn’t support with cash. It is up to all volunteers on a committee to find sponsorship, promote, etc. JUMP should help out next year!!! You’re not on this list – http://www.makemusicphilly.org/about/who-puts-this-together/

    I follow you and many other local blogs, but dont remember seeing any articles about it coming up on JUMP. I could have missed them though.

    The biggest thing Philly needs to build up the success of the day is awareness. Everyone should come together. I’d like to see all the blogs, radio stations, bands, and all come together. It took some time in NY while I was there but is pretty HUGE now.

    JUMP- I agree that a music week would be awesome. But do not change Make Music Day. It is a worldwide celebration that should remain the same across the world. Problem is for a week long thing… who’s going to fund it or put money behind it to get it rolling. Make Music Philly was great for the first year, on no/limited sponsor budget for ONE DAY… let alone a whole week. Awareness! Awareness! Awareness! The city should put value on music and the arts and give a grant to promote and get more buzz behind the day which will in turn draw more sponsorship money to allow the volunteer committee to promote more.

    Again. Great ideas… but as a magazine/blog I think you should have done more research into what the day is actually all about before you go saying how it should be changed.

    Specially for not supporting it or being involved with all these other supporters (again, maybe I’m wrong – but your not listed on the page that lists people on the committee – http://www.makemusicphilly.org/about/who-puts-this-together/ – maybe they share your thoughts, but were limited on time and budget. I just know from what my friend said that there was a lot of people busting there butts on this first year. I’m sure they would have liked to do and promote more – but with limited time and budget – I think they did a wonderful job.

  2. Geo permalink*
    June 24, 2013 3:55 pm

    Yup. Very aware of the history/mission of the global project. We were invited to help in the planning but we are a volunteer operation, a DIY magazine project. We all have day jobs and couldn’t participate in the planning sessions.

    We did post events and the MMP map on our Facebook page.

    I know that MMP did not put on any shows. Never said they did. And I never suggested eliminating the event. In fact, I suggested that MMP be an anchor to Philly Music Week. Because we at JUMP have a mission as well – we are very specifically trying to change the common discourse when it comes to Philadelphia. Rather than people equate the city with violence, we want them to think of our creative talent when they think of Philly.

    As fas as your notion that attendance was decent at some events, perhaps we were at different events. But I witnessed a few fantastic performances where I was among the few. At one performance, I was the only patron. Awesome for me but it did not serve the greater purpose of spreading the word about our talent.

    In regards to the event, I have absolutely no agenda. I looked at the event objectively. I think it’s a great idea that will become more popular with time. But in order to promote Philly talent and reach the largest possible audience, my simple Philly Music Week proposal could work. I wish I had the time to make it happen.

    Thanks for our note.

    G.W. Miller III
    JUMP Publisher

  3. Ryan Myers permalink
    June 24, 2013 5:45 pm

    Hi Geo,
    Thanks for your response. Sounds like we are on the same page in keeping the day as a global celebration on the solstice, but you are just proposing it to kick of a week long event – which I’d love to see as well, perhaps just not the week after. That may lead some of the better events to be towards the end of the week… like a headliner. It will also not always fall on the same day of the week… so it would be weird to start it on a random day of the week.

    Overall I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the global and DIY aspects of the day. Some of my points were not directed towards JUMP as much as bringing awareness to certain points for other readers. But overall as you said “a great idea that will become more popular with time”. I think that’s exactly what will happen and grow with awareness. The more we can get people to spread the word the better.

    As far as the poorly attended events, yes, there were some that I made it to that had only a few ears on some great talent, but that is more on the single event holders/venues and bands more than MMP as a brand. MMP is a tool that those having a show can utilize, but not a full time promoter for their events. Just like any show, the venues and bands need to become aware that they still need to do just as much promotion for a MMP event as they would any other. It also didn’t help that the 21st was on a Friday this year – could be worse I guess – but I checked out next years solstice and it’s on a Saturday which I’m sure will naturally help attendance numbers and availability of attendees for the performances that are during the day.

    Sorry for the details again. I know most of this only because I hosted a couple shows in the past years in NYC… but have been in Philly for the last couple years and love our music scene.

    Best of luck on the continued success of JUMP. Hope you are able to have some volunteers be apart of the MMP planning efforts for next year to have your proposal heard.

    – R.Myers

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