A local offshoot of the international Make Music Day (which takes place in 700 cities worldwide), Make Music San Diego will hold its inaugural festival on June 21 in Balboa Park. The idea behind the festival is to bring people together to make music, with an emphasis on participation rather than spectatorship. You can just watch if you want to, but the festival is planned around a series of group performances in which the audience is encouraged to take part.
Make Music San Diego director Andy Horwitz took on the role of planning the festival after moving to San Diego from New York, where he curated and produced the free River to River festival, which coincided with Make Music New York. After relocating, he wanted to bring a similar experience to San Diego.
"This is our first year doing it," he says. "I'm hoping it'll become an annual thing. The first year, we're going to construct it...around bringing people together, and just figure out, 'How does that look?' There's still a lot of room for expansion."
The festival includes a series of "Mass Appeal" events, in which people can join in on a bluegrass jam, a group harmonica performance or a Mariachi group. There will also be several satellite events, which will be held throughout the city. Each event will be unique to San Diego's character.
"Our priority for the festival is to reflect the depth and breadth and diversity of the culture in San Diego," Horwitz says. "It's a culturally complicated, rich city. That's what we want to celebrate."
The schedule is still being finalized, but the participatory ìMass Appealî events have already been scheduled and are ready to go for those who want to join in.
"If you just show up, and want to play ukulele or bluegrass, you can come do it," he says. "There's lots of stuff for people to do."