Make Music

Ink and watercolor image of Madison's lakes with the isthmus defined by a sillhouette of a trombone player, and a city skyline in bright watercolors across the bottom. Artist, Ali Brooks
Featured Artwork for Make Music Madison 2016, from Ali Brooks


What is Make Music Madison?

Make Music Madison is an annual citywide, free, outdoor day of music held on the summer solstice, June 21. Initiated in 2013 as Madison’s entry into the international summer solstice music celebration, we join over 700 communities around the world in kicking off summer by filling the city with music. Make Music Madison turns the city into a stage, and offers a full spectrum of performers the opportunity to display their musical skills.

In 2018 our celebration takes place on a Thursday. Coffee shops, restaurants, front porches, and businesses all over Madison will fill their locations with song. Lunch patrons may find themselves serenaded by a middle school string quartet. And after 5, the city will ring with music.

Make Music Madison is:

  • Performed by Anyone, Enjoyed by Everyone.
  • A way for all Madisonians to celebrate the summer solstice, enjoying the longest day of the year, while sampling a buffet of musical merriment.
  • A DIY city-wide celebration when almost any way to make music can and will happen.
  • Open to music makers of all ages, skill levels, and musical persuasions.
Paul Filopowicz playing guitar in a shiny yellow jacket, dancing on top of a wooden picnic table while he plays. Audience members are smiling up from their seats on the benches, and snapping photos.
Paul Filipowicz performing at Make Music Madison 2015. Photo by Hedi LaMarr Rudd.

When and where will Make Music Madison take place?

The next Make Music Madison will take place on the summer solstice, Thursday, June 21, 2018.

Who is Make Music Madison?

Make Music Madison may be Performed by Anyone, Enjoyed by Everyone, but it still takes a dedicated team of volunteers to bring it all together. We have a small board comprised primarily of group leads for larger teams of volunteers who focus on venues, musicians, matchmaking, mass appeal events, technology, publicity, and fundraising. In addition we have a single part-time paid position for our executive director.

Current board members include Elizabeth Simcock (president), Mark Fairchild (treasurer and mass appeals), Jamie Kember (musicians), Beth Mastin (matchmaking), and Kelsey Miles (venues). Beyond this we have a great and growing volunteer team of planners. To join the fun and help grow Madison’s musical kickoff to summer, email us at

performance view in a park, looking out to the audience from stage right. Sunshine, warm grass, and smiling faces. The back of a cellist and music stands can be seen at the edge of the stage.
Photo: Diane K.