What do more than 100 live bands crammed into the space of three city blocks sound like?
Pretty amazing. Make Music Vancouver, the event that transforms city streets into an outdoor stage for literally hundreds of local bands, is back, June 25. This year, Gastown’s Water Street will once again be blocked to traffic and serve as the setting for the free, crowd-sourced music festival.
The premise of the event is simple. Anyone with a band can sign up to play, whether you’re an established artist or an amateur that rocks out in the basement. Bands are then assigned a 45-minute slot at one of the dozens of mini-stages set up along Water Street. The result is a deafening, swirling soundscape that shifts from one street corner to the next. Pretty much every musical style is represented, from blues and folk to surf and samba, punk and piano rock, and country and classical.
Last year, 25,000 people turned out for the event, which turned much of Gastown into one big party. Action on the streets filtered into pubs and restaurants. Big crowds coalesced around hot acts, street corners became impromptu dance floors and the cacophony of drums, basses and guitars could be heard blocks away.
Make Music Vancouver has its roots in La Fete de la Musique, an event launched in France in 1982. That year, the Ministry of Culture urged thousands of amateur musicians to flood the streets of Paris on June 21 in celebration of the first day of summer. The spontaneous outpouring of musical talent was so overwhelming that the event later spread to other capitals. Today, it’s celebrated in 450 cities worldwide, including Vancouver.
Make Music Vancouver is June 25 from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. on Water Street, between Cordova And Carrall Steets, in Gastown. Got a band? You can still sign up to be part of the festival at the Make Music website.
Has anyone been to Make Music Vancouver before? How was it?
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