All day yesterday, there were hundreds of bands all over the streets of over 300 cities worldwide as part of the Make Music Festival, based on France’s 25 year old Fete de la Musique. New York joined cities in countries as diverse as Congo, Chile, Germany, and Mongolia, for its’ first ever Make Music Festival. Throughout all 5 boroughs, musicians set up on street corners and in front of shops, playing a eclectic variety of music from reggae dub to gospel to punk rock to jazz. I was able to catch the children of Tap City tap dancing away on the corner of 27th and 7th in Manhattan. And then after making my way out to Williamsburg, I traveled up and down Bedford Ave., where there seemed to be a different band on every block. A 6pm threat of rain shut things down for about 15 minutes, but the bands came right back out to the sidewalks, and masses of people gathered around to watch them. While Stereo Stereo played catchy rock in front of the Mini Market at N. 4th & Bedford, Subatomic Sound System brought the sounds of reggae dub to the street, only a block away. Even further up the street, hordes of people gathered around Best Fwends, who were performing at the stage set up at N. 7th. On group of musicians refused to remain stationary and played, marching up and down Bedford, scaring any dogs in the vicinity. Passer-bys really seemed to be enjoying the free entertainment, stopping to watch for at least a minute or two, before moving on. And plenty of skateboarders, who were on their way up to KCDC skate shop for the final festivities of Go Skateboarding Day, stopped to watch the bands. Right before the nasty storm that hit Brooklyn at around 8:30pm, NY PRESS favorites Bling Kong put on an incredible performance in front of the Mini Market. The relatively large crowd that piled up around them really enjoyed their perverse catchy rock tunes. A spectator from an apartment above them even joined in on the rock, playing his own tambourine. When the rain hit at full force, most bands and spectators called it quits, but I caught one incredibly insane band (The Shemps, I think), braving it out, getting absolutely soaked in front of S&B restaurant on Bedford Ave. Despite the late rain that brought an early end to a bunch of performances, Make Music New York helped to make it a really fun day to spend outside in New York City. Hopefully, this will continue on as an annual event, growing larger every year.
Street Films has some video coverage of a bunch of the performances.
Photos courtesy of Jonny-Leather