Make Music Ann Arbor event will bring free concerts to unconventional Ann Arbor venues

The Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) will host free musical performances at several Ann Arbor venues for the second annual Make Music Ann Arbor event on June 21. Part of the global Make Music Day celebration held annually on the longest day of the year, AADL invites people of all ages and skill levels to participate in musical events.

AADL Communications and Marketing Manager Rich Retyi explains that Make Music Day got its start in France in 1982, and is now held in more than 1,000 cities across 120 countries. He says the free event is a great opportunity for community members to come together and hear local musicians throughout the city, as well as visit a number of local businesses offering their space to artists.

“Last year, the library had heard about this going on in other cities, and the Make Music Day national organization got in touch with us,” Retyi says. “It’s a pretty big deal.”

Musicians will perform at AADL's Westgate Branch from noon to 6 p.m. Artists will also perform throughout Ann Arbor at Bløm Mead and Cider, Balfour Senior Living Center, and the University of Michigan Earl V. Moore Building. Retyi says other local businesses have expressed an interest in acting as additional music venues, and interested performers can sign up to participate until June 21. Library staff will then match performers with host venues.

“Last year we had about 10 venues with different acts throughout the day,” Retyi says. “It was cool to bop around town and find all this music happening in different places.”

In addition to free music across the city, AADL will also offer music-related workshops for all ages and skill levels at its downtown branch from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Offerings will include a musical petting zoo, DIY instrument making, and a DJ workshop. 

“At the library, we like to make things happen that might not otherwise happen,” Retyi says. “We are pretty familiar with hosting musical events and promoting local music, so this is an extension of that.”

All Make Music Ann Arbor events are free to attend. Artist lineups and locations are available here. Those interested in performing or hosting a performance at their business or venue can sign up here

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.

Photo by Lia Giannotti.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.