It's a music festival that's brought the Fort Wayne community together time and time again.
Having come out of Paris in 1982, Make Music Day is an international celebration that invites both musicians and listeners to partake in the creation of music. The festival, occurring every year on the summer solstice, has been a Fort Wayne tradition since 2014 and has grown to draw over 2,000 music lovers, young and old.
“I've seen the music scene (evolve),” Fort Wayne Make Music director Jen Lock says as she looked back on the festival's origin in Fort Wayne. “I like giving new bands the opportunity to play with the more experienced (ones).”
Lock has lived in Fort Wayne all her life and is Sweetwater Sound's manager of community outreach and music store operations. Sweetwater is among sponsors of the festival.
One of her favorite aspects of the festival is the pop-up tents, where musicians introduce the public to a variety of instruments in events that include drum circles and strumming sessions.
“That doesn't mean they're going to sit there and give you a half-hour lesson,” Lock says with a smile. “But you'll definitely get the idea of how to hold and play the instrument.”
For those interested in other forms of music creation, a musical craft area will allow participants to put together their own instruments from recyclables.
The festival will host nearly 50 bands, including Rosalind & The Way, APQ Harmonic, the TJ Gabet Band and Walls You Know.
Fort Wayne Make Music welcomes all music genres, with performance venues ranging from local bars to Debrand Fine Chocolates. Food trucks will also be accompanying the festivities in hopes of fueling hungry musicians.
Lock encourages everyone in the community to attend the festival, regardless of their musical background.
“You're never too old to start playing,” she says.