In 1982, on the 21st of June – the day of the summer solstice – with the initiative of Jack Lang, the French Minister of Culture at that time, Music Day or Make Music Day (from French translation Fête de la Musique or Faites de la Musique) was celebrated for the first time with the aim of “bringing out onto the streets all musicians”. Next year Music Day brought together 200.000 amateur and professional artists of every kind flooding public spaces, squares, streets, parks, concerts halls and all kinds of locations, presenting numerous gigs with the support of local authorities.
Events ranged from classical to jazz, hip‐hop, rock, dance to traditional music always free for the public and thanks to the generous supporters and sponsors of Music Day. On this day everything is working in favor of Music. Amongst other, the state and municipal authorities are committed to allow sound “disturbance”, public transport organizations creates special routes with a single day ticket connecting main event locations while the post office publishes a special celebratory stamp.
The birth of European Vision
Music Day soon became an exportable concept and institution, and in 1985 it travelled beyond France with the same aim and parameters. Athens, as the first cultural capital of Europe was the first city outside France to celebrate Music Day.
Having a vision of a European dimension, being convinced that this idea should expand also in other countries and having already established many friendships across Europe, Jean‐francois Millier initiated the idea of creating a network of collaborators all over Europe. As the representative of the French national coordination (Director of A.D.C.E.P. France) appointed by the French Ministry of Culture, he managed to gather partners all over Europe and created the European Music Day Network of cities and partners. All together, coordinators of all across Europe signed a common charter of the “European Music Day” in Budapest in 1995.
Since then, the concept had to adapt to new goals aiming to support Unity through Diversity, connecting local goals with European aims to be added to the main ideas of the Music Day. Thus, under the network name European Music Day, its partners keeps the essential goals of the Music Day (free entrance and promotion of various artists) but adds the European collaboration and the exchange of artists in the production.
The European Music Day Network
The Aims among the members of the network of the European Music Day Association (EMDA) are to support, produce and promote (new/emerging/rising) artists of all music genres and to exchange (import/export) artists between countries and/or cities.
Combining entrance free events and productions located in public spaces, the European Music Day Events gives musicians the unique chance to perform and promote their work while it also educates the audience.
The production and organization process is based on Institutional partnership and support but it is also strongly related to the professional environment combining innovative educational approaches and purposes with marketing and business returns.
EMDA network decisively generates actions, funds, co-productions and media interest to connect key music industries factors in order to support, produce and develop projects dedicated to Artists Creativity, Bands, Producers, Promoters or even Club owners.
Direct goals are to develop effectively Vocational Educational Training and entrepreneurial opportunities in the European music sector, to implement artistic and cultural exchange programs (related to the possible 360 processes), to support local markets through international projects, to merge institutional programs with private sector assets and last but not least, to promote and communicate all pre-mentioned actions.
European Music Day Greece
First events where held in Athens on the 21st of June 1999. Since then, European Music Day has become a national event that takes place simultaneously in 50 cities per year (average) throughout Greece (reaching 70% of the population though).
Organization combines the production and coordination of a series of events that vary in size and in character (street music festivals, show cases, recitals or big concerts).