Long Beach is celebrating Summer Solstice — the longest day of the year — with music.
It's called International Make Music Day, and with the help of the Long Beach Music Council, Arts Council For Long Beach, Port of Long Beach and Councilwomen Lena Gonzalez and Suzie Price, the city is going to hear more music on the streets — at least for one day.
"The city really is coming together to support this and make this happen," Marc Davidson, Long Beach Music Council committee member and musical performer, said. "It introduces artists to neighborhoods and gets people out of their regular day to day for a short time."
The event brings together area businesses and musicians to play different tunes all day long in hopes of improving the area's public music scene by normalizing the sound of music on city streets, Davidson added. On Make Music Day, Long Beach is joining a number of other cities worldwide to make their neighborhoods more musical.
"One of the big focuses of the Music Council is to build a better live music scene in Long Beach," he said. "We're trying to make it easier for buskers to play and for businesses to host them outside of their shops, like you see all the time in New Orleans."
Last year was Long Beach's first annual Make Music Day. The event brought together more than 100 performers, making it the largest debut in International Music Day history.
"We had everything from jazz to country to contemporary," Davidson said. "And we're hoping to have a bigger event this year."
To make it even easier for businesses to get involved, the city is waiving any fees for hosting small performances on Make Music Day if they register, and are approved, through the Make Music Long Beach website.
Performances are expected to be scheduled between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m on Friday, June 21, in designated locations throughout the city, largely in Belmont Shore, Fourth Street's Retro Row and Downtown Long Beach. A full schedule of performances will be online in mid June, Davidson said.
Organizers are still searching for storefronts and musicians. To sign up to be a host or a performer, go to makemusiclb.org and select "Register Now."
For more information, go to makemusiclb.org.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.