Who can play?

Anyone and everyone can play…really.  All musicians are welcome, regardless of whether they are amateurs, professionals, students or established artists.

Having trouble registering?

To view detailed video tutorials on how to use the matchmaking software, please see below.

Will musicians be paid to perform?

Our organization does not pay musicians — nor do musicians pay us.  We are simply setting up the framework by coordinating the concerts and publicizing the event citywide with tens of thousands of posters, earned media stories, concert listings with our media partners, an interactive website and a corps of volunteers.

What will Make Music Chicago do to help promote my concert?

All confirmed performances in Solstice will be listed on the Make Music Chicago website as well as on the Make Music Day app (iOS and Android). The MMC brochure will list all confirmed performances in Solstice that are confirmed by the print deadline, which is usually in mid-May. These printed programs will be distributed citywide. Remaining promotions (social media, radio, TV, print media) will be for MMC as a whole. We rely on the musicians and venues to promote their own shows in all the ways they normally would — sending out email blasts, putting up notices on websites, calling up their friends, etc.

Can I register multiple locations or artists to participate in Make Music Chicago?

Absolutely! You are welcome to create multiple venue profiles if you would like to host concerts in more than one location. And, if you play in more than one group, or are curating a show with multiple bands, you can create profiles for each one. Just be sure to create a separate profile for each location and each artist, so that each one can be officially matched in the system and included in our promotions.

I’d like to take full advantage of Make Music Chicago and perform all over town!

Scheduling more than one performance is fine. However, please allow reasonable time for travel and set-up if you plan to perform more than once.

What if my ensemble signs up now, and has to back out later?

Once your event is confirmed by your chosen location and by Make Music Chicago, we will block off your spot and pay for your permits. We are counting on you to perform! If you do need to cancel, it is your responsibility to find another performer to take your spot. Please let the location – and us – know about all program changes ASAP.

Where do the musicians play?

Possible locations for musicians include sidewalks, parks, plazas, schools, courtyards or community gardens. Get creative!  If you want to use some other kind of location send an email to with a detailed proposal of what you want to do and who you have already spoken to at the location and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Who will provide a stage/backline/tuned grand piano/ for my concert?

Make Music Chicago is not a typical music festival. Yes, there are some major stages with some major artists, but the true spirit of Make Music Chicago is that of a holiday: people getting together in their own neighborhoods, creating their own musical events in a do-it-yourself fashion. Make Music Chicago provides the framework and helps facilitate the creation of concerts — the rest is up to you! Artists and locations are responsible for producing their own events. This includes finding electricity, and providing whatever equipment is needed.

Can performers sell CDs, or ask for donations?

Musicians are not allowed to solicit donations nor can we provide the permits to allow vending at your event.  On the other hand, musicians are encouraged to pass out fliers to promote their upcoming shows and recordings, ask listeners to sign their mailing list, and generally promote themselves.

Can I charge admission for a Make Music Chicago Concert or make it by “invitation only”?

No.  All Make Music Chicago concerts must be free and open to the public.

How do I curate a show with multiple artists? Or, what if I want to play on the same show as my friends?

Each artist should sign up separately — we need to have a unique musical description and web address for everyone. Then have each one match themselves to the same location, at different time slots. If the entire program has a particular theme or title, put that in the location’s description box.

What happens if it rains?

Each outdoor location will have a different rain plan. Some will be moved to a nearby indoor space and some may need to cancel. During the matchmaking process, registered locations will indicate what they will do in case of rain.

You said something about a Matchmaking software earlier…are you promising eligible bachelors and bachelorettes at Make Music Chicago?

No…but maybe.