Make Music Pasadena: ‘The Music is the Story’

Crowd at Old Pasadena 2014. Courtesy of BuzzLA via Make Music Pasadena
Crowd at Old Pasadena 2014. Courtesy of BuzzLA via Make Music Pasadena

Make Music Pasadena is holding it’s ninth annual, and free, music event, that is expected  to reach an audience of 50,000 music lovers, and provide a platform for 150 performances today, Saturday, June 11th. On top of providing music, Make Music Pasadena celebrates the arts in general, with a diverse range of acts that unite the community. Created by the Old Pasadena Management District and the Playhouse District Association, Make Music Pasadena is a rare event that celebrates more than music, but the very reasons why music is made, heard, and powerful in it’s own “story.”

What started in 2007, Make Music Pasadena began after a model of Fête de la Musique, the music event that began in Paris in 1982. The founders of Make Music Pasadena brought this concept to the district and expanded its ideals, intertwined with Old Pasadena and the Playhouse Districts’ “unique approach” for the event.

Steve Mulheim, President and CEO of Old Pasadena Management, stated beautifully that “The music is the story. We are very thoughtful about seeking out and securing a range of genres so our audiences can enjoy favorites while also discovering something new. Beyond genres, we also cultivate artists that span the “experience spectrum”: We have established acts, emerging local talent and even young students trying their hand at a live performance for the first time.”

Saint Motel, 2014, by KCRW. Courtesy of Make Music Pasadena
Saint Motel, 2014, by KCRW. Courtesy of Make Music Pasadena

With such a heavy underlying value, Make Music Pasadena and the committee behind the event, spend months researching bands, to truly understand their fan base, while coinciding Pasadena’s expected audience, and ultimately the goal to expand to a “wider audience,” Mulheim expressed.

“This year, we really wanted to support emerging talent from LA, so we purposely curated an up-and-coming roster of L.A. bands, including The Dead Ships, Attic Empire, L.A. Girlfriend, Thee Commons, and Pr0files. All of us are music fans, and we really wanted to give bands we were hearing about and listening to a wider audience.

We also pay close attention to genres, trying to secure a little something for everyone. This year’s addition of Thee Commons and its “psychedelic cumbia punk,” Hamish Anderson’s blues rock, the Vroman’s Jazz Stage, several Americana acts, family-friendly performances at the Armory Center for the Arts. All of these bookings (and many more) helped us provide a wide spectrum of genres for our audiences.”

With so much thought, time, and the ability to continue to hold a free event, Make Music Pasadena’s life-line is based on donations, sponsors, and the community as a whole. When asked how we as a community can help to keep MMP’s values alive, Mulheim stated simply:

Attend the event, show love to the event and to our artists via social media channels/word of mouth, be open to seeing bands that may not have the name recognition that some artists on the festival circuit do but are incredibly worthwhile nonetheless. And donate!  We do this festival on a shoestring budget and every little bit helps. If you love what we’re doing and what you’ve been able to experience year after year at Make Music Pasadena, donations are a great way to demonstrate that.”

We are proud to be staging our event for a 9th consecutive year. The event grows in reputation and enthusiasm each year. This year, social media has proven to be a critical grassroots marketing tool for us and we love seeing our lineup artists sharing info and building excitement among their fans on their social feeds too. We look forward to growing the event, supporting local acts and providing an event for all ages.

The event begins at 11 a.m. and early arrival is suggested. Pasadena’s local transportation will be available and for more information visit: Make Music Pasadena

If driving, Downtown Pasadena offers many public and private parking lots:

Thank you to Make Music Pasadena for taking the time to answer questions for Girl Underground Music regarding the event. I would also like to extend my utmost gratitude, and sincere thank you to Janet Swartz and Sarah Hilbert, Make Music Pasadena Event Organizers, for making this happen, alongside Jessica Calderon of the Playhouse District Association, and of course Steve Mulheim, President and CEO of Old Pasadena Management.


1 comment on “Make Music Pasadena: ‘The Music is the Story’

  1. Pingback: Through Our Eyes: Make Music Pasadena 2016 [Photos and Recap] – Girl Underground Music

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