Can you imagine what it would be like if music didn’t exist, or if your government banned any form of musical expression and you could be persecuted or imprisoned for creating – or even for listening to – music?
Music Freedom Day, which takes place on March 3 every year, is dedicated to celebrating freedom of expression, and standing up against oppressive forces that want to silence artists and musicians around the world.
Music Freedom Day also highlights the significance and powerful impact of music in society, and celebrates how music has historically been effectively used as a tool for political protest.
This year, Music Freedom Day is dedicated to the victims of the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, France, where 89 people were killed at an Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan Club.
Music Freedom Day was established by FreeMuse —an organization dedicated to freedom of expression through music. Since the event’s inception in 2007, more than 30 countries have joined the cause, creating initiatives all over the world.
FreeMuse encourages music fans around the world to create workshops, arrange lectures, or talk to friends about the importance of free speech and the dangers of censorship. FreeMuse stresses that anybody can participate in Music Freedom Day, as long they have a passion for music and freedom of expression.
Events will be held to this year to celebrate the day in countries including the United States, Germany, The Netherlands, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden and Senegal.
What’s more, BBC World Wide North America will premiere They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile on March 4, as part of the Music Freedom Day celebration.
The documentary tells of the story of the Malian people’s struggle after Islamic Jihadists – who took control of northern Mali in 2012 – imposed strict Shariah law on the region’s people, banning all forms of music.
The documentary, which features a score composed by Yeah Yeah Yeah’s guitarist Nick Zinner, opens at Village East Cinema in New York City on March 4, and Los Angeles’ Laemmle Santa Monica Theater on April 1.
To find out more about the activities and events taking place for Music Freedom Day, click here.