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Solid Sound Festival Skipping 2014, Will Return in 2015
Staff Reports On: 09:13AM / Friday January 24, 2014
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Jeff Tweedy performs during the first night of last year's Solid Sound Festival.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Solid Sound Festival won't roll through the city this year but it will be back in 2015.
 
On Thursday, Wilco announced that Solid Sound Festival will return to Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2015 from June 26-28.
 
Last year, the festival attracted more than 7,500 people from all over the country to the city for the weekend.
 
This isn't the first year skipped — the band opted out of Solid Sound Festival in 2012 because of a heavy touring schedule for its album The Whole Love. The Chicago-based band did make a stop in the city that summer though for a benefit show for the museum.
 
The 2015 festival will be the fourth Solid Sound Festival in six years.
 
Wilco has no dates set for 2014, however guitarist and singer Jeff Tweedy will perform at Mountain Jam, a festival on the nearby Hunter Mountain in New York, from June 5 through June 8 this year.
 
Jodi Joseph, director of communications at the museum, said Mass MoCA will still be a "summer of music."
 
"We're working on a full slate of programming to take advantage of every stage and venue across our campus," Joseph said in an email Friday morning. "Summer will kick off with a not-to-be-missed 15th anniversary celebration concert and party on Memorial Day weekend, and we won't stop [until] FreshGrass in late September."


     
Thousands Flock to North Adams for Solid Sound
By John Durkan On: 11:09AM / Saturday June 22, 2013
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Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy performs during the band's first set of the weekend.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Several thousand people poured into Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Friday for the Solid Sound Festival, headlined by the Chicago band Wilco.
 
Although familiar faces were abundant — such as Kathy Keeser conducting volunteers and David Bond, a city councilor, shouting, "Get your hot dogs here," from the Rotary Club vender tent — fans from all over the country turned up for the concert.
 
Jeffery Boykin traveled "non-stop, solo, 12 1/2 hours to Vermont" from Raleigh, N.C. for his second Solid Sound Festival. The first festival was also his first trip ever to New England and he bought tickets for the second round, but bailed on the stormy forecast, which he regretted — but a mistake he will never repeat.
 
"It's great, the people are lovely," Boykin said of his experiences in the city.
 
Repeat visitors were common. A young family from Tyngsborough enjoy their regular trip to Solid Sound Festival — this one being the third — and the surrounding artist community.
 
"North Adams is cool, this and Williamstown," said Warren Allgrove, who attended with his wife, Bethany, and son Warren "Ren" Allgove. "It's a good artist community like Lowell — old mills turned into artist lofts."
 
Local businesses saw some spill over from the festival. Desperados owner David Atwell saw a busy morning and a steady, busy day and night vending on site.
 
"The restaurant opened at 11, by 11:30 we had a full house, all out-of-town people," Atwell said, noting he saw really positive energy from the visitors and community.
 
Jonathan Del Sordo, an employee at Mass MoCA who helped check in campers at the H.A. George campsite, said he felt the same energy, both from festival-goers and residents  a like.
 
"Everybody is in the greatest mood," Del Sordo said.
 
Only a couple fans might have experienced some playful jabbing, like the fan who traveled from Wilco's stomping grounds in Illinois donning a Chicago Blackhawks shirt in Bruins territory.
 
Mark and Bruce Marino, two brothers living in Baltimore and Cleveland respectively, are spending the weekend together in the name of Wilco. After Bruce Marino took time planning and mostly "convincing his wife to go to the beach," he said jokingly, his brother jumped on board immediately.
 
And for good reason — the first day alone featured the energetic four-piece group White Denim before the Relatives brought a solid, gospel sound to Joe's Field. 
 
Then fittingly, when Wilco took the stage for its all-request set, the band opened with Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back In Town" to a sea of fans, marking the return of Solid Sound weekend.

 



     
Wilco's Solid Sound Fest Tickets Now On Sale
Staff Reports On: 10:50AM / Friday November 30, 2012
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Updated 4:30 p.m. The "early worm" tickets are sold out. But the "early bird" tickets for $124 are still available.

 

 


Updated 2:00 p.m.: Tickets are going fast. There are less than 100 "early worm" tickets left.

 


NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Tickets for the 2013 Solid Sound Festival went on sale Friday with an "early worm special."

Tickets for the three-day festival organized by Wilco are $99 in limited quantity now and when they sell out, another batch of limit quantity tickets will be $124 and eventually $149. They are available here.

The festival featuring musicians, artists and comedians begins on Friday, June 21, and will conclude on Sunday, June 23, at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

A full lineup has not yet been announced. Campsites at Noel Field, dubbed "Solid Ground," will also return with sites for $90 per tent — with a maximum of four people per tent — and $120 for an RV.

The band canceled last year's festival which draws thousands to the downtown in favor of touring to promote their new album. However, they did return to MoCA for a benefit concert.

Check out some of our photos from the 2011 event here.



     
Wilco Offering 1,000 Tickets to Mass MoCA Benefit
Staff Reports On: 09:23AM / Tuesday April 10, 2012
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Those having a Wilco withdrawal because of the absence of Solid Sound Festival this year have a chance to catch them in a benefit performance on Tuesday, July 31.

The band returns to the Hunter Center at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the nonprofit museum. Tickets will be sold by a "name your price" auction and a lottery.

Capacity is capped at 1,000, with general admission and a standing-room only configuration. The benefit is courtesy of Wilco, with additional support from Higher Ground Presents.

"On a different and more intimate scale than Wilco's other New England appearances, this will be a rare opportunity to feel Wilco's 'whole love' up close," said Mass MoCA Director Joseph Thompson. "The museum galleries will be open until 30 minutes before the performance that evening for those who want to take in some art as part of their visit."

The first 500 tickets will be sold to bidders who make the highest offers at www.massmoca.org/wilco_benefit.php over a 2 1/2 day period that begins at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 13, and runs through 10 a.m. on Monday, April 16.

To maximize the chance of getting tickets — and also support Mass MoCA — bidders are being encourged to make the highest offer they can. Those whose bids are not among the top 500 will still have a chance to score tickets to this performance when their bid is placed into a random lottery. Bidders drawn from a hat will be offered the opportunity to purchase a pair of tickets at the price named on their bid form.

"It's an experiment, which we hope proves to be more civilized, more fair, and more fun than the standard mode of ticket sales," said Thompson, "And we hope it brings Mass MoCA the strong charitable support which is at the heart of this special evening."

Wilco has been curating the popular Solid Sound Festival at the museum, which includes music, comedy, art and culture. The two festivals so far have drawn upwards of 5,000 to the three-day events but the planned annual event was put off until next year because of scheduling.

The main draw has been Wilco, which has performanced at least twice at each festival and whose members have participated in workshops and demonstrations throughout the festival weekends. The festival returns to Mass MoCA on June 21, 2013.

Wilco's latest album, the Grammy-nominated "The Whole Love" is out now on the band's own dBpm Records.


     
Solid Sound Solid Success
By: Tammy Daniels On: 10:46AM / Tuesday June 28, 2011
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Ponchos were the de rigeur fashion at Solid Sound Festival this weekend.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The second annual Solid Sound Festival started soggy but ended with sunshine as more than 6,000 music lovers descended on sleepy North Adams for three days of Wilco-selected fun.

There's no doubt the influx (nearly half the city's population) was a boon to business. There were lines to get into restaurants and the number of feet on the street was remarkable. They filled up hotels and motels throughout the area and some 230 campsites at "Solid Ground" at Noel Field.

The festival was a family affair for many.

The Hub did a record 514 covers (last we knew) by the wee hours of Sunday morning; more than 300 old '60s and '70s vinyl albums flew out of Empire Antiques. Inside the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, there were lines at the locally-operated food booths. The Rotary had sold more than half their 3,000 hot dogs by mid-Saturday afternoon. Despite the 150 kegs rolled into the campus, Public Safety Director E. John Morocco said there had been no incidents.

Fans of alt-rock Wilco came from near and far and ranged from the sharply dressed to those in casual shorts and T-shirts, from the stroller to the gray-haired. Children were ubiquitous - being pushed and carried, dancing and playing.

Amy Joyce of Albany, N.Y., was there on Saturday afternoon with her husband and three children ages 2,4 and 6. Both Wilco fans, the couple had driven in for two days. The constant rain hadn't deterred them; a lot of the activities for the kids were inside Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, she said

Classic vinyl was in demand.

We're more than happy to be here to see them," said Joyce, adding they'd come last year was well. "We made a weekend out of it."

The Joyces had opted for a motel over a campsite. "We're not that brave!" laughed Joyce.

Festivalgoers huddled under umbrellas and the numerous "skyways" dating from the complex's days as a mill, and sported the fashion of the day: ponchos in bright primary colors and mud boots (for the hardier, sandals and no protection). As the music moved through the several outdoor venues, the crowd flowed forward to surround each stage, stomping through puddles.

"This is awesome, everything is awesome," said Ken Williams, who'd driven from Somerville to spend a soggy weekend at Solid Ground. Williams, "a big Wilco fan," had missed last year's festival and had to hear about it secondhand from a friend. "So I had to come this year."

He had nothing but praise for the festival, the area and the people. "I've never been to North Adams before. It would have been better if the weather was nicer ... but it's a beautiful place."

The band thanked their fans for being so devoted.

Friend Liz Sussky of Amherst, who'd come to spend the day, chimed in it "was a beautiful drive up here." Both said they would definitely return.

On Saturday night, a brief thunderboomer had MoCA volunteers herding the crowd into the protection of the galleries, an emergency procedure worked out in case bad weather struck. But the thunder was the last gasp — the skies (almost) cleared and fans moved back into muddy Joe's Field to hear Wilco's second performance of the festival.

Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy nodded to their dedication, telling the sea of bobbing heads: "thank you for being so devoted and standing in the rain. ... Thank you, so much."

Afterwards — seven encores afterwards — the crowd spilled out onto Main Street as the city stayed up late to party.

Still, there were a few people wondering, like the elderly lady who spotted my photo press pass on Saturday night, "What's a Wilco?" After a second successful festival, no one should be left questioning the windfall that is Wilco.



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Solid Sound Festival curated by Wilco at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art runs Friday through Sunday, June 21-23.

We're keeping this blog to let you know who's here, where to go, what's happening, the best places to eat and other things of interest to both residents and concertgoers.

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