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Thousands Flock to North Adams for Solid Sound

By John Durkan
iBerkshires Staff
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The orange Wilco sign returned for this year's festival.
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People wait to get checked into the museum.
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Desperados served burritos constantly throughout the day.
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The Rev. Gean West dances down the stage during The Relatives' set on Joe's Field.
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The crowd looks on as The Relatives perform.
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James Petralli sings for White Denim at the courtyard stage.
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Bruce, left, and his brother Mark Marino traveled from Cleveland and Baltimore respectively for Solid Sound.
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.

 

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Solid Sound Festival curated by Wilco at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art runs Friday through Sunday, June 26-28.

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.

Important Links:

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