Wilco Sets June Date for Return Engagement

By Larry MurrayBerkshireOnStage.com
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Solid Sound brought thousands of fans to North Adams last August.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Yeah, they want to build anticipation, and we are going to have to wait another few weeks for the ticket information and official announcement, but the dates for the second annual Solid Sound Festival have been set for June 24-26, 2011.

Happily it will once again be held on the extensive campus of MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts) in North Adams. Music lovers who attended last year loved the integration of Wilco with cutting-edge contemporary visual arts. Performances included far more than Wilco, and were tucked on small stages between buildings as well as the main stage that was pretty well-hidden from view to all but paid attendees.

The first Solid Sound Festival took place this past Aug. 13-15, 2010, and included a handful of other bands and artists including Mavis Staples and Avi Buffalo, a comedy stage, and special activities for children. Well over 10,000 people attended over the weekend. Towards the end of last year’s event guitarist Jeff Tweedy said "Let's do it again next year," and the crowd endorsed the sentiment. And indeed, Wilco is keeping true to their word.

The event helped put North Adams and the beautiful Berkshires on the radar screens of urban Americans from Chicago to Kalamazoo and pioneered the concept of a weekendlong festival in which attendees could only buy a three-day pass, not individual days. As a result virtually every lodging and campground space in the Northern Berkshires and Southern Vermont sold out prior to the festival, a first for the area. The financial impact of the event was estimated to be somewhere upwards of $1.5 million in extra lodging and restaurant sales.

This year the event is in the June shoulder season, which should make more rooms available since it is well before the high tourist season that begins immediately after their appearance with the opening of Tanglewood, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the Williamstown Theatre Festival.

So get out those calendars and block out the dates, more news will surely follow as 2011 gets under way.

More on the arts and theater in the Berkshires can be found at BerkshireonStage.com.

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North Adams City, School Officials Elect Daunis to School Committee

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — City and school officials on Thursday unanimously elected Emily Daunis to fill a vacant seat on the School Committee. 
Daunis, who ran unsuccessfully last year, was one of eight candidates who expressed interest in the vacancy.  
"I know how fortunate we are to have so many exceptional candidates and unfortunately we're only able to select one," said School Committee Vice Chairwoman Heather Boulger. "And I am putting forward the name of Emily Daunis, who's active already within the school system and is kind of catalyst in already making school policy change, and also happens to be the first runner up from the election from last year."
Boulger's nomination was seconded by City Councilor Jason LaForest. 
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