Updated on 8/9 – the complete schedule by hour, day and venue for all the scheduled Solid Sound Festival music, comedy, film and theatre offerings. The schedule is here., Use it with this comprehensive story to put together the complete picture of what’s happening!
Quietly, stealthily, the Solid Sound Festival has grown from the only summer appearance of rock band Wilco into a monster event that even rivals Tanglewood for the number of musicians who will participate. Only a handful of hotel and other lodging rooms remain available in the Northern Berkshires, as the music fans continue to work their way south, booking even in Lenox and Great Barrington.
Next weekend, from August 13-15, 2010 there will be as many musicians and artists performing at Mass MoCA in North Adams as in the shed at Tanglewood. As of today, Solid Sound Festival has a total of thirteen music groups, four comedians, two theatre groups and four art exhibits of its own. We have the roster, plus the latest information on hotel and campground availability for that weekend. The hour by hour schedule is impressive, with multiple happenings all over the Mass MoCA campus.
In mid August North Adams becomes the de facto Music Hub of America, taking on the problems that are normally the domain of Lenox and Stockbridge as the new Mayor and city planners grapple with parking and congestion problems, sold out lodgings and unhappy townspeople who will have their normal routines disrupted as visitors bearing cash swarm the area.
As details of the final lineup of acts for the Solid Sound Festival begin to emerge, it appears that this privately produced event at Mass MoCA is far, far bigger than anyone – except possibly the promoters – anticipated.
We hope you find this detailed rundown of all the acts, events and logistical details helpful in planning for the Solid Sound Festival.
The bands and musical artists include Wilco plus individual performances by all the Wilco membersʼ side projects including Glenn Kotcheʼs On Fillmore, The Nels Cline Singers, The Autumn Defense featuring John Stirratt and Pat Sansone and Mikael Jorgensenʼs Pronto.
Non Wilco groups include soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples, young rising star Avi Buffalo, guitar magician Sir Richard Bishop, the “almost local” group The Books, classic jazz with the Deep Blue Organ Trio, indie act Brenda, the Bennington girls of Mountain Man and the tight knit sextet Vetiver, with more groups yet to be announced.
Comedian Todd Barry joins the festival lineup to headline and program the SOLID SOUND FESTIVAL comedy stage. Recently co-starring in Mickey Rourke’s The Wrestler and known as the bongo player on HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Barry has performed on Letterman, Conan, The Larry Sanders Show, Chappelle’s Show and more. Joining Barry will be comedians Kristen Schaal (Flight of the Conchords, The Daily Show), Hannibal Buress (Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham”) and John Mulaney (VH1’s Best Week Ever, SNL)
Theatrical events include Bread and Puppet Theatre which incorporates political themes, huge paper-mache puppets, a brass band and more. Story Pirates, a nationally respected arts and creative writing organization promotes literacy for kids and adults through creative writing, drama workshops and sketch comedy, will be on hand for multiple performances throughout the weekend.
So just what can a music fan expect? Beyond being the only Wilco performance this summer, and reason enough to attend, it is shaping up to be a look into the state of contemporary music today. Always evolving and changing, there are many trends that deserve watching. Avi Buffalo, for example, is currently tearing up the stages of Europe with its distinctive style.
Admission to the festival is through a weekend pass only, and no tickets for individual days, concerts or events will be sold. Early bird tickets are on sale now at http://solidsoundfestival.com/tickets for a total of $86.50 per person for the full weekend, and due to rise June 1st to $96.50.
The full dimensions of the festival are just emerging, and they are gargantuan. In addition to concerts, there is a whole slate of comedians, theatre companies and art exhibits that run concurrently with the rock music. It appears that all three Mass MoCA stages (Hunter Center, Club B-10 and the courtyard space) will be fully booked for the three days.
Rumblings indicate that arrangements for a major new outdoor space being planned for a site on the back side of Mass MoCA are almost complete. The proposed area includes land which is shared with National Grid.
The event is being designed for everyone, including families, with children under 6 admitted free. There will be a few children-specific programs in addition to many kid-friendly activities. In addition, Mass MoCA’s KidSpace will be open from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. on Friday and Saturday. Parents are advised to keep the children’s paraphenalia at a miniumum however, especially since it will not be allowed into Mass MoCA’s galleries. For outdoor events, bottled water, blankets, chairs and strollers are allowed, but not alcoholic beverages or coolers. Large bags, backpacks, and umbrellas are discouraged outdoors, and they will not be allowed into the galleries. (Remember the Picasso that was recently damaged in New York by accident by a distracted patron? Too many people and too much clutter was the cause.)
There is limited parking in the immediate vicinity of Mass MoCA, and throughout downtown North Adams, and congestion is expected. The organizers are working with Zimride on car pooling. To address the crunch, there will be several satellite parking lots planned. Some will be located on Route 2, west of Mass MoCA, between Williamstown and North Adams, and others on Route 8, south of Mass MoCA, between Adams and North Adams. These will be served by regular shuttle service to the site.
Visitors arriving from the east on Route 2 are being advised to proceed through North Adams, head westward towards Williamstown, and follow signs to one of the Solid Sound parking lots on Route 2. Those traveling from the south through Pittsfield (on Route 7) are being told to follow Route 9 east across the center of Pittsfield to the intersection with Route 8 and take Route 8 north out of Pittfsfield, through Adams, and follow signs to one of the Solid Sound parking lots on Route 8 just south of downtown North Adams. A parking map will be available later in June.
HOTELS (Updated 8/6)
(Virtually all Northern Berkshire lodgings are currently booked, with the remaining rooms in Williamstown being pricey and upscale, Pittsfield is 30 minutes away and in the midrange, other locations further away varying in quality and price.)
- Orchards Hotel – Williamstown, MA – 4 rooms available (5 miles)
- Comfort Inn – Pittsfield, MA – 9 rooms available (21 miles)
- Travelodge – Pittsfield, MA – 10 rooms available (21 miles)
- Berkshire Mountain House – Stephentown, NY- 2 rooms available (24 miles)
- White House Inn – Wilmington, VT – 2 rooms available (26 miles)
- Dancing Bear Guest House B&B – Shelburne Falls, MA – Several rooms available (27 miles)
- Canyon Ranch – Lenox, MA – 56 rooms available (28 miles)
- Cranwell Resort – Lenox, MA - 1 room available (28 miles)
- Econo Lodge Lenox – Lenox, MA – 30 rooms available (28 miles)
- Kemble Inn and Breakfast, The – Lenox, MA – 2 rooms available (28 miles)
- Rookwood Inn – Lenox, MA – 1 room available (28 miles)
- Seven Hills Inn and Restaurant – Lenox, MA – 5 rooms available (28 miles)
- Wagon Wheel Motel – Lenox, MA – 3 rooms available (28 miles)
- Wheatleigh Hotel & Restaurant – Lenox, MA – 7 rooms available (28 miles)
- Yankee Inn – Lenox, MA – 1 room available (28 miles)
- 1804 Walker House – Lenox, MA – 3 rooms available (28 miles)
- Federal House Inn – Lee, MA - 2 rooms available (32 miles)
- Historic Merrell Inn – South Lee, MA- 4 rooms available (35 miles)
- Inn at Stockbridge, The – Stockbridge, MA – 1 room available (35 miles)
- Comfort Inn & Suites – Great Barrington, MA – 13 rooms available (41 miles)
- Deerfield Inn – Deerfield, MA – 1 room available (41 miles)
- Clarion Hotel – Northampton, MA – Many rooms available (45 miles)
- Hotel Northampton – Northampton, MA – Many rooms available (45 miles)
- Quality Inn & Suites – Northampton, MA – Many rooms available (45 miles)
- Knights Inn – Castleton-on-Hudson/Schodack, NY – 12 rooms available (51 miles)
- Aqua Vista Valley Campgrounds - Petersburg, NY
- Berkshire Park Camping Area - Worthington, Massachusetts
- Bonnie Brae Campground – Pittsfield, MA
- Broken Wheel Campground - Petersburg, NY
- Country Aire Campground - Pittsfield, MA
- Fernwood Forest Campground - Hinsdale, MA
- Greenwood Lodge and Campsites – Bennington, VT
- Hidden Valley Campground - Lanesboro, MA
- Mohawk Trail State Forest (No Alcohol Permitted) – Charlemont, MA
- Molly Stark State Park - Wilmington, VT
- Peppermint Park Camping Resort - Plainfield, MA
- Pine Hollow Campground - Pownal, VT
- Roaring Branch Cabins - Arlington, VT
- Savoy Mountain State Forest (No Alcohol Permitted) - Florida, MA
- Shady Pines Campground - Savoy, MA
- Summit Hill Campground – Washington, MA
- Woodford State Park (No Alcohol Permitted) - Bennington, VT
Additional Campground Listings:
- Albany International Airport (ALB), Latham, NY (47 miles from MASS MoCA)
- Bradley International Airport (BDL), Windsor Locks, CT (85 miles from MASS MoCA)
- Amtrak to Pittsfield (PIT) (22 miles from MASS MoCA) or Rensselaer-Albany, NY (ALB) (47 miles from MASS MoCA)
- Peter Pan Bus to Williamstown, MA (6 miles from MASS MoCA)
- Berkshire Regional Transit Authority
Parking: Limited parking will be available at MASS MoCA & in downtown North Adams. There will also be clearly-marked satellite lots located on Routes 2 & 8, with regular shuttles running to MASS MoCA.