The Neighbors Are Back: Jeff Tweedy And Wilco Return For Solid Sound
Some 8,000 people are expected to make the pilgrimage to the three-day Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams this weekend — the first of the summer.
Since the first festival in 2010, Jeff Tweedy and Wilco have become regular North Adams neighbors. Every other year the alternative rock band brings together musicians, artists and comedians for a weekend of great sound – Solid Sound.
“It’s quite, it’s quite a weekend.”
MASS MoCA’s Jodi Joseph says the first Solid Sound Festival drew about 3,500 people. She says this year it’s blown up, easily attracting 8,000.
“So, Wilco – the American rock band Wilco, from Chicago – comes to town every other summer and takes over MASS MoCA’s entire campus,” Joseph says
And they have devoted fans.
“It’s a responsible and respectful crowd,” Joseph says. “So Wilco – as great as Wilco is, the band, their fans might, might be even better.”
Festivalgoers are excited to see performances by Television, Peter Wolf and The Midnight Travelers, Jeff Parker Trio, Alloy Orchestra and Big Thief and many more. Comedy includes acts by Eugene Mirman, John Hodgman and Nick Offerman, to name a few.
There will be yoga, and puppet shows, and hiking … not to mention all of MASS MoCA to explore. Joseph says lodging, restaurants and cultural venues will have their hands full.
“They are checking out the Berkshires, the landscape,” Joseph says. “You know, they were looking for local hikes and other cultural institutions. So we are sending them to the Clark and the Williams College Museum – locally and near and far in Berkshire County.”
In 2012, a study from Williams College found the first festival generated $1.2 million in spending in the region. And Joseph says this weekend will bring in a lot more money.
“So we really hope that that local businesses – that these local communities – feel the presence of Solid Sound, get some dollars into their cash registers, into their pockets, and that people in the northern Berkshires are all reaping the spoils of this event.”
“The town will light up for these few days,” Alcombright says.
North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright says hotels across the Berkshires are filling up fast.
“The economic benefits to the city is, is huge,” Alcombright says. “I mean there is not a room available, to my understanding, within a 40- or 50-mile radius from the city.”
And so, there are two campgrounds along Route 8 in North Adams and Adams. Again, Joseph.
“We serve those with a shuttle line so people really move into the northern Berkshires for the whole weekend,” Joseph says.
With so many people together in the city, Alcombright says safety is a concern, but has never been a problem.
“Not to say we haven’t helped a few people home, back to the campground. But we have never had an arrest,” Alcombright says.
Joseph agrees that the weekend should go off without a hitch.
“We have never had an incident with fans at the concert,” Jospeh says “It’s always been a trouble-free weekend. Knock on wood.”