before Newport, a Solid Sound report
Hey all, just before we get to the Musicwood screening at newportFILM, in conjunction with the Newport Folk Festival, we wanted to share the write-up we got from our contest winner for the Musicwood tickets to the Solid Sound Festival. Charles Briggs won himself a pair of tickets to the festival by posting why he loved the acoustic guitar on our Facebook page, and it sounds like he had a pretty great time. Check it out:
It had been six hours since we left Philadelphia and pointed our compass northward, headed for the town of North Adams on short notice. I had recently won tickets to the Solid Sound festival by entering a contest on Facebook, and couldn’t have been happier to have been chosen.
Upon arriving in the town of North Adams, I knew for sure that we were in for a treat. Hugged between scenic mountains lies this small town, where the people are friendly and the stoplights are few. It’s the kind of place where people don’t lock their doors at night, and everybody knows everybody’s name. I couldn’t have found trash on the ground if I picked through the grass with a fine tooth comb. Upon arriving at the venue, I was blown away by the size and architecture of MASS MoCA, and this is when I knew things were only going to get better from here.
The sound of the earth drums could be heard ringing clear through the crisp Massachusetts air as I stepped through the gates. I was greeted by a performance of one of the many talented bands who were to be performing at the event. After reviewing my program, I made my way through the museum to make myself familiar with the layout of this glorious setting. Multiple stages were scattered around the grounds, and no matter which way I turned I was greeted with warm smiles and the sounds of guitars ringing true.
The first evening of the festival was nothing short of spectacular, but the highlight was surely Wilco’s fan-request set followed by a screening of the Musicwood documentary, both being very powerful and moving in their own ways. On the second day, I took some time to enjoy the Museum, and was impressed with the variety of installations showcased here. Some of the highlights were Xu Bing’s Phoenix exhibit, which consisted of two larger than life pieces of art which truly took my breath away. The scale and detail of these pieces was nothing short of amazing. Around there corner from this were short films running around the clock, some ranging from as little as one minute long. The live birds of prey exhibit was also a favorite of mine, and very informative to boot.
Food was no rarity at this event, and the selection was spectacular. Anything from a slice of pizza to a vegan smorgasbord could be found, and you were sure not to be hungry while here. The staff at this event was more than helpful and always smiling as well. The air with thick with the sounds of live music, and laughter abound. If there was anything I could take away from this experience, it would be the reminder of the joy that music can bring. Day two went off without a hitch, and I still had not taken in all that this festival had to offer. So it was off to the hotel to rest up for the final day of the festivities.
The last day was bittersweet, because I knew I would be treated to more eclectic sounds, such as the performance by Medeski, Martin, & Wood, along with countless others, but the fact that I would soon have to depart this storybook town also remained. As I reflect on the experience of attending the Solid Sound Music and Arts Festival, I am filled with joy and fond memories. The experience was spectacular, and the mix of music, art, and fine foods was a combination I won’t soon forget. I felt so lucky to have won a spot at this magical gathering, and would highly recommend it to anyone with an ear for music, and an appreciation for art of any kind.