The end of Summer is near, but there are still more opportunities to rock out at a music fest this month. From jazz to reggae, Woodstock to metal, I guarantee you there’s at least one you’ll wanna attend. Or all of them! They are evenly spread out over the course of the last full month of summer so you could essentially attend them all.
THIS WEEKEND! Sat., August 10 // 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Court Square, Springfield
This is the sixth season of Springfield Jazz & Roots, an annual celebration that attracts thousands of people to the heart of downtown Springfield. The festival was founded by Kristin Neville, along with Evan Plotkin, President of NAI Plotkin and Director of Springfield City Mosaic. Their combined hopes was to cultivate a gathering of people of all walks of life to enjoy the sounds of jazz, gospel, and blues. Throw in some art and yummy foods on top of the music! This event is free, but $10 donations are encouraged to help keep this event going. It’s also an all-ages event, equipped with art and music activities for kids. Cory Henry and The Funk Apostles headline the event and Elan Trotman will play a special after-party show at MGM Springfield. Scattered throughout the day on those two stages are Tia Fuller, Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators, Samite, Firey String Sistas, Kotoko Brass, Molly Tigre, Eugene Uman’s Convergence Trio, TapRoots, The Billy Arnold Trio, Bomba De Aqui, Ryan Hollander, and the HCC Student Jazz Combo.
Sat., August 17 // 12 – 11 p.m.
For the past 35 years, the Charlemont Reggae Festival has been one of the biggest on-going festivals in New England. Gather in positivity, good vibes, and one love — come to embrace the music and community — and leave feeling rejuvenated. Without the dedication of late local reggae legend Ras Jahn Bullock, this event would not exist.
So in return, the festival is now dedicated to Ras Jahn in hopes that his legacy lives on through the music. It’s family friendly, with a tent for live kids music, along with food and craft vendors and Berkshire Brewing Company will be serving up some fresh brew! Lineup includes: The Alchemystics, Mighty Mystic, Rebelle, The Big Takeover, Soultree, Rhythm Incorporated, No Lens, The Equalites, Wheel Out, Dave Noonan’s Green Island, The Riddim Makers, and more to be announced! $35.
Tues., August 20 // 4 – 9 p.m.
Pines Theater at Look Park, Florence
Every year for the past 29 years, The Northampton Arts Council presents Transperformance, a night of a themed concert with a vast spread of local talent transforming themselves into other musicians under said theme. They do this while raising funds for the arts enrichment programs in the Northampton Public Schools. The theme this year, in honor of Woodstock’s 50th anniversary … LookStock! Peace, love, and music will be in the air with I’m sure more bandanas and bellbottoms we have seen in decades walking around the grounds. Each performance will be about 10 minutes of material from performers who were at the most famous concert of all time — Woodstock — 50 years ago. The lineup, per usual, is stacked with local talent. Outer Stylie to play Jimi Hendrix, Bunnies to play Quill, Kate Lorenz & The Constellations to play Jefferson Airplane, and so many more. There will even be a special performance from Snackbeard the Pirate to keep the kids amused. Another family-friendly event with food and drink vendors for a perfect night out for dinner and a show! $10.
Fri., August 30 at 4 p.m. – Sun., September 1, 10 p.m.
Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club, Montague
Presented by Promotorhead Entertainment, PDP Productions, and Robo Sound, New England’s heaviest and largest music and camping festival is back for its fifth year! This festival is so massive it features 50 bands on three stages! There are food trucks, craft beer, vendors galore (everything from novelty to band merch and in between), yard games, and so much more. Not to mention it’s a camp-out. So you could literally make it like an end of summer weekend vacation. You don’t necessarily have to camp out though, or go the entire weekend. You have choices. Go one day or two, or all three with or without camping. I don’t have enough space to list all the 50 bands, but I tell ya, they are worth the website glance at rpmfest.org. If this festival interests you, check back here for my next column on 8/22 for more information. Tickets range from $20-$70, depending on how many days you will attend and if you get advanced or gate tickets. $10 flat parking for unlimited in and out all weekend.