In addition to four stages of live music, a full lineup of comedy plus a museum-full of world-class contemporary art, the Solid Sound Festival has presented audiences with a wide array of diverse, eclectic, non-musical programming since its 2010 inception. 2015 will be no exception, as evidenced by the festival’s just-revealed roster of special programming. The Solid Sound Festival will take place in North Adams, MA, June 26-28.
Among the featured artists this year will be choreographer and director Sarah Elgart, Cultural Weekly’s ScreenDance Diaries curator. Elgart will be collaborating with Nels Cline, Wilco’s lead guitarist.
Other artists and events at Solid Sound 2015:
Interactive Wilco Timeline – A gallery exhibit featuring historical photographs and memorabilia from Wilco’s 20-year history, with crowd-sourced memorabilia and written recollections from fans.
Make Drums / Play Drums – Festival attendees participate in a prepared drumhead-making session with Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche and then perform with Kotche in the world-premiere of a newly-commissioned orchestral piece written by Kotche for D’Addario.
Circus Smirkus – Vermont’s award-winning international circus has been promoting the skills, culture and tradition of the traveling circus since 1987. Festival programming includes The Red Trouser Show by renowned street performance duo David Graham and Tobin Renwick, as well as the presentation of Silent Clowns: A Celebration of Silent Film Comedians with Smirkus Founder Rob Mermin. This laugh-filled film program compares the pantomime styles of the great silent stars with a dazzling array of clips featuring Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Harry Langdon, Harold Lloyd, Keystone Kops, and more. Roving Circus performers will be on the festival grounds throughout the weekend hula hooping, tumbling, juggling and more.
Tanja Hollander’s “Are We Friends” – In 2011 Tanja Alexia Hollander set out to differentiate the real from the virtual by photographing all of her 626 Facebook friends. Since then, she has been traveling internationally, setting up in-person meetings in her friends’ homes to discover the ways in which friendship is defined and how permission is granted into one’s private, yet very public, online life. Along the way, Tanja has collected Post-It notes from communities she has visited answering the question: ‘What is a real friend?” The notes range from the silly to the profound, with the next batch to be collected at Solid Sound. The Post-It notes will be part of Tanja’s 2017 exhibit at MASS MoCA.
Plugged In – Returning to Solid Sound for the fourth time, the very popular kid-friendly rock music program Plugged In focuses on empowering youth to create positive change through music. Kids of all ages and skill levels write and perform a song about a cause important to them.
Naturalist Hikes – Presented by Patagonia and Osprey Packs, festival attendees can participate in two off-site hikes led by Tad Ames, president of Berkshire Natural Resources Council, on a 1.6 mile, high-elevation interpretive walk on the nearby Hoosac Range. Hikers will take in three-state views, ecological interpretation and woodland lore, along an artistically designed trail.
Festivalgoers can visit Patagonia’s custom bio-diesel Worn Wear repair wagon that will be situated on festival grounds through out the weekend and visit Osprey’s tent for all-ages artistic activities. Patagonia and Osprey-sponsored rock-climber Timmy O’Neill will also be on hand to motivate hikers and entertain audiences.
Story Pirates –The nationally respected education and media organization brings its action-packed musical sketch comedy written by kids to Solid Sound for the fourth time.
Alan Lomax Film Series – 2015 is the Alan Lomax centennial. Born in Austin, TX in 1915, Lomax would become the foremost folklorist of the 20th century, documenting, preserving, and promoting traditional music around America and the world over the course of seven decades. This year Solid Sound will screen two Lomax films – Jazz Parades/A Celebration of New Orleans’ music culture and Appalachian Journal, a film where Lomax travels through the hills and hollers of the Southern Appalachians investigating the songs, dances and religious rituals of the Scotch-Irish pioneers who have made the mountains their home for centuries.
Tintypes – Wetplate collodion photographers Jeff Howlett and Chris Morgan from Howlermano Photography will be on hand to offer one-of-a-kind Tintypes to festivalgoers. A tintype is a direct-positive image formed by pure silver deposited onto a black metal plate.
For more information: solidsoundfestival.com
Top image: Wilco performing at Solid Sound Festival. Photo courtesy Solid Sound Festival.