October 17, 2021

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‘Hugs, high-fives and tears of joy’: Summer concert season is back in business | Vermont Arts

Safe to say that tomorrow’s official onset of summer is looking a lot more promising for live music lovers than last year. Case in point: this summer’s lineup has plenty of compelling options in Vermont and beyond.

“It feels great to be back at it,” said Higher Ground co-owner Alex Crothers on Tuesday.

“What most people don’t realize is that there are months of planning that go into any single event,” he said. “We’re effectively scrambling to do in three months what normally takes 12 months.”

“Couple that with the fact that reopening does not mean recovery,” added Crothers. “Restaurants and the live events sector suffered a devastating financial hit from the pandemic, and the impact of nearly 15 months of reduced operating restrictions and closure will continue to be felt for months or years.”

Higher Ground is presenting the lion’s share of events, including a new outdoor concert series in Burlington, Backside 405, a collaboration with Burlington City Arts that kicked off May 28 and runs through the end of August.

Located behind BCA Studios in Burlington’s vibrant South End Arts District, the series features live music every Friday and Saturday night all summer long.

“Backside 405 was born out of an idea to provide opportunity for club-level artists this summer,” Crothers said, and to reconnect artists and audiences since Higher Ground won’t be opening until late August.

“We designed the space with ample capacity,” he said, with “plenty of space for folks to be comfortable with what for many will be their first in-person concert experience post pandemic.”

“The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive,” Crothers said. “Lots of hugs, high fives and even a few tears of joy.”

Crothers said two more Shelburne Museum shows, both in the fall, will be announced next week. “That should wrap up our summer season across Shelburne, Midway Lawn and Backside,” he said.

Also next week: an update on the 10th anniversary edition of Grace Potter’s Grand Point North, which returns to Burlington Waterfront Park Sept. 11-12.

Here’s a closer look at some of the outdoor action:

Backside 405 outdoor concert series, 405 Pine St., Burlington (Higher Ground Presents/Burlington City Arts); call 888-512-7469 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com A season pass, which includes admission to every show, is $99. All shows start at 8 p.m. and are all ages.

— June 25: Bob Wagner Blues Power, featuring Ray Paczkowski, Russ Lawton, Josh Weinstein and special guests, $20 advance, $25 day of show

— June 26: Fever Dolls, Pons, Princess Nostalgia — $15 advance, $20 day of show

— July 2: Matthew Mercury, Ryley Walker — $15 advance, $20 day of show

— July 16: Start Making Sense: Talking Heads Tribute — $20 advance, $25 day of show

— July 17: The ‘Ol Honky Tonk Tuesday Band, with Brett Hughes & Friends — $15 advance, $20 day of show

— July 24: Steve Gunn, William Tyler — $20 advance, $25 day of show

— July 30: The Bubs & The High Breaks perform “Smirk of the Dolphin” — $15 advance, $20 day of show

— July 31: Dwight & Nicole, Ali McGuirk — $15 advance, $20 day of show

— Aug. 7: Rough Francis, Get a Grip — $15 advance, $20 day of show

— Aug. 13: Keller Williams — $25 advance, $30 day of show

— Aug. 14: Martin Sexton, Brothers McCann — $32.50 advance, $35 day of show

— Aug. 20: The Steel Woods, Sarah King — $20 advance, $25 day of show

— Aug. 21: Kat Wright — $20 advance, $25 day of show

— Aug. 27: Clever Girls, Francesca Blanchard — $15 advance, $20 day of show

— July 24: Vermont Symphony Orchestra, featuring Francesca Blanchard – 7:30 p.m. $28 ($5 for age 18 and younger); also July 25 at 6 p.m. at the Meadow at the Vermont State Fairgrounds, Rutland. $28 advance, $35 day of show (free for age 12 and younger); go online to vso.org

Ben & Jerry’s Concerts on the Green

Shelburne Museum (Higher Ground Presents); call 888-512-7469 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com Free for age 12 and younger.

— July 7-8: Old Crow Medicine Show — 7 p.m. $44 advance, $48 day of show (July 8 sold out)

— July 10: Guster — 7 p.m. $47 advance, $51 day of show

— July 23: Tedeschi Trucks — 7 p.m. Sold out

— Aug. 17: Jason Mraz – 7 p.m. Sold out

— Aug. 22: Lake Street Dive, Allison Russell — 7 p.m. Sold out

— Sept. 21: Dr. Dog — 6 p.m. $44 advance, $48 day of show

Trapp Family Lodge Meadow

— June 27: Chad Hollister Acoustic Quintet — 6 p.m. $35 gold circle, $25 general admission, $10 ages 5-16

— July 25: The Hot Sardines — 7 p.m. $33, $15 ages 5-17

— Aug. 8: Red Baraat — 7 p.m. $33, $15 ages 5-17

Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks

— July 24: Maple Roots Festival — inaugural festival features Vorcza, Magic City, Sabouyouma, Brooklyn Circle and Sara Grace Band. Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, Montpelier. Free ($20 per vehicle for onsite parking); go online to www.maplerootsfest.com

Midway Lawn at Champlain Valley Expo

Essex Junction (Higher Ground Presents); call 888-512-7469 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com Free for ages 12 and younger.

— July 28: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, The Marcus King Band, Tre Burt — 6:30 p.m. $54 advance, $58 day of show

— Aug. 3: Billy Strings — 7:30 p.m. $39.50

— Aug. 6-7: Twiddle — 6:30 p.m. $49 advance, $53 day of show ($79 for two-day pass)

— Oct. 2: Primus, Wolfmother — 7 p.m. $49

— Aug. 7: Modest Mouse — 7 p.m. $49.50 advance, $55 day of show

Burlington Waterfront Park

— Sept. 11-12: Grace Potter’s Grand Point North — Expect an update next week about the 10th anniversary edition, $79-$169; call 888-512-7469 or go online to www.highergroundmusic.com