HarvestFest brings venerable rockers NRBQ and local and regional groups to Look Park’s Pines Theater this Sunday in a musical celebration of local agriculture and economic sustainability
Leaping into autumn
As Jamie Kent sees it, it’s not too late for an outdoor concert — particularly one that’s designed to celebrate the Valley’s agricultural bounty and locavore movement.
Kent, a Northampton singer/songwriter, is the primary sponsor behind this Sunday’s HarvestFest at the Pines Theater at Look Park in Florence. The concert will feature one of New England’s fabled rock and roll acts, NRBQ, and other bands, including Kent’s group, The Options.
The concert, which begins at 4 p.m., will showcase three other bands with western Massachusetts roots: Woodward Way, a folk/funk group that will play at Northampton’s Calvin Theatre this winter; The Raft, a funk/reggae band; and melodic rockers The Northstar Session, who are fronted by Longmeadow native Matt Szlachetka, whose music has appeared in a number of TV shows.
It’s the second show that Kent, as part of his local music initiative the Collective Music Group, has put together this year at the Pines. The SummerFest show in June featured local and regional groups in what Kent hoped would be the first step in building a regular series of live shows at Look Park.
In a recent email from the West Coast, where he was touring with his band, Kent said the June show hadn’t been as well attended as he’d hoped, but that he and other organizers still had a great time and “learned a lot from the experience,” especially ways to improve future shows.
Sunday’s show, for instance, is free for children under 12, and attendees can bring their own food and nonalcoholic beverages. The show is being staged in part as a fund- and food-raiser for the Northampton Survival Center, and people who bring a nonperishable food item to the show get a $2 discount on tickets.
Vendors will include local and regional companies, including Green River Ambrosia of Greenfield, which makes mead (honeyed wine); Laughing Tomato Wood Fired Pizza of Northampton; and Olive Natural Beauty of Amherst, which makes soap and other products from natural materials.
But the focus, of course, will be on the music, which runs from 4 to 9 p.m.
“I’m really hoping to turn this into an annual tradition in this area,” said Kent, who also organized a series of free concerts at Northampton’s Pulaski Park this summer. “If the community is up to support it, we’ll keep it rocking and rolling.”
$15 advance; $20 at the door. 586-8686, nbotickets.com. Bad weather cancels the concert; all tickets will be refunded through the Northampton Box Office.
— Steve Pfarrer