The Northampton Arts Council is an organization whose goal is to support and promote the arts in Northampton. Originally created as a Local Arts Lottery Council, it began its work by administering a grants program in which proceeds from a state lottery are distributed to local artists, arts groups, and public schools.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Back to the Bay State

Baystate Hotel Illustration by Benjamin Spencer; Poster design by Philip Price

Back to the Bay State

Featuring performances and stories from legendary Bay State era musicians paired with archived audio/video excerpts, all on the Academy of Music stage. Come check out rare Bay State memorabilia including photographs and flyers, audio clips from classic concerts, and a firsthand look at interviews and stories from the upcoming Bay State Hotel Documentary.


When: Sunday February 23 – 2:00PM, Doors Open at 1:30PM

Where: Academy of Music Theatre, 274 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060

How Much: Advance - $13 Adults / $11 Senior 65+ & Students & Vets / $7 Kids 12 & Under; Day of at door - $15 Adults / $13 Senior 65+ & Students & Vets / $9 Kids 12 & Under

Ticket Outlet: Academy of Music Theatre Box Office - http://aomtheatre.com, (413) 584-9032, 274 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060

More info: With appearances from Mark Mulcahy, The Maggies, The Stone Coyotes, Steve Westfield, Aloha Steamtrain, Flower Thief, Mike Flood, Gobblehoof, Drunk Stuntmen, Spouse, The Lonesome Brothers, Matt Hebert, The Unband, The Figments, The Big Bad Bollocks, J Mascis, and more!

The venue provided, as one local writer in the ‘90s described it, “Your chance to see one of the area’s scrappy rock or pop bands in a setting visually better suited to blue hair and meatloaf specials.” Acts like Sebadoh, Scud Mountain Boys and New Radiant Storm King played some of their earliest shows and developed their sound at the Bay State, while an incredible array of alternative national touring acts and musicians such as Arthur Lee & Love, Morphine, Moe Tucker, Blonde Redhead, Royal Trux, and members of My Bloody Valentine joined local bands to play in a unique and intimate setting.

Join us for an afternoon of stories and songs from an influential era in the history of Northampton's music scene, before they're lost to time. Highlights from recently unearthed troves of cassette recordings, film footage, photographs, show flyers, set-lists & more will be presented in between performances from bands and musicians from the Bay State scene. The event will provide a time machine for audiences who experienced the era, as well as a portrait of the legendary scene for younger generations. Back to the Bay State will celebrate, save and preserve memories from the landmark venue at a critical period in Northampton’s musical history.


About The Bay State Hotel Project:
The Bay State Hotel Project is documenting the Bay State music scene from 1992-2003 by conducting interviews and collecting flyers, photos, and recordings for use in a documentary film. This collection is part of a larger project to preserve vital documents, experiences, and existing footage and recordings of the Western Mass music scene in the Forbes Library’s archives. There is a dramatic urgency to capture these memories now so that the public can remember the stories behind this unique period in Northampton’s musical history.


Media Sponsors: Daily Hampshire Gazette, WRSI - 93.9 The River/WHMP/Hits 94.3/Pure Oldies 96.9, New England Public Radio, Northampton Open Media, MassLive.com/The Republican, Valley Advocate

Organizational Support: Massachusetts Cultural Council, City of Northampton, Academy of Music Theatre, Forbes Library, Signature Sounds Presents

Four Sundays in February/KidsBestFest are produced by the Northampton Arts Council

Portions of the proceeds for all shows benefit the 2020 ArtsEZ Grant Round administered by the Northampton Arts Council

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