The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Performance Live Tribute Benefit Music Festival

A community tradition of over 30 years, Performance is Northampton’s annual end-of-summer Live Tribute Music Benefit at Pines Theater in Look Park.

Jointly presented by The Northampton Arts Council and the Parent-Teacher-Organizations (PTO) of the four Northampton Elementary Schools, JFK Middle School, and Northampton High School, proceeds from "Performance" are shared to equally fund arts enrichment programs in the public school, and an additional second grant round administered by the arts council to support the work of many, many local artists and performing groups.

"Performance" started way back in 1991 when funding for the arts took a dismal turn. The Mass Cultural Council went from a budget of 20 million down to 3 million dollars. The Arts Council met with cultural liaisons from PTOs of local schools and decided to create a big event to raise money. Lookstock: The Performance Peace brought close to 2,000 people to Look Park, and we’ve been going strong ever since! Each year the festival is a near sell-out, bringing our community together to rock out to their favorite local bands, dance in the sunshine, help raise funds for a good cause and strengthen our connections.

The original concept for "Performance" was for local bands to transform into the persona of another established nationally recognized act and perform their bands’ style, based on a new theme for each year’s festival. Examples include Transperformance 22 “Food Groups” (Heather Maloney as Amy Winehouse), Transperformance 20 “Body Parts” (King Radio as The Flaming Lips) Transperformance 13 “Southern Fried” (Mark Mulchahy with J Mascis as The Allman Brothers)

Past "Transperformance" Themes:
1991 – Lookstock: The Performance Peace
1992 – Beyond Karaoke
1993 – Dick Clark Look Park
1994 – Rock and Roll Heaven
1995 – Way Off Broadway
1996 – Night at the Opry
1997 – Tuesday Night Fever
1998 – Oy Vegas
1999 – Limeypalooza
2000 – Look Punk
2001 – Cali-Faux-Nia-Dreaming
2002 – Oh! Canada
2003 – Southern Fried Transperformance
2004 – Animals and Insects
2005 – New York: A Bite from the Big Apple
2006 – All in the Family
2007 – Color by Numbers
2008 – Letters and Numbers
2009 – LookStock
2010 – Body Parts
2011 – Nohobility
2012 – Food Groups
2013 – Beyond Bob
2014 – Off The Map
2015 – Look at The Movies
2016 – Labor Party
2017 – Rock N Roll Heaven
2018 – Amperbands
2019 – LookStock
2020 – LIVE AID

Past and present "Performance" Themes:
2021 - Unsung Heroes
2022 - Nevermind the 90s



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