The Fourth of July will be a celebration of summer, including outdoor music. Most of us have fond memories of sitting somewhere on a blanket or in a lawn chair and listening to some band or other play. The smell of burgers on the grill, the cool breeze and the fireflies may all call up memories of great outdoor times, many of them centered around Independence Day.
Vermont is a place that knows how to do outdoor music right. With a wide range of bands and music styles, there is something for everyone in the Green State’s outdoor music culture!
• The 36th-annual Middlebury Festival-on-the-Green. A weeklong festival of music begins on Sunday at the Middlebury Recreation Park. Local bands such as Kat Wright & the Indomitable Soul Band, start off the event along with Hinesburg banjo man Rik Palieri, folksinger and Addison County native Anais Mitchell, jazz trio Vorcza, and a street dance led by the Vermont Jazz Ensemble. All concerts are free but donations are welcome. You can find out more at www.festivalonthegreen.org.
• The Concerts on the Green series at the Shelburne Museum. Presented by Higher Ground, this series resumes with a singer-songwriter John Hiatt and the Combo and blues man Robert Cray. Tickets are $49 in advance and $53 on the day of the show. For more information, see www.highergroundmusic.com.
• SolarFest. Not just about sustainability, the 20th edition of this festival is also about music energy! From Forget-Me-Not Farm in Tinmouth, listen to acts including the Dirty Dozen Brass Band from New Orleans, Keeghan Nolan, Bow Thayer, Soule Monde, Waylon Speed and Barika. Tickets are $20 to $75. See more at www.solarfest.org.
»Cabot hosts the known as The Manifestivus at the Pransky family homestead. The 11th anniversary concert will feature Locos Por Juana, The Nth Power, Charles Lazarus, Electric Sorcery and Vermont-based salsa band Afinque, as well as others. Ticket prices range from $40 to $50, and more information can be found at www.manifestivus.com
There are literally dozens of outdoor musical festivals in Vermont this time of year, so if you are traveling in New England, be sure to stop and check out one of these great concerts! Be sure to bring a blanket and your favorite friends and get ready for an evening of outdoor concert music that will bring back some of your favorite memories.