Mill Town and the Dalton Community Recreation Association will team up to host a series of free weekly outdoor live music concerts on the lawn of the Mill + Main property in Dalton. It will be called Music On Main.

From the Official Press Release:

With Governor Baker’s announcement of Massachusetts Phase III reopening in the beginning of July, the group has finally received the green light to invite the public to come together safely and enjoy the newly renovated property during the coronavirus pandemic.

The group has worked closely with the Town of Dalton Department of Health to put in place strict social distancing protocols in adherence with public health and safety guidelines.

Mill Town is partnering with the CRA to host the events which will run every Saturday from 5-8pm, July 11 through August 29, 2020 at 444 Main St. in Dalton. Registration is required for the event with each performance capped at a maximum of 100 attendees in accordance with the Massachusetts state Phase III guidelines.

The schedule of performers and registration information can be found on the Mill + Main website or by following the Mill + Main Facebook page.

There will also be additional weekday live music performances held on the Memorial Lawn outside of the CRA’s Community House. The schedule for the Community House performances can be found on the CRA website.

The event will be free with recommended donations and concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own picnics on-site to enjoy during the performance.

Mill Town reached out to noted Berkshires musician, Andy Wrba, to help curate a fun line-up of musical performances for the Music on Main series. The musical performances will range in genre featuring Americana, Blues, Soul, Jazz, and other musical varieties, highlighting the quality and diversity of the local Berkshires music scene.

To kick off the series, the first sold-out performance was held on July 12th and featured Wrba playing with three other well-known Berkshires musicians Billy Keane, Tory Hanna, and Conor Meehan.

The following week, Misty Blues, a popular Berkshires band played to a sold-out crowd spread out under the lawn of the downtown Dalton property.

Upcoming shows include performances by The Kashmir Souls, Eavesdrop, Chris Merenda and Friends, Wanda Houston, and Beast Mode.

The goal of the series is to bring together the local community in a safe and mindful way during the COVID-19 era, utilizing outdoor spaces at the newly renovated Mill + Main property and other outdoor spaces across the CRA campus.

“After so many weeks of staying at home, we are excited to produce this music series at Mill + Main and safely welcome the community back onto the grounds,” said Carrie Holland, Managing Director of Mill Town. “Live music is such a staple for the Berkshires community in the summer, and with so many of our favorite organizations unable to host their normal slate of performances due to COVID-19, we are grateful to the Town of Dalton, the musicians, vendors, and community health advisors for their support in putting together a creative and conservatively safe plan.”

The logistics of the event series have strict social distancing guidelines to ensure all participants are maintaining safe practices in light of the on-going concerns of COVID-19 community transmission.

Event participants are directed to take in the show from their own designated eight-foot diameter chalk outlined circle which have been drawn out across the lawn and set-back over 25 feet from the musical performers. Each circle is separated by another six feet to allow ample spacing between parties and walkable corridors.

Face masks are required to enter and exit the property, however, while in their circles, audiences can remove their face masks but are asked to put them back on should they leave their circle to walk about the grounds. Portable restrooms are available and are equipped with additional hand sanitizer stations and cleaning products both inside and outside of the bathrooms.

Performers are also required to adhere to social distancing guidelines and must maintain at least six feet between one another and 25 feet from the audience. For vocal, brass, and woodwind performers, the social distancing requirement extends out to 10 feet between bandmates.

The grounds open at 5PM, with the music beginning at 6PM, limited to just two-hour performances.

The public is encouraged to pre-register for the event at millandmain.org or emailing millandmaincra@gmail.com to secure a circle as each performance is currently limited to 100 participants.

Holland noted that the property at Mill + Main has proven to be an ideal location to host these social distancing performances.  “We have more than enough space to safely spread out over the two-acre property here at Mill + Main and the large oak trees provide generous shade for concert goers to escape the summer sun while taking in the performance.  With so much space, and so few people admitted for each performance per Phase III requirements, the show feels really private and intimate – it’s a pretty special way to experience these talented performers.”

Mill Town purchased the Mill + Main location in 2018 from John and Judy Kittredge and renovated and restored the property to transform it into a new community asset that expands the Dalton CRA campus and promotes a range of community initiatives in the Central Berkshire region.

The CRA will use the location to extend their service offerings with additional campus space.Together, Mill Town and the CRA have worked with several community-focused tenants to utilize shared space of the former residence to include projects run by Community Health Programs (CHP), Berkshire County Arc, Community Access to the Arts (CATA), and the Dalton Library Free Public Library.

The Mill + Main property is also available for private events and has become an increasingly popular rental space for bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties, and weddings.

The group has put up a 30-by-60-foot event tent in the corner of the property which will remain erect through September and have served a variety of community groups looking for outdoor meeting space.