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Live music returns to Adams Farm

Everyone was happy to see actual, live music for the first time in months.

By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter

There are pages upon pages of quotes about the healing power of music. From “music can heal the wounds medicine cannot touch” to “time heals everything, but music heals time,” people very much understand music’s ability to bring people together, and to mend deep wounds. With our country simultaneously suffering from both a literal pandemic and a deep metaphorical fracturing, people need music now more than ever.

Luckily, Adams Farm has enough outdoor space to allow for live music and appropriate social distancing. So, on Saturday afternoon, it hosted a trio of individual music acts when Fiona Campbell, David Penza and Wayne Dunhebler performed in front of a reasonably-sized, and reasonably socially distanced crowd. Why were there so many individuals and no bands? As event organizer Yvette Morrill explained, individual acts are having a much easier time than bands in the era of COVID.

“I think this was made easier by the fact that its individuals who are performing today rather than groups, because if you had a group, it might be harder since different members might have a different sense of what would work for them.”

Fiona Campbell performs the Amy Winehouse hit “Valerie.”

With the individual performers taking residence in front of the barn doors and singing classic top 40 hits like “Don’t You Forget About Me,” “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Pancho and Lefty,” things looked pretty normal from the outside. People were spacing themselves and wearing masks, but people don’t usually sit very close to each other at these events, anyway, so that wasn't a radical change. The main difference in the concert that came as a result of COVID-19 was that everyone present needed to write down their name and phone number to aid any potential contact tracing.

One of the new, Covid related changes was a contact tracing form so families could be easily informed in case of an outbreak.

But as anyone talking about an economic recovery knows, there’s a huge difference between something being allowed to open and people showing up in the same numbers they were, pre-COVID. Unfortunately, while there were many families at the concert, the event’s lack of advertising (caused by a late approval from the town) made it difficult to tell if people didn’t know about the concert, or weren’t willing to show up due to COVID fears.

Sitting on the lawn for spacing purposes meant this family had to bring an umbrella to make its own shade.

“It’s hard to say if the crowd size was affected, because this is a relatively new thing for us to do. We were kind of looking at last year and thinking maybe we will build our audience this year, but then we had COVID to deal with. I’m just hoping people will take advantage of an outdoor performance and enjoy it. We’ll just kind of progress from here. If it weren’t for COVID, we would have advertised more. We were really in a bind because of some approvals we needed to get, so we only advertised this for one week, where normally we would advertise for … multiple weeks. Literally last Friday, the decision was made that we could hold the event - a combination of town boards had to approve it - but now we’ve already had the August one approved, so unless things go really south, we know we can go ahead and do that.”

While the farm had to cancel a June concert, if you missed the one on Saturday, there will be another on August 22. While everyone hopes the country is in a better place by then, it couldn’t hurt to head to Adams Farm and embrace the healing power of live music once more.

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