WEATHERSFIELD, Vermont. – Local music supporters and the City of Weathersfield are teaming up to offer an outdoor music series to provide residents with much-needed social respite from the 15-month-long novel coronavirus pandemic and musicians from the region a place to reclaim their art.
The Weathersfield Summer Music Series, the brainchild of Bill and June Brink of Springfield, Vermont, aims to simultaneously meet two demands in the southern Windsor County area: a new source of live music and another venue for local musicians who have had limited work for over a year due to pandemic restrictions.
“There really wasn’t much here for music other than getting hired for a gig at a bar or something,” June Brink told The Eagle Times. “We wanted something outside.”
The series, which kicks off Friday, July 9, will offer free live music every Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Hoisington Field (sometimes called Perkinsville Soccer Field) in Perkinsville, Vermont. The 11-week series is set to run until Friday, September 24.
The Weathersfield Parks and Recreation Commission is sponsoring the musical series, which city officials hope will help bring the community together after a difficult year and additional months of quarantine and gathering restrictions.
“We think it’s a great way to bring everyone together,” Weathersfield City Manager Brandon Gulnick said.
Hoisington Field is a great place for public gatherings, organizers said. There is a large lawn, a pavilion with chess or checkers tables, a basketball court and a playground.
Brink said she is currently working to secure food truck vendors.
The biggest challenge now, according to Brink, is raising donations and sponsorships to fund the series on its scheduled dates.
While the concerts are free to the public, Brink hopes to raise a total of $7,000, a conservative budget needed to pay musicians and cover expenses like sound equipment and advertising.
The city of Weathersfield is funding $1,000 to cover the expenses of the first two concerts, according to Brink. Expenses per show will vary depending on the number of musicians performing.
Although he only has a short time to launch the music series this year, Brink said it’s especially important to help out local musicians sooner.
“Most of the musicians we know lost all of their gigs in the last year,” Brink said. “And that was a lot of income for a lot of people. So we thought of giving them a concert.
The musicians, including Brink’s husband Bill, were “dying to play,” but available venues remain limited, according to Brink.
“The problem now is that everything is opening up, but everywhere the musicians are [competing] for concerts,” Brink said. “There’s not much left for the little guys.”
Brink hopes to have enough additional funds to provide special treats like a free pizza or a free ice cream party to attendees.
Those wishing to donate are encouraged to send a check by mail or in person to the City of Weathersfield at Martin Memorial Hall, 5259 US Route 5, PO BOX 550, Ascutney, VT 05030.
Checks should be made payable to the City of Weathersfield and include a note specifying a Summer Musical Series donation.
For additional payment questions, people can contact the office at (802) 674-2626.
Although Brink prefers that donations be sent directly to the city, those wishing to donate can do so through Bill Brink’s PayPal account at billbrinkmusic.com. Paypal donations must also include a note indicating that it is a donation to the music series.
Companies that donate will be named at each show and listed on Bill Brink’s musician website and the Weathersfield Summer Music Series Facebook page, according to Brink.
Brink said at the end of the summer series that she planned to release a film that features a song performance from each actor, hoping to air it on Springfield Area Public Access Television (SAPA-TV).
For more information about the event, including concert schedule and performers, visit the Weathersfield Summer Music Series Facebook page or billbrinkmusic.com.