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Next Stage Bandwagon Summer Series Returns

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PUTNEY, VT — Next Stage Arts announce the lineup for the third summer of its outdoor, cultural performance series running from May through October throughout Windham County. The series will include more than 20 performances ranging from a diverse group of musical styles, dance, and puppetry that will take place in fields, farms, and parks throughout the area. 

“The Bandwagon Summer Series is an opportunity to cultivate friendships, experience new music, and bask in Vermont’s outdoor beauty,” says Keith Marks, Executive Director of Next Stage Arts. “The series began as a response to Covid, and it has blossomed into something the community looks forward to every summer. Kids running around, Vermont-made food and drinks, and the lineup add up to be an attractive way to meet friends and family. This year’s lineup is easily the best we’ve had yet.”

The full lineup, with information about ticket options, can be found at nextstagearts.org. The series invites children 12 and under into any concert for free, boasts a kid’s play zone, and donates free tickets to every public library in Windham County and to select social service agencies. Vermont-made food and drinks will be available.

The Bandwagon Summer Series kicks off on Friday, May 19, at 6 pm, with the return of Next Stage favorites Underground System, the Brooklyn-based, Afrobeat-influenced indie dance band that blew us all away at the Putney Inn last summer. The Stone Church, which hosted Underground System in February, joins Next Stage as co-presenters. Venue TBA.

The following week, Saturday, May 27, at 6 pm, Crocodile River Music brings their African and African-influenced blend of Brazilian, Caribbean, and flamenco music to the Retreat Farm

The series continues with Canadian singer-songwriter Kiran Ahluwalia, whose nearly two decades of music-making have taken her from Punjabi folk and Indian classical music to refreshingly original borderless songs. She performs at venue TBA on Friday, June 2, at 6 pm.

The series continues throughout the summer and fall with performances by Colombian singer and accordionist Gregorio Uribe on 6/10; Sia Tolno & Afro Dead, performing Grateful Dead covers through the lens of Afrobeat, soukous, and highlife, on 6/18 (co-presented with Stone Church); a salsa and reggae dance party with LPT and The Human Rights on 6/24; tap dance reimagined by Subject:Matter on 7/8; self-described Ukrainian “ethnic chaos” band DakhaBrakha on 7/13; instrumental dance band Klezperanto (they’ve “delivered irresistible dance music from everywhere except your cousin’s bar mitzvah”) on 7/22; Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band (“a joyful cacophony of Balkan, Klezmer and funk, with a tasteful thrash of metal thrown in for good measure”) on 7/29; Celtic bands Cantrip and House of Hamill on 8/13 (co-presented with Twilight Music); Armo (the union of Afrobeat and avant garde jazz) on 8/18 at the Retreat Farm; Bread & Puppet on 8/24; The Slambovian Circus of Dreams (“Punk Classical Hillbilly Pink Floyd”) on 9/3; Balla Kouyate & Mike Block (Western Africa meets American musical styles) on 9/9; Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp (“mixing free jazz, post-punk, highlife, brass band, symphonic mixtures and kraut rock”) on 9/16; New Orleans funk, soul, and street beat band the Soggy Po’ Boys on 10/7 (co-presented with Twilight Music); and, on dates still to be determined, Rev. Vince Anderson & His Love Choir; Burlington Taiko; and Anbessa Orchestra.

Series passes and ticket bundles are available for purchase now; tickets to individual shows will go on sale in coming weeks. Please visit nextstagearts.org for more information.

Sponsors of the 2023 Bandwagon Summer Series include Oak Meadow, Landmark College, The Porch, Barr Hill, M&T Bank, Vermont Wide Plank Flooring, The Richards Group, Southern Vermont Solar, Farnum Insulators, and Vermont Country Deli.

Media sponsors include Vermont Public and the Brattleboro Reformer.

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