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Monday, July 12, 2021

The Flynn to Reopen in October, Announces New Shows

Posted By on Mon, Jul 12, 2021 at 12:00 PM

  • File: Margaret Grayson ©️ Seven Days
  • The Flynn marquee
It's official: The Flynn is reopening its doors on Saturday, October 23. The Burlington performing arts center has been dark since its closure in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The significant moment will be marked by a full evening of reunions, tributes, dancing, stories, and incredible music," read a press release on Monday morning.

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Thursday, July 1, 2021

Matthew Mercury Are Going Through Changes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 1, 2021 at 2:54 PM

Matthew Mercury - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • Matthew Mercury
Live music is back! The shows are coming thick and fast and tickets are flying off of the proverbial shelves.

I don't know about you, but I've booked so many shows on my calendar I'm starting to have conflicts. Higher Ground alone is dropping bomb after bomb every week. Spoon? Holy crap. St. Vincent? Parquet Courts? Are you kidding me? Courtney f-ing Barnett is coming?

Once you throw in Ben & Jerry's Concerts on the Green series at Shelburne Museum, clubs such as Nectar's and the Monkey House getting back on track, plus the festivals that are starting to pop up (more on that soon), there's just no excuse to still be sitting inside watching YouTube concerts. (Unless that's your jam! Don't let me tell you how to have a good time.)

As we retrain our brains to have, you know, actual plans, watch this space for all your live music updates. We'll steer you true, starting with this weekend and a very special Matthew Mercury show.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Champlain Valley Fair Announces 2021 Entertainment Lineup

Posted By on Tue, Jun 8, 2021 at 1:50 PM

The Champlain Valley Fair - FILE: JAMES BUCK ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • File: James Buck ©️ Seven Days
  • The Champlain Valley Fair
The Champlain Valley Fair announced its 2021 entertainment lineup on Tuesday. Though no major touring artists will rock the Coca-Cola Grandstand this year, a number of  tribute bands will appear, as well as several motorsport events. All six concerts are free with fair admission, but fairgoers will need to purchase tickets to the motorsport events.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Higher Ground and Burlington City Arts Announce New Event Series, Backside 405

Posted By on Tue, May 25, 2021 at 10:28 AM

DJ Disco Phatom behind BCA Studios - JORDAN ADAMS ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Jordan Adams ©️ Seven Days
  • DJ Disco Phatom behind BCA Studios
Higher Ground and Burlington City Arts are teaming up for a new outdoor event series in the South End. Backside 405 will take place behind BCA Studios at 405 Pine St., and feature live music and DJs, food trucks and alcohol sales. The series, which begins this weekend, will start out with a 500-person capacity.

Backside 405 is set to run every Friday and Saturday through July. The kickoff on Friday, May 28, features DJ Disco Phantom. Saturday's show brings surf-rock band Barbacoa and psych-rock trio Quiltro. View the full lineup on Facebook.

Gates will open at 7 p.m., and music will run from 8 to 10 p.m. with a hard cutoff time. Tickets are expected to be in the $10-15 range. A season pass is available for $99.

“Since most indoor venues (including HG) aren’t reopening in earnest until the end of the summer, we wanted to provide a summer stage to artists who are hungry to perform again,” Higher Ground co-owner Alex Crothers wrote in an email.

The performance area will be protected from the elements, and the shows are rain or shine. Masks are encouraged but not required for the event, according to a press release from Higher Ground.

The Burlington City Council recently pushed back a vote to eliminate the citywide mask ordinance to June 7. Though masks are currently still required in Burlington city buildings and retail establishments, other Queen City spaces are regulated by the state's guidance, which says that only unvaccinated people need to wear masks. Capacity on outdoor events is currently limited to 900 unvaccinated people.

Find ticket info for Backside 405 here and at

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Announces Lineup

Posted By on Tue, May 11, 2021 at 2:49 PM

  • Courtesy of Daniel Bernard Roumain
  • Daniel Bernard Roumain
The Burlington Discover Jazz Festival is back.

From Friday, June 4, through Sunday, June 13, the annual music marathon returns to various locations around the Queen City, centering on the Church Street Marketplace, organizers announced in a press conference on Tuesday. In 2020, BDJF pivoted to a fully virtual experience called the Burlington ReDiscover Jazz Festival. This year's edition marks the first major live event to hit the Green Mountains since the coronavirus pandemic decimated the performing arts industry in March 2020.
BDJF 2021 will be scaled down from past years, but will nonetheless include a robust selection of local and regional artists, as well as local school band performances. Except for a few ticketed shows at Main Street nightclub Nectar's and Church Street mainstay Halvorson's Upstreet Café, all BDJF performances will be free to the public. See the full lineup below.

The festival kicks off on June 4 with an event called 50 Saxophones on the Burlington Waterfront. Led by local funk icon Dave Grippo, scores of local sax players will converge for the inaugural event.

While the bulk of BDJF shows will happen on the Church Street Marketplace,  green spaces such as Roosevelt Park, Starr Farm Park & Playground and Smalley Park will also host performances. These include sets from Dwight & Nicole (Saturday, June 5), Kat Wright (Sunday, June 6) and Matthew Evan Taylor featuring JACK Quartet (Sunday, June 13). An extension of the Flynn's 2020 event series, Hurly Burly, the park shows will feature artists performing on makeshift stages wheeled in on the back of flatbed trucks.

Additionally, the entire block of Main Street in front of the Flynn will become a Hurly Burly block party on Saturday, June 12, with performances from Ray Vega and his Latin Jazz Sextet, plus psych fusion outfit Barika.
Other performances of note include what are being called "conversations" between disparate artists who've never previously worked together. Conceived of and curated by Saint Michael's College associate professor of art Bill Ellis, the unique pairings include saxophonist Brian McCarthy and rapper Edwin Owusu (fka S.I.N.siZZle), pianist Tom Cleary and Afro-jazz duo KeruBo's Irene Kerubo Webster, vocalist Amber deLaurentis and cumbia bandleader Maïz Sandoval, guitarists Paul Asbell and Mikahely, and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain with percussionist Gopal Niroula. Dates and times are TBA.

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Thursday, February 18, 2021

State Issues New Guidelines for Indoor Music Practice in Schools

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2021 at 4:20 PM

  • © JaCrispy |
The state of Vermont released new safety guidelines on Wednesday for in-person music education in schools. The pandemic-era protocols allow for indoor group practices under specific conditions for the first time since schools reopened in the fall. The move comes after months of advocacy by music educators pushing for the state to sanction indoor group rehearsals.

Among the guidelines are that musicians can play together indoors separated from each other at six-foot intervals. Rehearsal spaces must be equipped to complete three air exchanges per hour and one full exchange between rehearsals, which are limited to 30 minutes with no audiences.

Singers and musicians must wear masks at all times. Woodwind and brass players are permitted to wear masks with a slit for their instrument’s mouthpiece while playing. Those instruments must also be equipped with a bell cover — essentially a cloth mask for the end of the instrument.

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Monday, February 15, 2021

KeruBo Release New Vaccine-Themed Music Video, "Chanjo"

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2021 at 3:29 PM

KeruBo's Irene Kerubo Webster (center) with AALV staff in the "Chanjo" video - COURTESY OF KERUBO
  • Courtesy of KeruBo
  • KeruBo's Irene Kerubo Webster (center) with AALV staff in the "Chanjo" video
Though Vermont's COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been relatively smooth, Afro-jazz artist and social worker Irene Kerubo Webster has noticed some hesitancy to get vaccinated among the Burlington area's resettled African community. Originally from Kenya, Webster works for the Association of Africans Living in Vermont (AALV), a nonprofit that helps Africans and other New Americans living locally achieve independence and acculturation.

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Thursday, February 4, 2021

Waking Windows Postponed Until 2022

Posted By on Thu, Feb 4, 2021 at 3:37 PM

Australian rock band Pond performing at Waking Windows 2017 - FILE: LUKE AWTRY
  • File: Luke Awtry
  • Australian rock band Pond performing at Waking Windows 2017
Waking Windows has been pushed back to May 2022.

After all but confirming the postponement in a January email to Seven Days, the Winooski-based indie music and arts festival's organizers released a statement on Thursday announcing their decision to not go forward with the event this year due to continued safety concerns around the pandemic. The 2020 festival, which would have marked the event's tenth anniversary, was also canceled because of the coronavirus.

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Rough Francis Fire Bassist for Allegedly Attending 'Terrorist Insurrection' in D.C.

Posted By on Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 3:56 PM

Rough Francis at Waking Windows in 2018 - FILE: LUKE AWTRY PHOTOGRAPHY
  • File: Luke Awtry Photography
  • Rough Francis at Waking Windows in 2018
Rough Francis have fired bassist Dan Davine for allegedly attending what the band called "the terrorist insurrection" in Washington, D.C., on January 6, at which supporters of President Donald Trump rioted and stormed the U.S. Capitol building. The Burlington punk band announced the decision in a post on Instagram.

"Rough Francis is first and foremost a Black punk band," the post begins, "so when we heard that our bass player, Dan Davine, held views rooted in white supremacy and had attended the terrorist insurrection at the Capital [sic], we took swift and decisive action to immediately remove him from the band."

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Bob Wagner Saves Christmas With New COVID Carol

Posted By on Tue, Dec 22, 2020 at 2:33 PM

'This Is Christmas' screenshot - BOB WAGNER
  • Bob Wagner
  • 'This Is Christmas' screenshot
Christmas is this Friday. And, right on schedule, a jolly red elf has delivered a Christmas miracle.

No, we don't mean Santa — he's presumably tuning up the old sled while waiting for the second round of his coronavirus vaccine from Dr. Fauci.

Rather, the man in the red suit is none other than Burlington guitarist Bob Wagner, best known locally as a core member of Kat Wright's band. On Tuesday, Wagner  delivered an early stocking stuffer called "This Is Christmas." It's the COVID carol we didn't know we needed.

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