Pandemic inspires Backyard Acoustic Music series in Farmington

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FARMINGTON – The Backyard Acoustic Music series held its final session on Sunday, October 4, with Louisa stancioff as the season’s final featured artist singing and playing acoustic guitar in the Hidden Garden of Middle Street.

The Sunday sessions featured a total of five female performers throughout September and the first week of October in Megan Brown’s backyard, where people could gather with blankets and snacks for listen to live music. Brown’s yard is large enough for 30 people to attend events while meeting social distancing guidelines, and she said most people wear masks.

Amber Stone, lead organizer and co-owner of Twice Sold Tales, was looking for a safe space to host community events again after having to cancel the bookstore’s poetry and writing events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Megan Brown hosted the Backyard acoustic music series at her home on Middle Street in Farmington every Sunday in September and the first week of October. Amber Stone, co-owner of Twice Sold Tales, helped organize the five featured artists and hopes to host more events in Brown’s yard. Photo courtesy of Megan Brown

Since we took over, events have been very important to us and we haven’t been able to do it indoors because of COVID, ”said Stone, who took over Twice Sold Tales with Ben Hanstein’s last year. “So it was a good opportunity to participate in an event that is not in the bookstore.”

Inspiration for the musical series came as Stone interviewed Megan Brown in her backyard.

“It was midsummer, and it’s just beautiful there and totally hidden away,” Stone said. “It’s right on Middle Street and it’s hidden from the road, so I was immediately like, ‘How can we use this backyard for more events? “”

Brown described the backyard as very much like Martha Stewart and said the owners of the home have invested over 20 years in creating gardens that continuously bloom during the warmer months.

Brown moved into the Middle Street home in May and was busy establishing a home bakery on the location, Meg’s Sweets. By the time Stone approached Brown about the idea of ​​hosting a concert series, she was already looking for a way to give back to a community that had shown enormous support for her new venture.

“I was overwhelmed by the city giving me back. I struggled a bit at the start of the year and unforeseen things happened, ”said Brown. “And I ended up moving, and then i found this place and people gave so much and just helped me get back to normal so to speak and i just got thif it was a good idea to help give back as much as I could on my own.

The musicians were also positively affected by Brown and Stone’s collaboration, which provided a safe space to perform during the pandemic.

“Usually I do at least three tours per year and usually one of them will last a month, another will last a week, another will last two weeks. And then there are little shows between the two ”, last featured artist and native of Chesterville Louisa Stancioff said in a telephone interview.

Over the past six months, Stancioff said she had only performed at one other small gig and was thrilled to have the opportunity to perform at the Middle Street site.

“I had high hopes for the summer, but alas,” she said in a whimsical tone.

Stancioff usually performs with her cousin in their band called Dyado which she describes as folk and roll. The pandemic has forced the group to take a break for now, and Stancioff said she has written a fair amount of new music which she first performed in Brown’s backyard.

“All of the musicians have been so thankful to have this place and to be able to do what they love and make some money,” said Brown, who donated all ticket sales to Star Musician of the Week. .

As winter approaches, Brown and Stone are already planning another season for the musical series as they anticipate another unpredictable spring.

“I have one feel things aren’t going to be normal, so to speak, next year either, ”said Brown, who is excited to start the series next spring when the garden is teeming with flowers.

Even though the musical series ended this year, the events in the backyard are not yet over. Stone is currently hosting a screening of Gather, a film about indigenous peoples claiming their cultural identity through food sovereignty.


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