Spring and Summer Cultural News from Massachusetts

Springtime in Massachusetts is a chance to embrace sporting events, film, poetry and farmers markets with the summertime bringing the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors with hot music festivals and cultural weekends.

For film buffs, the 11th annual Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston) will take place 24th to 30th of April at Boston’s historic art-house cinemas. Over 20,000 people attend this celebration of film each year with approximately 100 films being screened for the first time in the area. Most films are followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker and cast. Visitors can see the films by buying individual tickets or by purchasing an all-access pass to the entire festival. For more information visit: www.iffboston.org/

Springtime sees the beginning of the farmer’s market season and features many ‘outdoorsy’ shows and festivals. The Sheepshearing Festival (www.goreplace.org/sheepshearing.htm) held on April 27th in Waltham and Northampton’s Twist Fair (www.twistfair.com) in May (date TBC) are examples of enjoyable events and feature craft and art shows, live music, locally sourced food and other wholesome activities which will add a local flavour to a fly drive tour of Massachusetts.

On April 27th, Jazz lovers can enjoy MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) golden anniversary of Jazz. The 50th anniversary will premiere an original piece by Chick Corea, one of the most influential and widely studied Jazz musicians in the last 40 years and an 18-time Grammy Award winner. For more information, visit MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences website: www.shass.mit.edu/research/spotlight/jazz

For lovers of language and for writers who inspire, the Massachusetts Poetry Festival held in Salem during May 3rd – 5th will be an ideal event. Guests can embark upon creative voyages of the mind. To learn about the poets who will be portraying their pieces and to discover more about the event, visit: www.masspoetry.org

The Solid Sound Festival takes place during June 21st – 23rd. It is a three day celebration of music, comedy, art and community held at the Mass MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) in the scenic small town of North Adams in The Berkshires. For more information visit: www.solidsoundfestival.com

The St. Peter’s Fiesta event is a five day festival honouring the patron saint of the fisherman St. Peter and will run during June 26th – 30th. The festival is put on by the Italian American community of Gloucester. With a carnival, Seine Boat Racing and the Greasy Pole contest, this eye opening event is not one to be missed. Learn more at: www.stpetersfiesta.org

During the heat of summer (held on July 19th – 20th), artists and festival goers converge on Davis Square to enjoy the ArtBeat festival in Somerville. Transforming the area into one of the largest and most innovative art events in the region, the festival will feature music stages, dance troupes, 75 craft vendors, food and activities relating to this years ‘micro’ (small-thinking) event theme. Visit: www.somervilleartscouncil.org/artbeat/2013

Throughout July and August, the 2013 Tanglewood (a festival located in the Berkshire Hills) season honours festival tradition by presenting the BSO (Boston Symphony Orchestra) and many of the top artists of the classical music world in weekend concerts. On the 500 acre campus, previous memorable performances have been from Miles Davis, Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis and Natalie Cole. For details of the line-up and for further information visit: www.bso.org

From July 26th – 28th, WGBH (public broadcast station in Boston) and The Boston Globe are bringing the Summer Arts Weekend back to Boston after its success during last year’s inaugural event. This free weekend features a dynamic variety of musical artists from across the classical, jazz, blues, folk and Americana genres as well as a number of new arts, food and cultural programmes. To keep updated, visit: www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/summer_arts_weekend/2013

August is the time for the New England Country Music Festival held at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Falling on the 23rd to 24th, the festival features a headlining performance by Kenny Chesney, a popular American country music singer and songwriter. For further details visit: www.gillettestadium.com/country-music-festival

To read about the rebirth of the Boston to Cape Cod Rail Service click here…