It was the summer that never was, until now.
After being closed for the whole of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cape Cod Melody Tent will be back this year with an extended season and a mix of performers originally slated for last year as well as new additions for 2021.
“It was hard to waste a year,” says Tony Raine, production manager at The Melody Tent. “94 was my first summer (working here) so seeing a season with nothing was pretty hard to take. “
Evan Frye, who has worked as a marketing coordinator for the Melody Tent and the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset since 2017, shares the same sentiment.
“Summer is always the busy time and there was nothing (in 2020) and we didn’t know what to do,” he says. “We do live entertainment so without being able to do that it was a weird time for sure and I’m glad we are able to do shows again.”
This year will bring a full schedule, although it starts later than normal – July 23 instead of the typical June due to pushing COVID-19 issues. To make up for lost time at the start of the season, the Melody tent will do something it has never done before: extend the music and shows after Labor Day.
“We added three weeks later and we hope and pray that time will stay with us and the people,” Raine says. “We’ve never been so late.
There was a lot of uncertainty in planning this summer, as Raine and his colleagues stepped into winter and saw the 2021 season on the horizon.
“(The performers) didn’t really know what was going on either, the agents and everyone were jostling each other, so everyone was trying to keep as much information as possible and hoping we could come back,” Raine said of the fact. of securing the shows for 2021. “We were able to put together a fairly complete season for this year.”
The revamped 2021 season kicks off on July 23 with ska band The Skatelites and reggae band Third World.
Raine says he and the staff at Melody Tent are hoping to “put the audience in a party mood” with these bands to begin the return of the tent.
Many shows that were slated to take place in 2020 have been successfully rescheduled, including Blues Traveler (August 15) and Led Zeppelin tribute band Get the Led Out (September 12).
Familiar faces that stop by every year, like The Fab Four (July 31) and The Temptations & The Four Tops (August 22), will also be returning. There are also some notable new additions to the 2021 calendar, such as Melissa Etheridge (August 29), Grand Funk Railroad (September 10), and Air Supply (August 8).
Frye says there is an effort to “make the Melody Tent the perfect place to see country music this summer.” Justin Moore (August 1), Lee Brice (August 21) and Kip Moore (September 25) are among those expected to play.
Returning the beloved Cape Town venue to service is certainly a relief for everyone involved, officials say, which includes a long list of workers many of whom don’t realize extends far beyond comfortable limits. of 21 West Main St. in Hyannis.
Raine works directly with the production people and touring directors for each artist, helping to “make sure the shows happen,” and he says they were “devastated” to have been off the road for a while. year. Everyone was at a standstill, from bus drivers and sound technicians to lighting companies and more.
“It’s very difficult, and you’ve heard everyone talk a lot during the pandemic, about the ‘gig economy’ now that it has become kind of a slogan for anyone who is an Uber driver for anything, but the gig economy started in our business, “he says.” You were only working when you had a gig so that really stopped a lot of us. Then there are the small clubs and local bands. , everyone was nailed.
What changes, what does not change
For the most part, the Melody tent will be exactly the same as you remember it from two years ago. One change will be that this year new big screen TVs will be added outside around the tent near the concession stands as a kind of relaxation for those who may still feel uncomfortable being in an area. overcrowded. Or who just want to get some fresh air.
“If people aren’t comfortable and decide to lay down, they can get out of the tent, have a beer and see the action onscreen,” says Raine.
The tent will operate at full capacity, but will take COVID-19 precautions. Raine and Frye confirm that all Melody Tent employees have been vaccinated, and Raine says they expect teams and performers to be vaccinated as well.
“If they’re not, we’ve put tests in place,” he says.
For patrons, says Frye, “we’re going to rely on the honor system. If you are not vaccinated, it is advisable to wear a mask but we will not verify. We will provide you with masks if you want one.
Otherwise, he and Raine say there is no change in the sustainable operation.
“We have a story. We’ve been here since 1951, ”says Raine. “We are the oldest (music) venue in Cape Town in terms of continued operation. With the exception of last year, we’re doing what we’re doing and can’t wait to get back to it.
Some upcoming concerts
For the full schedule and for tickets and information: https://melodytent.org/.
July 23: Skatelites and the Third World
July 29: An Evening with Cape Symphony – “Sinatra! »With special guest Brian Duprey
1st of August : Justin moore
August 6: An evening with Straight No Chaser
August 8: An evening with fresh air
August 15th : Blues Traveler, JJ Gray & Mofro
August 19: An evening of stand-up comedy with Mike Birbiglia
August 22: An evening with temptations and the four spinning tops
August 26: Boston Comedy Blowout
August 29: An Evening with Melissa Etheridge: Tour 2021
September 10: Grand Funk Railway
September 12: An evening with Get The Led Out – Tribute to Led Zeppelin