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New Hampshire Concerts & Events

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One of the original 13 colonies, New Hampshire is a tiny New England state known for its national parks, wildlife, and Atlantic Ocean access. Its entertainment offerings appeal mostly to nature lovers and outdoorsy adventurers. Although New Hampshire is not known for having a robust music scene, those who know where to go and what to look out for can tap into the high points of its sound.

New Hampshire organizers work to collaborate across city lines.

Throughout the state, event planners, hosts, and organizers strive to connect musicians from around New Hampshire. This effort is meant to unite those interested in New Hampshire music into a community. Even though this goal has yet to be realized, residents interested in music benefit. One example of this noble effort is the Homegrown Stage that plays a large part in the annual Market Days Festival that takes place for three days every summer. Although it is based in downtown Concord and hosts mainly artists from the area to stick to the “homegrown” theme, the festival pulls in a number of solo artists and bands from around New Hampshire. Creators built network and collaborate, reaching out to larger audiences and developing new sounds. Concord locals and concert attendees enjoy the exposure to new sounds.

Because of its age, New Hampshire has an array of historic venues.

Being one of the oldest states in the union, New Hampshire has some history. Although its music history is not exceptionally expansive, the state has some noteworthy historic venues to see. The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, opened in 1899, is one of these spots. It does not look particularly old school, but its stage has held national acts in music, comedy, and the performance arts. It is open for an 8-moth April through November season. An almost equally aged building, the Rochester Opera House was constructed in 1908. What makes it special is that is the only theater in the world that still has the ability to raise at an incline for premier amphitheater seating and flood dancing. The Palace Theater was built shortly after in 1915. Its notable past is that is welcomed famous vaudeville performers, such as Harry Houdini and the Marx Brothers, before welcoming Broadway to its stages.

For concert attendees who are looking for something with a more cool, contemporary appeal, New Hampshire has options. The Stone Church Meeting House is one of these spots, a downtown Newmarket music club that focuses on rock. Built in 1841, the venues has undergone extensive modifications over the years, but its feel is more laid back legendary as opposed to stiff historic. They even offer a full menu and tons of beer on tap. Milly’s Tavern, Fody’s Great American Tavern, and The Shaskeen are other great venues for live music.

New Hampshire’s entertainment industry—including the music industry—blooms in warmer months.

Like many northern states, New Hampshire endures cold, harsh winters, often dipping below the 30s. With large sectors of nature in the state, winter weather is even more alienating, a time for hibernation. Perhaps as a response to these periods of limited activity, the summer months bring in tourists and offer a slew of activities special to warmer weather. Music is one of the domains impacted by these seasonal shifts. During New Hampshire summers, there is an influx of outdoor festivals and concerts, and venue options expand as outdoor venues open for the season.

New Hampshire Public Radio has an entire column devoted to this topic called the Summer Music Series as part of All Things Considered. It highlights performers, festivals, and venues that compose New Hampshire’s summer music culture. This summer is coming to an end, but over its course, artists such as Chelsea Paolini, Luke Moss, and Theo Martey have been interviewed and featured. Those looking for trends in New Hampshire’s music—such as 80s synth, Ghana’s traditional sounds with a contemporary twist, or DIY instruments such as steel drums—will find out how summer months expedite their development. Tourists and local who want to be in-the-know about live music will find hot content in warmer weather.