(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – The previously announced concert by indie-rock avatars Wilco at MASS MoCA on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, at 8pm, will be a benefit concert for the museum, with all proceeds of the rare, intimate performance before 1,000 lucky fans in the Hunter Center going to the cultural laboratory that has become a home-away-from-home for the group, which has made MASS MoCA the base of operations for its Solid Sound Festival for two years running (2010-2011) and will do so again next year on June 21, 2013.
In a break with the sometimes inconvenient – and frequently frustrating – tradition of awarding scarce concert tickets to the person who happens to be the first to break through a long telephone queue, tickets for the concert are being sold through a unique “Name Your Own Price” auction/lottery.
“It’s an experiment, which we hope proves to be more civilized, more fair, and more fun than the standard mode of ticket sales,” said MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson. “And we hope it brings MASS MoCA the strong charitable support which is at the heart of this special evening.”
The first 500 tickets will be sold to bidders who make the highest offers online at Wilco Benefit over a two-and-a-half-day period, beginning at 10am on Friday, April 13, and running through 10am on Monday, April 16.
To maximize the chance of getting tickets – and also to support MASS MoCA – bidders should make the highest offer they can. Those whose bids are not among the top 500 will still have a chance to score tickets to this performance when their bid is placed into a random lottery. Bidders drawn from a hat will be offered the opportunity to purchase a pair of tickets at the price named on their bid form.
All the proceeds of the concert will benefit the museum, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization. This special evening will take place in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center, an indoor venue which will have a capacity capped at 1,000, in a general admission, standing-room-only configuration.
“On a different and more intimate scale than Wilco’s other New England appearances, this will be a rare opportunity to feel Wilco’s ‘whole love’ up close,” said Joe Thompson. “The museum galleries will be open until 30 minutes before the performance that evening for those who want to take in some art as part of their visit.”
While Wilco is generally regarded as a Chicago-based band, in recent years the group has made Western Massachusetts a base of operations. Its management offices are now in Easthampton, Mass., in the Pioneer Valley, and MASS MoCA has become a frequent venue for the band’s performances as well as for shows, art exhibitions, and workshops by individual band members and their offshoot projects. The group also played Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass., several years ago.
Wilco’s latest album is the Grammy-nominated The Whole Love.
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Jeff Tweedy formed Wilco in the mid-1990s. The Whole Love is the third album by the band’s current lineup, which solidified in 2004 when guitarist Nels Cline and guitarist/keyboardist Patrick Sansone joined Tweedy, founding bassist John Stirratt, drummer Glenn Kotche and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen. Together, they released Sky Blue Sky in 2007 and the Grammy-nominated Wilco (The Album) in 2009.
Wilco has won Grammy Awards for its 2004 release A Ghost is Born, in the Best Alternative Album and Best Recording Package categories. Wilco?s Jeff Tweedy won a Grammy award as producer for Mavis Staples 2010 album You Are Not Alone. Staples performed at MASS MoCA with Tweedy as part of the 2010 Solid Sound Festival.
Wilco has released 10 studio albums to date, including Mermaid Avenue Volumes 1 & 2, which, in collaboration with British folk singer Billy Bragg, set original music to song lyrics by the truest of American icons, songwriter Woody Guthrie.
Wilco’s dBpm Records is a full-service label releasing all future Wilco recordings and more. ANTI- Records provides distribution and additional label services for all dBpm releases. In 2010 Wilco, in collaboration with MASS MoCA created the Solid Sound Festival, a three-day event of music, art, comedy and culture. The festival returns to MASS MoCA on June 21, 2013.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located off Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA is an independent 501c(3) whose operations and programming are funded through admissions and commercial lease revenue, corporate and foundation grants, and individual philanthropy. Except for an initial construction grant from the Commonwealth, and competitive program and operations grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MASS MoCA is privately funded: 90% of annual operating revenues are from earned revenues, membership support, and private gifts and grants.