Heading to the Beck concert at Mass MoCA? Here's what you should know


NORTH ADAMS -- City officials and event organizers say 5,000 concert-goers will descend upon North Adams this Tuesday for one of the region's biggest events of the summer.

Critically acclaimed music artist Beck is scheduled to hit the stage Tuesday night at Joe's Field at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts.

"We've hosted more than 5,000 people for events in the past, but those have been drawn out over three days," Mass MoCA's Director of Communications Jodi Joseph said. "This is the first time we expect this many visitors to the museum who will all be wanting to get here in a very short window."

Joseph and officials cautioned city residents to expect some traffic delays on Tuesday between 4 and 9 p.m. Attendees are being encouraged to park in four remote lots around the city and take shuttle service, which begins at 4 p.m.

Lots at the Harriman and West Airport on State Road (Route 2) and on Avon Street, next to the Shell Gas Station on State Road, will serve those coming from the west.

Attendees coming from points south can park at the former North Adams Plaza, across from Excelsior Printing at 1466 Curran Highway (Route 8), or at Tractor Supply and Ocean State Job Lot at 830 Curran Highway.

Joseph said that paving on Route 2 in Williamstown is expected on Tuesday and that drivers should plan accordingly.

Mayor Richard J. Alcombright said the city has been "intimately involved" with logistics around the concert and a committee met several times to explore discuss things from traffic control to beautifying the downtown.

"We can't see a downside," Alcombright said, noting the economic benefit to the city. "With what little inconvenience there is, it's worth every minute of it."

Lt. David Sacco of the North Adams Police Department said extra patrols will be put in place as early as 4 p.m. through the concert's end time. Officers will be at busy areas to direct traffic afterward, he said. Traffic lights will remain in flash mode, but could be turned on if there are issues.

The only planned street closure will be Marshall Street, he said, between St. Anthony Drive and River Street.

Joseph said attendees have been encouraged to arrive early by promoting Sunday's Iron and Wine concert, with the idea concert-goers would come for an extended visit. Those with Beck tickets receive $10 off admission to the galleries on Tuesday, she said, and information on local businesses were provided.

Veronica Bosley, the city's director of tourism and special events, said the concert is a boon to local hotels, eateries and stores.

"To have an artist like Beck in town is amazing," she said. "It's wonderful that people are coming to associate North Adams with critically acclaimed musical acts, especially since we're such a small community."

She also referenced the city's growing local music scene, along with upcoming Fresh Grass and Bang on a Can festivals at Mass MoCA, as helping establish the city as a place for musician.

To reach Edward Damon:
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