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One last howl

Mabee Farm closes successful summer concert series

Outside the 250-year-old Dutch barn on Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction, families gathered with picnic baskets, blankets or just a lawn chair for the final Howling at the Moon concert of the season on Friday, Aug. 27.

The concert series coincided with the full moons over the summer, which allowed nature to really set the dates. Attendance in the second season doubled, with 100 to 150 people showing up on an average night, said Dale Wade-Keszey, volunteer and coordinator and of the concert series.

We started this event to begin to use the barn as a music venue, said Keszey. "A lot of people come here for historic reasons but the acoustics in the barn is unbelievable."

Holding the concert series has helped establish the barn as a music venue, said Keszey. Using the cycle of full moon allowed the farm to "mix it up a bit," he said, so the concert wasn't just on one designated night. He hoped this would allow for different people to be able to attend the concerts if one night didn't work out for them.

An extra hour was added onto the final event, and free hot dogs were given out with drinks available for purchase. A typical night has two to three singers opening the concert and then a main band headlining.

"We provide an hour of solid, basically professional musicians, but we also give the singer-songwriters in the area a chance to showcase their material," said Keszey. "It is a nice balance. It gives the singer-songwriters an opportunity to play in front of a big crowd too."

The audience has been very attentive, too, which can be hard to find at some venues, said Keszey.

"They're sitting there listening to your music," said Keszey. "The musicians really like to play here because they have a good attentive audience, and it is a very appreciative audience."

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