06 May Bank of NH Pavilion Gearing Up for Concert Season
There’s something special about summertime in the Lakes Region. The warm evenings just seem to call for relaxing outdoors with friends and music, perhaps around a campfire, with the fresh lake air cooling as the sun sets behind the distant hills. For generations, folks here have enjoyed many such evenings at family camps and vacation spots, including one private property on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee that was destined to evolve into New England’s premiere outdoor concert venue, drawing artists and guests from all over the country.
The Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, once known as Meadowbrook Farm, is an 8,000-seat amphitheater in Gilford, New Hampshire, overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. Spanning over two centuries, Meadowbrook Farm was once a tree farm owned by the Miller family, who used the land for summer vacations, weekend excursions, and a place for family time and entertainment. Each member of the Miller family was musically gifted and could play an instrument. This was often showcased at intimate concerts with friends and immediate family during visits to Meadowbrook Farm.
Bob Harding, developer of a nearby resort, would look to the abutting Miller Compound and see a simple field filled with music and family love. As time moved on and lands changed ownership, Bob Harding’s vision of the Miller’s fields remained, and the idea of Meadowbrook as we know it was born.
In 1996, Meadowbrook opened to the public as a small concert venue consisting of temporary staging, 2,500 temporary seats, and room for another 2,000 lawn guests. Meadowbrook’s inaugural season kicked off with legendary Johnny Cash on Labor Day weekend. Tickets were offered at $17.00, and the biggest hurdle of the weekend was convincing ticketholders that the performer would truly be the one and only Johnny Cash!
20 years later, the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion has grown in both size and reputation. This once musical tree farm has become a nationally recognized and respected state-of-the-art venue that now hosts scores of critically acclaimed music and comedic acts, with 5,746 reserved seats under the pavilion roof and 2,806 general admission lawn seats, offering a 9,600 guest capacity. The Pavilion has received six nominations from the Academy of Country Music Association for Venue of the Year, standing alongside of such prestigious venues as The Grand Ole Opry and The Ryman Auditorium. In addition, the Pavilion won Pollstar Magazine’s Red Rocks Award for best small outdoor venue four times, and was named USA Today’s 10 Best Concert Venues in the USA.
“This would not have been possible without the amazing support and loyalty from the New Hampshire community,” says Marci DeCarli, Director of Marketing for the Pavilion. “It is extremely important the venue be cognizant of where it came from and who put it here.”
Ever mindful of its roots, the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion is a strong supporter of the community that has helped it grow. Each year, the Pavilion hosts the Gilford High School graduation along with other local high school and college graduations, as well as other community events. The Magic Hat Stage at Meadowbrook showcases many talented, homegrown musicians throughout the season. These local talents take the stage once the gates open and provide entertainment prior to the start of the main stage show.
This year’s concert season is shaping up to be “one of the busiest yet,” says Marci. “We have several mini-residencies with artists spending more than one night with us, including Dave Matthews Band, Keith Urban, Darius Rucker, and Florida Georgia Line. Our schedule reaches audiences of all kinds and will include a couple more shows before we’re done!”
“We’re bringing the focus to our fan experience, which we started last season and will continue to expand upon in the future,” Marci continues. “This includes interesting interactive elements both in the midway as well as in the parking areas. We’re also super-excited to announce our new full-service food and beverage partner, Best Beverage Catering. With a specific expertise in concert events and the music industry, BBC was handpicked to join the Bank of NH Pavilion family and is working diligently to bring professional staff, use of local vendors and food suppliers, and additional points of sale which will reduce wait times in line.”
“Feedback is very important to us,” explains Marci. “We listen to each and every comment, both good and bad, to determine how and if we can make things better and more entertaining for both concertgoers and artists. Backstage, we offer the ultimate ‘working vacation’ for the artists. From boat rides on the lake and kicking back with our ‘camp-like’ feel, to mountain biking around our 90+ acres of property, artists enjoy their stay while they’re here. Concertgoers are being catered to as well. We pride ourselves on being a family-friendly venue, the cleanliness of our facilities, the fun meter pegged at 100% the minute they drive on to the property. We’ve addressed parking issues, and we’re working on addressing long lines, etc. with fun programming and more.”
New this year, the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion has two options for tenting on site with their full campground facilities, including festival-style as well as natural landscaped, wooded camping tent sites, so concertgoers can spend the night just a few steps from the concert area!
In addition, Mill Falls at the Lake is now the official lodging partner for Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion. Located just 8 miles away in Meredith, NH, Mill Falls at the Lake offers four charming Inns, where ticketholders can enjoy the special ‘Show and Stay’ offer and receive 20% off lodging Sunday through Thursday. For reservations, please call 603-279-7006.
“Welcome back to those returning for more shows during the 2016 Eastern Propane Concert Series,” says Marci. “And, for those who’ve never been, this the year to check us out. We’re the premiere outdoor music venue in New England – don’t miss out on becoming part of the fun!”
For more information, the concert schedule, and tickets, please visit the Pavilion’s website at www.banknhpavilion.com or call 603-293-4700.
Don’t miss the experience of seeing some of your favorite bands in such a beautiful spot on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee!
The Mill Falls Blogging Team