After talking with people and just keeping my ears open, one of the biggest things people are looking forward to returning to the Berkshires is live music. There have been many great virtual performances over the past year, but it's just not the same. The experience of a live concert is something that we all have been dying for.

Just being able to hang out with people, take in the fresh air and cheer for your favorite musicians; there's just no substitute for that experience. People definitely have been feeling the live music void lately. I know when outdoor dining returns to Railroad Street in Great Barrington later this spring, there will be some live mini performances spread around town which will be a nice change and a feeling of normalcy, somewhat.

Not only have us music lovers been clamoring for live concerts, the musicians and performers have been wanting to get out in front of a crowd and perform again. I know a few local musicians that have had a tough time dealing with being put on the shelf in the live performance world for over a year now. We'll take the little victories that come our way. Some live music is better than none. As long as we are responsible and a bit more cautious than in the past, live music should eventually make a full return. At least we hope so.

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Of course, one of the questions we have been receiving from listeners is if 'Sounds of Summer' would be returning this year. To be perfectly honest and clear, the answer is we don't know. At this point it's too early to tell and we are in a wait and see mode. All of us on staff would love to see the concert series make its return to the Great Barrington VFW but we just can't deliver a definitive answer at this point. The health and safety of the public is our top priority. We have to continue to monitor the latest conditions before making a big decision like that. Plus, the town and venue also have a say in if we can bring the popular concert series back this summer. There are definitely many moving parts that go into this.

I can say this much. IF 'Sounds of Summer' returns this year. We will be promoting it heavily and you'll without question know when and where it's happening. In the meantime, we need to continue to be vigilant with our health and safety so we can get past the pandemic and get back to cheering on our favorite local bands.

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