- Courtesy image
- The Wailers, who will perform at the Essex Experience Green on April 20
Calling it their "go-big-or-go-home year," Double E Performance Center general manager Jesse Rivers unveiled the lineup for the 2023 Old Stage Summer Concert Series at the Essex Experience, announcing the music venue's largest list of live outdoor concerts to date. Unveiled on Friday, the partial list of shows included a dozen national touring acts — with another six to eight acts expected to be announced in the coming months — whose genres range from classic rock and hip-hop to Southern blues and instrumental dub.
The third annual outdoor concert series kicks off on April 20 with some chill vibes and classic reggae beats when the Double E welcomes the Wailers, Bob Marley's legendary band. The family-friendly, all-ages show, which will be held outdoors on the Green in the Essex Experience, will be followed by an after-party featuring jazz-fusion band the Most Wanted, along with a 4/20 screening of the 1936 pot-paranoia classic Reefer Madness.
Other national acts announced on Friday include Melvin Seals & JGB (July 7); Keller Williams (August 6); the North Mississippi Allstars (July 29); and classic rock tribute bands EagleMania (June 17), Back in Black (July 2) and Tusk (July 8). The last three bands perform the music of the Eagles, AC/DC and Fleetwood Mac, respectively.
“We’re hitting all types of genres ... At the end of the day, we’re trying to build community, and it takes all kinds of people to make community work,” Rivers added. “I truly think this is the year the Essex Experience acquires a national name."
The concert series will complement other outdoor happenings at the Essex Experience, including 10 Trucks, Taps and Tunes events, held every Wednesday starting on June 14 and featuring six to eight local food trucks, beer and free live music.
Friday's announcement, held at the Double E, is part of a larger effort by Essex Experience owner Peter Edelmann to transform the shopping mall into a town center and Vermont-centric tourist attraction.
The press event also featured other news about the Essex Experience, including the groundbreaking of a new event space at the nearby Essex Resort & Spa, which will involve an expansion of its village green for hosting live concerts and other outdoor events.
Also in the works is a proposed expansion of Magic Mann, a cannabis dispensary at the Essex Experience. If approved by the Town of Essex Selectboard at its May 1 meeting, the expansion would involve converting two adjacent retail spaces into a cannabis grow, extraction and edible-processing facility, all outfitted for a publicly accessible factory tour.
Pointing to the enormous success of Ben & Jerry's factory tour in Waterbury Village, which draws tens of thousands of tourists to Vermont each year, Edelmann said the Magic Mann tour would enable the public to see how cannabis is cultivated and processed into THC-infused edibles. Assuming the proposal is OK'd by the town and the Vermont Cannabis Control Board, the cannabis factory tour would be the first of its kind in Vermont.
“We're trying to educate people on beer, on wine, on coffee, on art and on music here,” Edelmann said, referring to other retail outlets at the Essex Experience. “We want to educate people on cannabis, as well.
“We’re not sure if we’ll charge for that tour or give a [THC] gummy at the end. We might,” he added.
For a complete listing of Double E shows and to buy tickets, click here.