Concert Venues Not Casual Enough? How About a Dairy Barn?

These folks could be sitting next to you at the Olympic Music Festival.(Photo: justthatgoodguyjim (Flickr))
These folks could be sitting next to you at the Olympic Music Festival.(Photo: justthatgoodguyjim (Flickr))

For the last decade or so, classical music performances have been moonlighting beyond the concert hall in places like bars, city streets, train stations and even trains themselves.

So why not hold a music festival in a barn?

That’s exactly what the folks at the Olympic Music Festival in Quilcene, Washington, have done for the last 28 years. Church pews and bales of hay pass for seats in the converted dairy barn where the festival’s chamber music concerts take place each summer. Audience members and performers dress in jeans. Clapping and chewing the cud between movements are highly encouraged.

But don’t be fooled by the casual venue: the Olympic Music Festival is known for attracting world-class chamber musicians. This year’s lineup features, among other artists, former Columbus Symphony Orchestra concertmaster-turned-chamber musician Charles Wetherbee.

Read more: Olympic Music Festival (website)

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