NORTH ADAMS -- It may have been hard to tell that Wilco, the alternative rock band behind the Solid Sound Festival, was in town Tuesday, but according to Mass MoCA officials, the band's one-night-only special benefit concert was a success.
"It was a completely different atmosphere, but the band planned a very special concert for us; donating their time and the proceeds from the concert to us," MoCA Director Joseph Thompson said Friday. "We had about 1,000 people here, who most likely spent the night and left the next day, without much being seen by the community in the same palpable sense."
While totals from the benefit concert at not in yet, Thompson said he expected it to be in the high "five figures" with the funds benefiting the museum's education and art programs.
"It was an extraordinary thing to do," he said. "The response from the fans was just as magnificent as the performance."
After two successful years of holding the Solid Sound Festival at the museum, Wilco put the three-day event on hiatus this year as they focused on a year-long world tour to promote their latest album.
However, Wilco has already committed to bringing the festival back to the city, next June 21 to 23.
"We're already looking forward to it," Thompson said. "The band curates the entire festival and does the heavy curatorial lifting in January and February. They knew last year that they'd be traveling throughout the year and didn't
He added, "The band spoke very glowingly from the stage about North Adams. There was a very authentic feeling about their admiration for the town, the community and Mass MoCA."
The band also has been promoting the 2013 festival during its tour and has a large banner with a picture from Mass MoCA displayed at every concert as well, Thompson said.
To make up for the festival's hiatus, the band put together the benefit concert, which used a unique ticket purchasing system -- 500 tickets were auctioned off and another 500 were awarded through a lottery system.
"Wilco's fans were quite generous," he said. "Tickets for their concerts typically range between $40 to $50. A majority of the tickets went for double that or more. It was a unique experience, where the person on your left could have paid $35 for their ticket and the person on your right could have paid $600."
Thompson also acknowledged Tony Margherita Management, of Northampton, for putting together the benefit concert.
"Wilco could have taken a well-deserved night off from their concert tour, but they came here," he said. "What else can we say, but thank you."
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email