The Barrettstown Farmhouse and The Jason Spooner Band decided “to make lemonade out of lemons” by joining forces for a free meadow "Summer Squeeze!" concert Saturday, Aug. 15. Doors open at 5 p.m. for the 6 p.m. show. Admission is free; social distancing and masks are required.

Jason Spooner, bandleader of the Jason Spooner Band, is no stranger to the Midcoast region or to the Camden/Rockport/Hope area. He lived on Lake Megunticook after graduating from Colby College and wrote the majority of the songs that eventually became his first album in a quiet lake house that provided endless inspiration. Twenty years later, he returned to Camden with his band to record their fifth studio album, “Chemical,” at Hearstudios with his college classmate and Hope native Jason Hearst. He is constantly finding reasons to come back. In the fall of 2020, the band returned for the album release party celebrating their most recent recording, "Wide Eyed," which they performed in its entirety at Barrettstown Farmhouse in Hope. The band is looking forward to performing a unique summer concert series this year on Aug. 15 back at Barrettstown despite a challenging juncture for performing musicians and for restaurants.

Jessi Wootton, the owner of The Barrettstown Farmhouse, explains that despite not being able to open her restaurant this summer due to COVID-19, she saw a unique opportunity to safely present some live music in the large meadow behind her building as a way to encourage a small sense of community at a time when we all clearly seem to be needing it.

“Jason and I were talking and commiserating about how the restaurant and music industries were both hit particularly hard by the current situation. We joked about the idea of making lemonade out of lemons and we realized that we had the ingredients to do something special for an area of Maine in which live music is down to a trickle," Wootton said. "I had a huge meadow behind my restaurant where social distancing would be practical and Jason had a great band who was looking to get back to this area to play live. We decided to roll with the idea and the concept of the Summer Squeeze concert and community event was born!”

She said the two started to explore the idea of a simple get-together in the backyard of the restaurant where people could come, lay out a blanket or set up lawn chair, bring a picnic and just enjoy the spacious surroundings while listening to a live band. "We agreed that it would be a lovely way to say goodbye to summer.”

Spooner adds, “Jess and I have always enjoyed collaborating on events and, despite the challenges, this year, we both felt that there was an opportunity to support each other here by getting creative. We both love this area of Maine and we’re happy to offer a unique event at a strange time that has the potential to remind everyone that community is the core of getting to the other side of this and that we’re all in this together.”

The meadow behind Barrettstown Farmhouse will be accessible to the public starting at 5 p.m. Onsite parking is provided. Guests are welcome to bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnics.

The event is limited to 100 people, so please call 207-763-3463 or email barrettstownfarmhouse@gmail.com to reserve your spot. Reservations will be on a first come, first served basis. The Barrettstown Farmhouse is located at 42 Hatchet Mountain Road.