It’s all about honoring the stage. That one thing. No bar, no kitchen – the music is the mission.

Stage 33 Live’s COVID policy may change without warning if emerging conditions warrant, but at the time of this publication is as follows: “If you aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19, we request that you wear a mask and maintain a six-foot social distance at our events. Vaccinated people are also welcome to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Our chairs are movable and configurable – if you need or wish to make a social-distanced seating pod for your party, arrive early and we’ll help you do it. Note that the three front rows aren’t available as pod space, and people who have already arrived and have chosen their seats will not be expected to move. GUIDANCE MAY CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. Note that some shows may have tighter restrictions by the performer’s request. Any additional per-show guidance will be found on the individual show pages on this website.”

Nearing-the-end-of-July COVID-19 update: New cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are now rising in almost every state in the country. The daily average of confirmed cases in the US has nearly tripled in the past month. Deaths have about doubled in the past couple weeks. Most of it is the Delta variant.

The good news is that current modeling suggests that it’ll level off. The bad news is that this is happening during the season when respiratory virus transmission is typically the lowest.

We want to be crystal clear that no, we’re not “living in fear” or “sheeple” or “hysterical” or “suckered by the mainstream media.” It’s never our intention to be confrontational dicks, but if anyone thinks we’re little weenies because of our concern for the health and wellbeing of our community and the performers, we cordially invite them to exercise their freedom to not come to our shows.

Vermont is in great shape and it doesn’t seem likely at this point that COVID will come back and bite us… but if flare-ups start happening in neighboring states, we’re probably looking at another border ban and that would nix the touring folks. If it comes to that, but there’s not another gathering ban, and the 33 Bridge Street owners and tenants OK it, we’ll run whatever shows we can. The Stage 33 Live crew is vaxxed.

Yes, at this point that scenario is completely, totally, entirely speculative – but it’s something we have to consider. We have a responsibility to our community, and it’s increasingly clear that weird times ain’t done.

Our normal fall-through-spring season is still slated to start at the end of August. In the meantime, shows are starting to burst out at other venues… go ye hither (while you can)! Note that some places are restricting attendance to vaccinated people only, and the likelihood that we’ll need to implement that rule as well is increasing. We will follow guidelines issued by recognized authorities and any requirements of the 33 Bridge Street building owners and tenants when and if guidelines and requirements are issued.

Hey, you should make our mostly-dormant newsletter your new friend.

Stage 33 Live is a welcoming, casual, scrappy but well-mannered, big-hearted, nonprofit listening room in an industrial-rustic former factory with 40 seats, run by chipper upstart adult volunteers on an island in the rural Vermont village of Bellows Falls on the Connecticut River bordering New Hampshire.

Imagine a state-of-the-art, million-dollar performance center… got it? That’s not us. We’re also not a bar, club, or restaurant. But we’re not savages either – there’s coffee, soda, water, and snacks by donation.

We’re real, we operate on a human scale, yet our boots-on-the-ground core team and advisers bring a couple hundred years’ worth of experience in this stuff to the table. How such a thing improbably coalesced here in the sticks is a mystery.

inside and outside

We started this for our own local and regional composing musicians and spoken word presenters of original work. Along the way, we’ve attracted the attention of performers bigger than we are who asked to come play too. Cool.

The room has mostly defined itself as an acoustic folk/Americana singer-songwriter place, but we run jazz, pop, spoken word, rock, and more. Best way to be in the loop about what and when things are happening is to sign up for the email newsletter.

Although our listening events are intimate and informal and friendly, they’re rarely a good environment for squalling babies, ADHD kiddos, or disruptive adults. It’s all about honoring the stage. Cell phones off, pop a lozenge if you’ve got a cough, be attentive. Applaud like crazy though! Cheer a great solo, laugh loud at a good joke, or groan loud at a bad one. Heck, heckle in good nature if it seems appropriate. But honor the stage.

Seating is limited to 40 – first come, first served. For shows with advance tickets, the chairs up front are reserved for people who bought those. After the chairs are full, there’s some standing room.

Only original material written by the performers themselves is allowed, or works in the public domain. We host local, regional, and national professionals and amateurs alike, and we record and film them in the act for a radio/TV/internet program we’re working up – the homegrown love child of Tiny Desk Concerts, Ted Talks, Science Friday, and The Midnight Special, infused with the naive enthusiasm The Little Rascals.

We started with a couple $50 white-label kiddie-cameras because that’s what we could afford to get wheels on the ground. Middlin’ camera improvements were made in 2019, followed by a significant upgrade in 2021.

vintage recording equipment

Everything we host is because somebody reached out to us. We don’t use a booking service, and we don’t solicit performers. The people on the stage and the people in the audience are both there because they chose to be there for each other. It’s a beautiful symbiosis.

If you’re a performer, this means that you shouldn’t wait for an invitation because it won’t come. Take a look at the “For Performers” page and then get in touch if you’re into it.

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Run and done by volunteers, stem to stern.
Donations are what keep this thing going.
We squeeze every penny,
and we'd be so happy to squeeze yours.
Or drop off cash / checks at any event.
You can surface-mail checks to:
Stage 33 Live (admin)
8-A Atkinson St
Bellows Falls VT 05101

Donated equipment or services are welcome!
Tax deductible to the fullest extent.
Stage 33 Live LTD is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, EIN 82-2349941.

Stage 33 Live
voice/text (802) 289-0148
We don't have actual staff to answer.

33 Bridge Street
Bellows Falls VT

8A Atkinson St
Bellows Falls VT 05101