The Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center (SMPAC) that stands before you today, amongst the town’s beautiful New England scenery, was built in 2005. Originally intended to provide a home for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s Talcott Mountain Music Festival, it has become far more, hosting benefit concerts, sport and dance recital events, and community gatherings. Today, SMPAC strives to embody the motto “More Than a Stage.”
Simsbury’s population is vibrant, educated, and creative, and residents were eager for a community venue to enjoy live performances. So, in 2002, the Town of Simsbury acquired the Baker Farm – 400+ scenic acres located between the Farmington River and the Town Center. A temporary bandshell was erected, and for the next few years, concert-goers across the region enjoyed summer evening concerts at the new venue. As support grew, it soon became clear that a permanent solution was both needed and desired – and so the dream of the Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center took root.
In 2004 an enthusiastic group of residents, in partnership with the Town of Simsbury, developed plans and gathered funds – through a State Department of Economic Community Development grant and private fund-raising – to build the current Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center. Opened to the public in 2005, the new permanent Performing Arts Center stage is large enough to accommodate the full Hartford Symphony Orchestra and includes additional storage space, better lighting, and enhanced acoustics. It was an enormous improvement and an immediate hit.
With the facility in place, other promoters have brought name entertainment to the venue, including Alison Krauss, The Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, Kacey Musgraves, Slightly Stoopid, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tedeschi Trucks, Kansas, The Temptations, Cirque De La Symphonie, Earth, Wind and Fire, The Four Tops, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Amanda Carr, Harry Connick, Jr., and Emmylou Harris.