Stone Mountain Arts Center sits comfortably off a rural mountain road near Brownfield, Maine and hosts a variety of performers in a relaxed and informal dinner setting. While it is rural you can drive from Boston in a little over two hours and from Portland in an hour and a half, maybe less.
I don’t know the exact seating capacity of the Venue but I’m guessing 250 people at most. Even the seats in the back are reasonably close to the stage. There are no reserved seats. You can purchase your tickets online or by phone but you pick them up at the ticket window when you arrive and are assigned a number for your party. They call numbers in groups of 5 and bring you to the dining room in the order of your assigned number. When you get to the dining room you can select any table not taken. The sooner you get there the lower your assigned number and the better your choice of seating. The parking lot opens at 4:30 PM for most performances. We arrived just before 5:00 and got number 15 which gave us a good choice of tables.
Your ticket is for the performance. Dinner and drinks are not included in the ticket price. You can pay for tickets to the performance online with a credit card but like a lot of east coast businesses you must pay for dinner and drinks with cash or a check. Pictures are not permitted during the performance.
There is a well thought out dinner menu. I’m not sure how they do it but they take the orders and have everyone fed between 6:00 pm and 7:30 pm for an 8:00 pm show. You must arrange something ahead of time if you have special dietary needs. I had a shepherd’s pie and my wife had a bowl of seafood chowder. The shepherd’s pie was delicious and nearly too much to eat. It came with a small side salad, some warm moist corn bread, and a slice of watermelon. The chowder had the same sides and came in a large bowl full of shrimp, lobster and other seafood. The pictures are a bit off color because the light was so low.
There are performances year-round but sometimes winter storms can cause last minute problems. We went to a Shawn Mullins performance March 11, 2017 and had no problems with the roads but as I write this Charlie Lopresti of WGME Portland is waxing poetic about a storm about to hit us with 1 to 2 feet of snow tomorrow and I wouldn’t want to drive to Stone Mountain for a couple days after the storm passes. The road crews need time to get things cleaned up.
For me this is the way music should be experienced. It is intimate. You don’t need binoculars or a Jumbo Tron to see the performers. It was a pleasant evening and one my wife and I are likely to do again.
I highly recommend this venue for a uniquely Maine music experience.
Here’s their website address for scheduled performances and detailed venue information: Stone Mountain Arts Center