The Melody Tent: A Rockin’ Way to Roll Into a Cape Cod Summer!

Joe Bonamassa playing guiter at the Melody Tent
Joe Bonamassa blastin' the blues at The Tent

About 15 minutes from the Lamb and Lion Inn office door is a Cape Cod icon, The Melody Tent, which opened as the “Cape Cod Music Circus” is December of 1950. Now known as the Cape Cod Melody Tent, a night out under the tent is one of the most fun evenings both visitors and locals can have on a  summer evening. Every year we get guests who make a night at “The Tent” their getaway highlight. Most times they’ll show up with emailed tickets in hand, but often they will already be here at the inn, see the Tent’s schedule of events in our brochure rack, and book something on the spot.


Innkeeper’s are always looking to sneak away from their business for a night during the summer, and we here at the Lamb and Lion always keep our eyes and emails peeled for new show announcements throughout the winter and spring. Some of the most memorable shows we’ve attended over the years include Elvis Costello, Janis Ian, George Carlin, ZZ Top, Chicago, Huey Lewis and the News, Straight No Chaser, Gavin McGraw and of course–a summer tradition–The Beach Boys. One special event not to be forgotten was “A Walk Down Abbey Road” which featured The Beatles music performed by an all-star band consisting of Ann Wilson from Heart, Todd Rundgren, Alan Parsons and John Entwistle from The Who. Every year the Tent hosts the nations best tribute bands including “mop top” look-and-sound-a-likes Rain or The Fab Four, as well as bands like Get The Led Out, for a night of blistering Zeppelin tunes. This year we are looking forward to seeing Gary Mullen and The Works, one of the world’s best tributes to Queen. The Melody tent is also a good place to rub elbows with your heroes. Often times you’ll get to attend an impromptu “meet and greet” at the merchandise booth, or you can simply hang around the dressing room entrance for a quick handshake or a photo, if that’s your thing.

Joe Banamassa burnin’ up the blues at The Tent

The location of the Melody Tent can’t be beat. It sits just off the West Main Street rotary in Hyannis, making it an easy walk after a pre-show dinner on Main Street, or some sunset shopping and plans on a late bite after the show. Our favorites are the always lively Columbo’s Cafe & Pastries for its delicious Italian food, desserts and bar scene, or the classically beautiful yet cozy atmosphere at The Roadhouse Cafe. Other dining options before or after a show is surrounding your table with tapas and killer cocktails at EmBargo, fine fare with a French flair (and some of the Cape’s freshest oysters) at The Naked Oyster, mouth-watering Peruvian at Tumi Ceviche Bar & Restaurante, or a “crispy-in-the-right-places-and-gooey-in-the-right-places” wood-fired pizza at Pizza Barbone. Next door to The Melody Tent is a Cape Cod favorite, The West End restaurant, with its stunning Great Gatsby-like interior and a menu few mid-Cape restaurants can parallel. Perhaps you’d just like to keep things simple with a hot dog and a cold beer? The Melody Tent has plenty of options, from hot pretzels and icy cocktails to warm nachos or ice cream, all perfect for people watching or a picnic table party.

Pre-show perusing with a pint

Besides the location, we love the tent because there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Even if you come late to the party and get tickets in the “nose bleeds” you’re only in row 21! Having only 2,300 seats, the Tent is big enough to draw respectable names, but intimate enough to guarantee you a great view. The only thing we don’t love about the Melody Tent is their parking lot, which takes too long to get out of after a show, so we are always quick to tell our guests the best (and free) nearby alternative parking spots. Sounds like the Lamb and Lion Inn has the insider’s scoop on a night at the tent? You’re right! From dining ideas to free, easy access parking, we’ve got your back, and your binoculars! And having hosted some of the visiting talent over the years like Ritchie Havens, Joan Rivers and members of Sha Na Na, who knows? Perhaps you’ll enjoy a poolside breakfast with the star of the evening’s show!

Thinking about a show this summer??

A Liberace poster sets the tone for a fun getaway at the Lamb and Lion’s                 office (circa 1978)