The Payomet Performing Arts Center Tent is more than just a venue, it’s an experience.
Located on the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean in North Truro, Massachusetts, we are at the Highlands Center in partnership with the Cape Cod National Seashore. Away from the busy traffic on Route 6, our tent is an oasis on the Cape that brings you into a world of music, circus, theatre… all of it high class entertainment with some of the top artists in the country – artists like Lucinda Williams, Keb’ Mo’, Graham Nash, Rosanne Cash, Rickie Lee Jones, Richard Thompson, Peter Wolf, Mary Chapin Carpenter and many more amazing and emerging artists and musicians.
Our brand new tent has a special intimate feel… it is as wide as it is deep so you are never very far away from the artists on stage no matter where you sit. There are clear sight lines from everywhere, but the roof is low enough to hold the sound and bring the audience in direct contact with the performer. This effect is exhilarating for the artists creating performances that soar on the gratitude of our tremendously responsive audience. If performers are unsure when they arrive at our remote location, they are converted quickly into remarking that the Payomet Tent is their favorite place to play.
Our state of the art Tent is built to withstand any weather that New England can throw at us. All seats are under its cover. We built an expansive floor of solid wood making it great for dancing and welcoming to anyone with special needs, like a wheelchair. Also the sides are removable so that the soft summer breeze can waft through the tent. The Tent is heated on chillier nights in autumn. But bring a sweater anyway… we want you as comfortable as possible!
The best thing about the tent is that it is super flexible. We have 3 or 4 different seating charts depending on the size and type of show. We can fill it with chairs to maximum capacity for Robert Cray or Ladysmith Black Mambazo, set up round tables and move in the sides for a cabaret feel for Bettye LaVette and emerging artists like Lankum, or pick up all the chairs for dance bands like The English Beat or The Wailers.
The National Park Service acquired the decommissioned air force station in 1994. The Highlands Center is a 110 acre property, envisioned as a site which will foster the unique cultural and natural heritage of Cape Cod by facilitating scientific research, the arts tradition, and educational programs atop the dramatic sea cliffs of Cape Cod National Seashore. We hope to be here for a very long time.
To find out more about our location, please visit our Directions page.
GPS address: 29 Dewline Rd, North Truro, MA 02652
The Big Top Circus Tent at the WHAT Theater
The Payomet Big Top Tent is home our amazingly talented professional circus troupe – Cirque by the Sea. This summer, all circus activites are located at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, in a dedicated outdoor space for our popular Circus Shows, accredited Summer Circus Camp for Kids. The joy and laughter of children is a constant presence there… as well as triumphant shouts!
We have space and equipment for Acrobatics, Aerial Fabric, Static Trapeze, Lyra, Juggling, Physical Comedy & Improv, Hooping, Trampoline, Movement, Tumbling and more fun than we can contain!
Learn more about our Cirque by the Sea and all it offers.
GPS address: Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, 2357 Route 6, Wellfleet, MA.
We also present top-notch artists at other venues around Cape Cod:
Provincetown Town Hall
The 800 seat Provincetown Town Hall is one of our favorites. Ptown is an exciting destination on its own so when you pair a great show with dinner out and a stroll on Commercial Street, it’s a hard combination to beat! They have flexible seats on the floor that allows us to fill it with chairs for Joan Osborne or remove them entirely for dancing to a hot reggae band like The Wailers.
GPS address: 260 Commercial St, Provincetown, MA
Wellfleet Preservation Hall
If you don’t know it, Wellfleet Preservation Hall is the beating heart of this town. Newly constructed by the earnest efforts of Wellfleetians, it is a beautiful place to see a show. We present music, readings, ideas, circus classes and more. It’s one place that we go “Outside the box and Into the Community” to help bring the finest entertainment to Wellfleet. You won’t find a better place to be on a chilly fall night when we present the lush sounds of jazz great Catherine Russell or the fun, foot-stomping Twisted Pine.
GPS address: 335 Main Street, Wellfleet, MA
Eastham Music Hall
This is a terrific venue for smaller shows that we produce. We love the Eastham Elks for their great food, warm hospitality and cozy atmosphere. We’ve had a hot show by Deadgrass, searing guitar with Gary Hoey and one of the best of the Irish with Karen Casey and other memorable nights. You’ll find us here during the off season when the snow and wind are blowing fierce and the Tent is down for the winter.
GPS address: 10 McKoy Rd, Eastham, MA
Tilden Arts Center
The Tilden Arts Center is a great location in Hyannishelps us reach our audience on the Mid-Cape. It was built in 1976 as part of an expansion to the Cape Cod Community College campus. In addition to serving as a venue for touring shows, local dance companies, speakers and lecturers, the Center is also a learning laboratory for the Performing Arts students…so we fit right in here! We often present here with our friends at Cotuit Center for the Arts. Connecting and sharing ideas with other non-profits is important to maintaining the health of the Arts on the Cape.
GPS address: 2240 Iyannough Road (Route 132) West Barnstable, MA
“The folks that run Payomet are the first thing that comes to mind while writing a quick review. They are friendly, helpful, and always eager to make the space perfect for your listening or viewing experience. Whether at Town Hall in Provincetown, or at the tent on Old Dewline Rd. in North Truro, it’s always a treat to see a show produced by these guys.”
– Will K.