While the event, which will be held at the National Ability Center, 1000 Ability Way at Quinn's Junction on Saturday, Sept. 29, will retain some of the Cow Ballet's fun and unique events, it will resemble more of a family-friendly music festival, he said.
"The Hootenanny MOOSic Festival is not really a new event, but more like the result of a natural metamorphosis of the event formerly known as the Cow Ballet," Richards told The Park Record. "We will have music played all day long by The Chickens, The Patwa Reggae Band and the Park City All Star Band featuring Dana Williams, Rich Wyman, Junior Richard and any musician from Summit County who wants to play."
The performance schedule is as follows:
"The true definition of the word 'hootenanny' was most commonly referred to as a folk-music party with and open microphone where people were invited to get up on stage and play," Richards said. "We've copied that format to hold a loose, groovy party and wanted to invite as many musicians as we can to get up and jam and showcase the talent in Summit County."
Along with the music, the event will offer various activities for families and children.
"We will still present some arena games that originated in the Cow Ballet," Richards said. "The games will include cow pie long jumping and beer races.
"We'll also offer food catered by Kumbaya Kitchens and have a bar that will serve Unita Beers, Cadillac margaritas and possibly some High West Whiskey," he said.
The Hootenanny will be highlighted by a silent auction and all the proceeds will go to support live music in Summit County.
Silent auction items will include a camping package from Backcountry.com, spa packages from the Golden Spa and a 10-punch pass to the Park City Performing Arts Foundation's winter season, gift certificates to various restaurants and art from District Gallery and more, Richards said.
"It's not as if the Cow Ballet is going away, but we're trying to reinvent it and get people engaged again," he explained. "We felt the event has stagnated in the past couple of years and we wanted to reboot it and give people an idea of what the event was." The Cow Ballet debuted in 1999 and was originally held in Peoa to benefit the town and Woodenshoe Park.
"The people of Peoa felt the event was making fun of their livelihood, so (organizer and Mountain Town Music founder) Randy Barton decided to make it a fundraiser for Mountain Town Music's prior incarnation, Mountain Town Stages," Richards said. "I think the original Cow Ballet was a bit confusing to people and they didn't necessarily associate it with Mountain Town Music, so we felt by reinventing and rebranding it people would be able to associate more with our organization."
Other changes include the location and time.
"The fundraising event in the past used to run until 8:30 p.m., so this year, we decided to move the time up so it will run from 12:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m.," Richards said. "We're hoping by moving it to the National Ability Center that it will be more accessible for our patrons.
"The National Ability Center is a great organization and has been very good to work with. Everyone over there has been very supportive. We're happy that they invited us to use their space for a day."
Before many people felt Peoa was too far away to attend.
"Having the Hootenanny closer will give people a chance ride their bikes, walk or drive," Richards said. "We felt we wanted to make it easy to for people who want to support us to attend the event."
Some of the money raised this year will help with MTM's annual Spookadelic Ball coming up in October and the Canyons Resort spring concert series.
"We are also just about to start up our programming for Summit County elementary schools next month, so we would like to eventually see the Hootenanny grow into a music festival that can stand the test of time for these events."
The Hootenanny MOOSic Festival, a benefit for Mountain Town Music, will be held at the National Ability Center, 1000 Ability Way at Quinn's Junction, on Saturday, Sept. 29, from noon until 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at www.mountaintownmusic.org/event/hootenanny-moosic-festival/?startDate=1348497873 . For more information, visit www.mountaintownmusic.org .