Entertainment publicist reveals Concerts at Sundance series
Ryan Summerlin January 8, 2013
Longtime entertainment publicist Stephanie DeGraw has established a new Concerts at Sundance series, which will take place in various venues in Park City from Jan. 17 through Jan. 26.
Her goal is twofold.
One is to raise awareness for cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the other is to expose independent musicians to industry insiders.
"I know so many people who have been touched by cancer throughout their lives," said DeGraw, who is also the president of Power Media Entertainment. "My grandfather died from pancreatic cancer. I am also a survivor, and I just think we’re close to finding a cure, but we can’t become complacent. We need to be vigilant in raising that money to find a cure.
"I also work with so many musicians who often don’t get exposure to a large number of influential people such as music supervisors, film directors and entertainment industry types," she said. "So, I wanted to create an even that helped them."
In doing so, DeGraw looked at different venues in Park City and decided to present the concerts at Cisero’s, Flanagan’s and Hotel Park City, and the artists will play everything from rock, county, blues, pop, singer and songwriter, Americana, hip-hop and glam rock.
"I wanted to present shows for all different musical tastes," she said. "We’re going to have something different each day."
More than 30 artists, including Nashville’s Shantell Ogden, Colorado’s Jami Lunde, Texas’ Becky Alter and Utah artists Double or Nothing, The Zero Summers, Solow Solo and Dream Dweller, to name a few, will perform during the series.
Although the series is called Concerts at Sundance, it is not affiliated nor is it endorsed by the Sundance Film Festival, said DeGraw, who is also the host of the locally produced TV show "The Music Scene," which airs on Ch. 6.
"I purposely made sure the name of the series was Concerts at Sundance, and not Sundance Concerts," she explained. "I wanted to communicate that we just happen to be presenting concerts during the film festival."
A few weeks ago, representatives from the Sundance Film Festival contacted DeGraw and said as long as she used the Concerts at Sundance moniker in all of her marketing, they would let her to keep it.
"I’m not endorsed by them, but I am grateful they allowed me to keep my name," DeGraw said.
The initial concept of the series was to promote local independent artists, but that changed once DeGraw went to the various social-media networks such as Facebook and Reverbnation to solicit submissions.
"I was surprised at how many artists from all over the world applied," she said. "As time went on, the series became so popular by online hits, that I decided to include artists from around the world, including Canada and Belgium."
In fact, the artist coming from Belgium, Sacha Delone, is backed by his country’s officials, DeGraw said.
"They are supporting him because they understand what a big deal and opportunity it is for him to represent them," she explained. "Sponsors have jumped in to cover his airfare and he has gotten some major media coverage."
The criteria DeGraw used to choose the artists included quality, experience and what type of fan base they had.
"I trusted my gut a lot, thanks to the experience I have gained in my publicity job," she said. "I looked to see if a band is marketable and if they will appeal to a broad spectrum of people."
She also needed to make sure the chosen artists were seasoned enough to put on a good performance.
"I was actually generous with some of the artists who were younger than 18, because I felt they had so much potential and I wanted to give them the exposure, DeGraw explained.
Although she enjoyed listening to all the artists’ submissions, DeGraw did find herself overwhelmed.
"I had to turn some people down because I wanted to make sure we booked quality artists," she said.
Now, with the schedule almost solidified, DeGraw can focus on presenting the shows.
"I hope to create some magic, because I know that there are so many fantastic people in the music and film industry that come to town during this time," she said.
Last year, DeGraw produced a successful concert series during film-festival week at the Hotel Park City, and that was another reason why she wanted to start up Concerts at Sundance.
"I enjoy putting on events that give artists an opportunity they can count on, rather than just throwing them in a random concert," she said. "It’s hard to book concerts around town, because a lot of the venues don’t have the budget to do that.
"I definitely hope to get some sponsors interested for next year, because I would like this to become an annual thing," she said.
The Concerts at Sundance series will run Jan. 17 through Jan. 26, at various venues on Park City. Visit www.concertsatsundance.com/ for more information. Passes for the performances are available at www.concertsatsundance and www.ticketcake.com .