Access Film Music Showcase cancels Park City performances for the first time in 17 years |

Access Film Music Showcase cancels Park City performances for the first time in 17 years

The Access Film Music Showcase, a music series co-founded and produced by “Chicago Mike” Beck that connects musicians with filmmakers, will not come to Park City in January due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and because the Sundance and Slamdance film festivals are going virtual.
Park Record file photo

Since 2004, the Access Film Music Showcase has pulled into Park City with a mission to connect independent music makers with filmmakers during the Sundance and Slamdance film festivals.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the fact that the two film festivals are pivoting to digital platforms, Access’s 17-year run will be interrupted, said co-founder and producer “Chicago Mike” Beck.

“It would be irresponsible to invite musicians to risk exposure to COVID while traveling across the country, or from around the world, to come to a place as beautiful as Park City,” Beck said. “And with Sundance and Slamdance going virtual, filmmakers won’t be coming to town, so it’s just not a good formula.”

Beck, a coronavirus survivor, said he hopes the decision to not host the festival next January will set the stage for a big comeback.

Who knows that those special moments would have been this time around…” ‘Chicago Mike’ Beck, Access Film Music Showcase co-founder

“This will hopefully help us appreciate how magical it will be when we are all able to join together in 2022,” he said.

Still, Beck will miss returning to his “second home” and mingling with old and new friends.

“Some of the greatest times of my life have been at the Access Showcase in Park City, because of the dynamic and creative spirit the film festivals bring in,” he said. “That spirit has presented some of those special musical interactions with people who would sit in with other artists who they would not normally play with. Who knows that those special moments would have been this time around?”

The Access Film Music Showcase officially kicked off as the Radical Rat Film Music Showcase at Appaloosa, a now-defunct Main Street bar, in 2004, and in 2005, Beck began his partnership with the Spur Bar & Grill.

Over the past 17 years, Beck has booked between 40 and 50 solo artists, duos and full bands for the festival.

Some of those artists include local rockers Dr. Bob Band, and Park88 — composed of Rich Wyman and Lisa Needham — southern California guitarist Christopher Hawley and the Netherlands-based duo The Ouburg Brothers.

“We always try to recruit a large representation of local artists from Park City, Salt Lake City and the surrounding area,” he said. “Then we would contact other artists from across the country, and get two or three international artists.”

Many of these artists have become like a family to Beck.

“I think on a personal level, I will miss seeing all of these musicians I have gotten to know over the years,” he said. “But I look forward to seeing them in 2022.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User