Access Film Music Showcase is a Park City tradition during Film Festival week
Goal is to introduce musicians and filmmakers
The Access Film Music Showcase has been a Park City tradition during Film Festival week for the past 14 years.
What started as a one-night showcase at the now defunct Appaloosa pub on Main Street has turned into a 12-day event held from Jan. 18-29, said showcase programmer “Chicago” Mike Beck.
“The idea was to connect filmmakers and music makers,” Beck said during an interview with The Park Record. “Back in 2003, a singer and songwriter from Heber named Burt Hurner called me up and said, ‘Let’s do a music showcase during Sundance.’”
The first showcase featured five singer-songwriters.
“We invited many filmmakers and had a great night,” Beck said.
The next year, the showcase was moved to The Spur Bar & Grill.
“It grew to four nights,” Beck said. “Then the next year, it grew again and we had 10 nights.”
This year’s showcase will open with a one-night show at the Poplar Street Pub in Salt Lake City on Jan. 18.
“It’s an event we call a sneak peek,” Beck said. “Any of the artists who are already in town will get together and do a night of short sets to give people an idea of what’s to come up in Park City during Festival week.”
The showcase will open in Park City on Jan. 19. See schedule below.
Selecting the artists is a serendipitous process, Beck said.
“I travel and tour as a musician full time, so a lot of the artist we get to play are ones that I have encountered during my travels in the United States and Europe,” he said. “This year we have artists from the Netherlands, the U.K. and folks who have come in from all over the years.”
The showcase, which recently partnered with Ecu, the European Independent Film Festival in Paris, that’s held in April, as well as the Seattle International Film Festival that runs in May and June, tends to feature many singer-songwriters.
“In the past we’ve had some rock bands, blues bands, country artists and rap and hip-hop artists,” Beck said.
There are other influential factors in selecting the artists.
“One is to make sure we book artists that put on a good, fun and enjoyable show for the patrons of The Spur,” Beck said. “The Spur has its own vibe. It usually presents rootsy, countrified acoustic folk and rock artists.
“Since the concept of the Access Film Music Showcase has always surrounded the idea that filmmakers have a need for a diverse array of music, we want to serve a variety of filmmakers who make a variety of genres of films,” he said. “There is so much fantastic music being produced out there. We hand out a music sampler that includes the artists we present, but also some music that doesn’t translate well live in a bar setting, like electronic and symphonic music.”
All Access Film Music Showcase performances are open to the public, and there is no cover charge before 8 p.m.
“Since the concerts are held at the Spur, audience members need to be 21 or older,” Beck said.
On Sunday, Jan. 29, Access Film Music Showcase will host a closing hootenanny.
“All the musicians who are still in town get together and we have a jam session,” Beck said. “We set out some food and play acoustically all afternoon.”
That evening the jam sessions turn electric.
“Anyone who wants to bring an instrument to jam with us can do so,” Beck said. “We encourage amateurs and professionals to come join us.”
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