Park City Institute announces Big Stars, Bright Nights summer concerts
After scrambling for venues last year, the Park City Institute on Wednesday announced its St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Summer Concert Series will continue this year in The Eccles Center for the Performing Arts.
Park City Institute Executive Director Teri Orr announced the new location during an unveiling of the series at the Kimball Art Center.
“After looking at a number of locations, and after having an opportunity to look way down the road to where we hope we will be next summer, we knew this summer we wanted to be in a place with fabulous Dolby sound with state-of-the-art lighting and comfortable seats,” Orr said to a crowd of the nonprofit’s supporters. “We’re going to be an inside job this summer.”
Park City Institute presented last summer’s concerts in two temporary locations — City Park and the recreation complex field at Quinn’s Junction — after Deer Valley Resort declined to renew a contract with the Institute to host the performances at the Snow Park Amphitheater, opting instead to host its own concert series.
Both venues last year carried challenges for the Institute. Neither had a stage, so the organization built stages from the ground up for each concert at a total of $100,000 for the season, Orr said. In addition, Park City mandated the nonprofit hire buses to accommodate concertgoers at an additional $80,000, she said.
“All the things that were so complicated for us last summer are things we can smooth out this summer,” Orr said. “And the quality of the performances we will see in the Eccles Center will be that much better, because most folks who come to the shows come to hear the music. Once you’re inside the Eccles Center, we all know that you can hear the music in a pretty amazing way.”
The five-concert series will start with The Brothers Osborne on July 7, and Orr said there will be some adjustments regarding food and beverages compared to previous years.
When the shows were held outside in the past, concertgoers were allowed to enjoy their own snacks and drinks. That won’t be the case this year, she said.
“The Eccles Center is still a school facility,” she said. “So we are going to arrange food trucks, and we are also working with a vendor to be able to set up something like a ‘Club Eccles’ that will be a place people can gather before and after the show offsite.”
Orr thanked Park City for its support last year in helping the Institute put on the series.
“They made sure we stayed in business,” she said.
The venue difficulties last year led, in part, to a financial crisis for the the Institute, requiring the nonprofit near the end of 2018 to seek the aid of donors to keep the doors open.
On Wednesday, Park City Council member Nann Worel offered her support for the organization.
“On behalf of Mayor Andy Beerman and my colleagues of the City Council, I would just want to offer our congratulations to Teri and the Park City Institute for surviving a tricky year,” Worel said, addressing the crowd. “I have to thank all of you for continuing to support the Institute. You were there. You were in the seats, and that made such a difference.”
According to an Institute press release, the series is as follows:
— The Brothers Osborne, July 7. The Grammy Award-nominated duo features T.J. and John Osborne, who have climbed the country charts with the hits “Stay a Little Longer” and “Rum,” while collecting CMA and ACM awards along the way.
— The Punch Brothers, July 30. The quintet of mandolinist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny and violinist Gabe Witcher formed in 2006. The band’s latest album, “All Ashore,” won the 2019 Grammy for Folk Album of the year. Thile is known for his work in Nickel Creek, and is also the host of the weekly NPR broadcast “Live From Here.”
— Taj Mahal Quartet, and Marc Cohn featuring special guest vocalists, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Aug. 13. Taj Mahal is a two-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, film composer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who has collaborated with artists such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Wynton Marsalis.
Cohn, mostly known for the hit “Walking in Memphis,” has performed for Park City Institute three times and as a songwriter has been praised by Time Magazine as “one of the honest, emotional voices we need in this decade.”
The multiple Grammy-winning Blind Boys of Alabama formed in 1939 at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind and have since performed for three presidents — Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
— Gone West, Aug. 16. This pop-infused country group features Colbie Caillat, her fiance Justin Young, Caillat’s longtime collaborator Jason Reeves, and Reeves’ wife, Nelly Joy. The band formed, in part, as a result of their experience working together on Caillat’s 2016 tour. The Park City Institute presented Caillat at the Eccles Center in a sold-out performance during that tour.
— CAM, Aug. 24. Country singer CAM began her career as a songwriter for artists including Sam Smith and Miley Cyrus. Her 2015 Grammy-nominated song “Burning House” hit No. 2 on the U.S. and Canadian country charts, and sold more than 2 million copies. A vocal advocate for music education and inclusion, CAM holds a degree in psychology from University of California Davis, sits on the board of the Academy of Country Music and joined the Recording Academy’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion in 2018.
Tickets go on sale to PCI members at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 26. Tickets will go on sale to the public on Friday, May 3. For information, visit parkcityinstitute.org.
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