Park City Institute eager for Big Stars, Bright Nights shows at City Park |

Park City Institute eager for Big Stars, Bright Nights shows at City Park

Grace Potter performs a Park City Institute St. Reigs Big Stars, Bright Nights Concer on July 13 at City Park. The performance sparked an interest to hold the rest of the 2018 summer season in City Park. City Council approved the move with a 4-0 vote on Friday.
Photo by Jeffrey Rothchild

Teri Orr, Park City Institute executive director, had a weekend to think about the City Council’s special session vote on Friday to move the remaining six shows of the 2018 St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Summer Concert Series from Quinn’s Field to City Park.

“It’s certainly full circle,” Orr said Monday morning. “We were doing concerts at the south end of the park 16 years ago, but we had never considered that the park could expand and accommodate our larger performances.”

The Park City Council voted 4-0 with City Councilor Nann Worel absent to approve the request by the Park City Institute. The elected officials left it to City Hall staffers and institute officials to craft the details of an operational plan.

The idea to move the concerts to City Park came after the successful Grace Potter concert that was held there on July 13, Orr said.

“We were surprised when there was such a wonderful outpouring from the community to bring the rest of the concerts to City Park,” she said.

Jenny Diersen, Park City’s special event and economic development program manager, said moving the concert series to City Park did raise some issues that needed to be addressed.

“With any event using amplified music, there are always concerns regarding public impacts, such as noise,” Diersen said in an email. “The City closely monitors noise levels during events. While the Park City Institute has received an exception for their concerts, which is typical through the special event process, concerts will remain from 6-9 p.m. to ensure that noise ends earlier in the residential district.”

Traffic was also a concern.

“Concert-goers, residents and visitors can always help work towards our community’s goal to reduce congestion by taking the free City bus, bike, walk and carpool,” she said in the email. “On concert days, Park City Institute will provide free parking and direct shuttle service from at the high school, as well as a bike valet at the venue.”

Orr said she was nervous as she attended Friday’s meeting and vote.

“There were health, safety and welfare concerns for the concert-goers that the city needed to look at,” she said.

Moving the concerts to City Park would solve a few of those concerns, she said.

“First off, it’s easier for law enforcement to be present,” Orr said. “And the location is easier to access. People can just hop on a bus, bike or walk to the park.”

Before the vote, City Council connected with residents around City Park. City Councilors had previously expressed concern about the impacts a show at City Park would have on the neighborhood. Many residents have also had reservations about a growing slate of special events in Old Town.

“It was my understanding that the residents they were able to contact all supported the move, which was pretty extraordinary for us,” Orr said.

The executive director thanked the City Council and Park City staffers for working with her nonprofit to find a place to hold the concerts.

“We are really grateful for everyone who has had to address this on top of their already-busy schedules,” she said. “We know we had caused more work for them, but everyone has been so helpful in working with us and supporting us with this move.”

While the move will also help the Park City Institute save money, this season’s series is already an expensive one. The main reason is setting up and striking a pop-up stage for each performance, Orr said.

“Over the course of this summer, the stage will cost us a total of $100,000 that we never had to spend before,” she said.

Orr also said the move to City Park is just for this summer.

“I think we’re all in agreement that this is an extraordinary one-off,” she said. “We are in conversations about other locations, but we’re not anywhere ready to announce anything right now.”

The next concert is Lucia Micarelli and Joshua Roman on Aug. 5.

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