Canyons kicks off free summer concerts |

Canyons kicks off free summer concerts

Nationally touring reggae, rock, disco, funk and soul bands are performing for free at The Canyons resort this summer as part of the Mountain Town Stages concert series.

Mountain Town Stages puts on shows in Peoa, Deer Valley, Miners Plaza and on an outdoor stage on lower Main Street. What distinguishes The Canyons concerts from those other venues is the scale of the event.

"Ninety percent the shows we put on are local bands," Brian Richards of Mountain Town Stages said. "The Canyons gets some bigger national acts."

The Canyons, Zions Bank, Mountain Dew and Mountain Town Stages raise tens of thousands of dollars a year to bring widely touring artists to Park City for free. "They give us the budget and we put on the show," Richards said. "They’ve been awesome."

Dave March is the marketing and events coordinator for The Canyons. He said bringing popular acts to the resort isn’t cheap, but it’s worth it. "We started out our concert series with Mountain Town Stages years ago and it’s a great event," he said.

One of the things Richards and The Canyons have tried to focus on is bringing fresh, original acts to town. Of the seven acts taking the sage from July 3 to Aug. 23, only one of them has played for Mountain Town Stages previously. "We really try to get bands that don’t come to Utah often," Richards explained. "If you have the same band every time it gets stale and people won’t come up."

Bringing big acts to town for no cost to the public is an expensive prospect for The Canyons, March said. He declined to provide numbers.

Attendance hasn’t been much of a problem for the venue, Richards said. "Bands know there’s going to be a built-in crowd when they come to The Canyons." Richards said between 3,000 and 5,000 people attend most shows.

"Probably the most popular show at The Canyons every year is the Disco Drippers," Richards said. The Disco Drippers were so popular when they first played at the Canyons, they have become a Park City tradition and have performed at The Canyons for free for the last three years. "They’re kind of a good time disco cover band," Richards said. A fireworks display follows the Disco Drippers. "It a pretty good deal," he said.

March said The Canyons encourages concert-goers to ride city buses, carpool or bike to shows. The resort offers lodging deals for concert attendees.

"We have tons of names you heard of," March said, "And some you haven’t. We really want to provide an eclectic mix."

Info box:

2008 summer concert schedule for The Canyons. All concerts are free. Organizers say picnics and coolers are welcome.

Thursday, July 3

7 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Disco Drippers

Saturday, July 19

6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Intervision

Saturday, July 26

6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Joseph Israel

Saturday, Aug. 2

6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The Romantics

Saturday, Aug. 9

6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave

Saturday, Aug. 16

6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. South Austin Jug Band

Saturday, Aug. 23

6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jason Isbel & The 400 Unit

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