Harry O’s is gone, but biggest nightclub space will be raging anyway | ParkRecord.com

Harry O’s is gone, but biggest nightclub space will be raging anyway

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Harry O’s is gone, but the largest nightclub space on Main Street will be raging anyway during the Sundance Film Festival.

A group known as Park City Live will stage its first-ever events in the Memorial Building space that Harry O’s once occupied, leading with a performance by DJ Afrojack on Thursday scheduled to run until 2 a.m.

It was not clear when the last show was staged in the Memorial Building space. The building owner in April evicted Harry O’s after an extended legal case centered on rent payments. The locks were changed under police protection on the day Harry O’s was evicted.

There was talk afterward about a nightclub opening in the space, perhaps by the start of the ski season, but a deal did not materialize for a year-round tenant. Park City Live later reached an agreement to stage events in the space. The deal was announced in November. A New Year’s event that had been planned in the space was later cancelled, making the performances during Sundance the first for Park City Live.

"The city has really missed that venue . . . our hope is to lighten up the street again, bring it back to life," said Kathryn Burns, who owns Park City Live with her husband, Kevin Burns.

The Burnses bought out their Park City Live partners Kenny Griswold and Paul Crowe after the concept was unveiled.

Park City Live has booked 10 nights of entertainment during the festival. Burns said the performances will be from the "biggest, most relevant acts."

"It’s the place, the hub, for entertainment at night," she said.

The Park City Live organizers have secured a permit from state alcohol regulators to serve a full bar during Sundance. Winning a permit for year-round alcohol sales had been seen as an obstacle to opening a nightclub in the space permanently.

The onetime Harry O’s space has been dark since the eviction. Sundance, though, typically brought giant crowds to Harry O’s. There would often be 1,000-plus people, perhaps more, either in line or hanging out outside the nightclub on nights when big-name acts were playing during Sundance.

Harry O’s during its heyday essentially anchored the Main Street nightlife during Sundance. The Park City Police Department often was called for crowd control on big nights at Harry O’s.

Park City Live said the capacity will be between 950 and 999 people, which outstrips by a wide margin the number allowed into any of the other Main Street nightclubs. The organizers said between 80 and 100 people are expected to be working at Park City Live each night, including 10 bartenders and approximately 30 cocktail waitresses.

Some of the concerts scheduled during Sundance include Third Eye Blind on Jan. 25, OneRepublic on Jan. 24 and deadmau5 on Jan. 22. Burns anticipates sold-out shows throughout the festival. The concerts are open to the public, but people heading inside must hold a ticket.

"It’s going to add vitality, liveliness, a touch of class," Burns said.