Park City mayor: Many people, but not all, disappointed Sundance won’t be held as normal
Community encouraged to support festival in an unusual year without a live venue
The mayor of Park City in recent comments said many are upset that the Sundance Film Festival will not be held as usual this year, but he pulled back from saying everyone in the community holds that viewpoint.
Mayor Andy Beerman briefly addressed the topic at a Park City Council meeting that was held on Jan. 21, the original start date of the festival. Sundance shifted the dates and shortened the length of the festival this year as part of the planning for an event amid the continued spread of the novel coronavirus.
Sundance runs from Thursday until Feb. 3 and will be held virtually and without a live venue in Park City. The festival usually draws some of the largest crowds of the year to Park City, but little activity is anticipated in the community this year.
“Certainly like everything else the festival has had to adapt this year and we’re all disappointed it’s not going to be in town, or I should say a lot of people are disappointed it’s not going to be in town,” Beerman said at the recent meeting.
The mayor’s stopping short of saying all of Park City is disappointed appears to reflect the various opinions of Sundance in the community.
Many in Park City enjoy the opportunity to see the works at one of the world’s top marketplaces of independent films and find the buzzing atmosphere appealing. There are also those who see Sundance as an especially lucrative 11-day stretch of the year as festival attendees spend significant money on lodging, meals and transportation.
But others see the festival as bringing annoyances like traffic, parking issues and misbehaving crowds.
“As much as we complain about the traffic, I think we all secretly like the fact that, you know, we get this introduction to a side of things we don’t often see in a mountain town — arts and culture and filmmakers. It’s an exciting time,” Beerman said.
The mayor also encouraged the community to continue to support Sundance and watch films this year, noting there are various ways to become involved in the festival in 2021.
“In some ways it’s going to be more accessible to ourselves and our residents than it has ever been, so I hope you’ll adapt your ways and tune in,” Beerman said.
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