Record editorial: Get out of your house, Parkites, and into the Sundance action
By the time this edition of The Park Record hits doorsteps, the Sundance Film Festival will be in full swing. Crowds will have swelled, celebrities will have been sighted, and credits will have rolled on the premieres of dozens of films.
And many Parkites will have skipped town or will be hunkered down at home after stocking up on rations and other necessities in a desperate attempt to avoid the hubbub altogether.
In truth, that approach is understandable. Much in recent years has been made of the strain Sundance — and the coinciding, smaller Slamdance Film Festival — puts on Park City and the residents who live here each January. One need only stand at the corner of an intersection during rush hour, admiring a long string of taillights, to understand that hosting the festival and the tens of thousands of people who attend it comes with interruptions to most Parkites’ daily lives.
Nonetheless, another truth remains: Sundance is what one makes of it. So while holing up and waiting for the storm to blow over strikes some Parkites as a sound strategy, it’s far from the most fulfilling way to experience the festival.
Rather, we would encourage folks to get out there, brave the crowds and look for ways to be a part of one of the film industry’s most prestigious events.
Certainly, the most obvious way to do so is actually attending a film screening. Tickets, while still scarce for certain Sundance films, can be relatively painless to score using the festival’s ewaitlist, particularly if one is willing to take a chance on a film flying under the radar of the media buzz. Tickets for Slamdance screenings at the Treasure Mountain Inn, meanwhile, are generally even easier to come by.
Alternatively, Parkites can head to Old Town — via public transit, preferably — and soak in the liveliness along Main Street, the heart of the festival. During the first few days, especially, celebrity sightings are common, and there’s an ineffable energy that isn’t present in Park City any other time of the year.
For people willing to go with the flow, even something as ostensibly dreary as sitting on a crowded bus can prove worthwhile. An enriching conversation with someone who has an interesting story to tell is often only a “How are you?” away.
Take it from us: While sharing our town with thousands of Sundancers each year requires patience, the experiences that are out there, waiting to be had, are worth it. Even the most jaded Parkites may well find themselves counting down the days to next year’s festival if they’re willing to adopt an adventurous spirit and find them.
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