Over a year ago, the onset of COVID-19 brought about a rapid change to Park City. Usually, a town teeming with activity and events was quieted and calmed by a global pandemic.
Restaurants, bars, theatres, concert halls, and even ski resorts closed or limited capacity to curb the spread of the virus. As the virus raged on, many events were canceled, postponed, or held virtually.
Now, as the vaccine begins to make its way through the country, things are slowly returning to normal. Restaurants are beginning to open at a limited capacity. Previously scheduled events are getting new dates later in the year, and people are returning to the streets to participate in various activities that were once outlawed.
Park City Music Scene
One aspect of Park City culture that has been heavily affected by the pandemic is the music scene. As Park City is one of the premier cultural hubs in the nation, many people like to attend various shows, festivals, and concerts usually available year-round.
The town’s four biggest performing arts nonprofits — the Egyptian Theatre, Park City Institute, Park City Beethoven Festival, and Mountain Town Music – found ways to stay in business during the pandemic through the last year.
Many, including Park City Institute and the Park City Beethoven Festival, turned to virtual programming to stay afloat during the pandemic.
The Egyptian Theatre, on the other hand, closed down temporarily to preserve resources. Now, they are coming back into business.
“Our last show was a little more than a year ago with Sam Bush on March 6, 2020,” said Egyptian Theatre manager Randy Barton. “The show the next week was supposed to be moved, but we saw what was happening with COVID-19, and we were the first to cancel any show. Since then, we’ve not had any major shows.”
When they were closed, Barton worked with Park City-based singer and songwriter Robyn Cage to create Broadway Voices, an intimate night of show tunes for the theater’s Pharaoh Club members. But as the summer wore on, Barton and his crew knew it was time to shut down temporarily.
Now, they are returning to the fold.
“We will start booking shows for the summer of 2022 and work backward to the present,” he said. “As soon as we get two months away where we feel we can safely put on a 357-seat, shoulder-to-shoulder, no-mask show, we’ll do it.”
Park City Institute
Park City Institute employed a much different approach towards business during the pandemic.
One of the first things they did was cancel the Saints and Sinners Ball, their annual fundraiser. They also decided to cancel its Big Stars, Bright Nights summer concert series.
“The year before COVID, we had a $2 million budget, and we worked hard to cut down on recurring expenses and work with our vendors,” said Ari Ioannides, Park City Institute’s Executive Director, “but we still had to shut things down and furlough people, because we weren’t able to sell any tickets or engage our stakeholders due to COVID-19.”
Eventually, Park City Institute began Locals Live, which streamed concerts presented by Park City-based musicians paid for their work.
“This was something I wanted to do before COVID,” Ioannides said. “I wanted to engage the local performing arts community in a bigger way.”
Park City Institute is currently looking to the upcoming summer season, which was initially scheduled to start on April 17 with Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Unfortunately, that performance has been postponed because Summit County remains a high-level COVID-19 threat.
Once performances start, the venue will require masks, hand sanitizers, and socially distanced seating for the Eccles Center.
2021 Main Stage Schedule
- Complexions Contemporary Ballet, “Bach to Bowie”- TBA
- Upstate – Saturday, July 10
- Jocelyn and Chris Arndt – Saturday, July 17
- Special Country Guest Star – Saturday, July 24
- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Saturday, July 30
- An Evening Stephanie Land – Saturday, August 14
- Marty Stuart – Saturday, August 21
The Park City Beethoven Festival
The Park City Beethoven Festival took an exciting approach during the pandemic, pivoting from presenting live concerts to posting recorded performances of past shows on its YouTube channel.
The project was spearheaded by the festival’s archivist Russell Harlow, who co-founded the festival with his wife, Leslie.
Russel said that the festival has archived recordings that reach back to 1988.
“The biggest challenge to getting these ready for posting is to listen to all the concerts in real-time,” he said. “We’re re-discovering performances that we really haven’t listened to since the actual concerts.”
In the future, the Harlows are trying to find ways to schedule safe, outdoor performances for the community.
“We are planning some pop-up concerts in June and July, for some small, safely masked and distanced, and hopefully, vaccinated audiences,” Leslie said. “We have an RV that we can pack up with our own sound system and park and play.”
Mountain Town Music
Mountain Town Music, which usually schedules around 300 outdoor concerts by local artists, quickly adjusted to the COVID-19 restrictions last year by cutting its concert count in half and establishing the Local’s Lounge and its Door 2 Door Tour.
“Right after COVID hit, we started the Local’s Lounge, and we worked with a few of our community partners to establish a nightly live stream in order to stay relevant and support our local musicians,” said Brian Richards, Mountain Town Music’s Community Conductor of Musical Matters. “They were hit really hard. All of a sudden, they went from having several gigs to having them all canceled in the blink of an eye.”
The Local’s Lounge allowed Richards and Mountain Town Music to get a feel for the situation in the community and plan the Door 2 Door Tour 2020, which brought live music to cul-de-sacs, driveways, and backyards via the back of a flatbed truck.
“We were able to present 104 safe, responsible private concerts, (and) we are extremely proud to say we had zero confirmed COVID cases,” he said. “We are going to give our Vibe Tribe members first crack at booking their favorite bands on their preferred dates; then we are going to open it up to the rest of our community.”
Mountain Town Music has already confirmed artists and dates for the Woodenshoe Park Concert Series in Peoa, and they are moving forward with their concert series on the Great Lawn at High Star Ranch in Kamas. Check the above links for the full schedule.
2021 Upcoming June Shows
- Lash Larue – Friday, June 4 at Woodenshoe Park in Peoa
- Swagger – Sunday, June 6 at Park Silly Sunday Market
- Jake & The Heist – Sunday, June 6 at Park Silly Market
- Alicia Stockman – Friday, June 11, at Woodenshoe Park in Peoa
- John Statz – Friday, June 18, at Woodenshoe Park in Peoa
- Christian Coleman & The Blue Zen Band – Sunday, June 20 at Park Silly Sunday Market
- Muddpuddle – Sunday, June 20 at Park Silly Market
- The Wyld – Thursday, June 24 at Great Lawn at Dejoria Center/High Star Ranch
- The Proper Way – Friday, June 25 at Woodenshoe Park in Peoa
- Rick Gerber – Saturday, June 26 at Miner’s Park
- Shannon Runyon – Saturday, June 26 at Miner’s Park
- Bruce Music – Sunday, June 27 at Park Silly Sunday Market
- Sin City Soul – Sunday, June 27 at Park Silly Sunday Market
Deer Valley Music Festival
The Snowpark Amphitheatre is the summer home of the Utah Symphony Orchestra. Come and enjoy an entire summer of your favorite artists as they play classical, pop, Motown, and country hits with the symphony.
- Capathia Jenkins – Friday, July 2
- Kool & The Gang – Friday, July 9
- Kristin Chenoweth – Saturday, July 10
- Super Diamond – Friday, July 16
- The Temptations – Saturday, July 17
- The Magical Music of Harry Potter – Friday, July 23
- The Music of John Denver with Jim Curry – Saturday, July 24
- The Little River Band – Friday, July 30
- The 1812 Overture with Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 – Saturday, July 31
- The Beach Boys – Saturday, August 7
With new events popping up every day and the music scene returning, the time has never been better to invest in Park City real estate. For all of your local real estate needs, consider using Jensen and Company, the premier one-stop shop for all of your Park City real estate needs.