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Mountain Town Music moves back to City Park

KPCW’s Back Alley Bash was a free concert at City Park on Aug. 19, 2022.
Renai Bodley Miller
KPCW’s Back Alley Bash was a free concert at City Park on Aug. 19, 2022.

The popular Wednesday night concerts at Deer Valley are on the move. They’ll be back at City Park this summer.

The free summer concerts started in City Park in the 1990s. They quickly outgrew the space and have been hosted by Deer Valley Resort at the Snow Park Amphitheater ever since.

With impending construction at the resort, Mountain Town Music Executive Director Brian Richards said it was time to get back to the essence of the series: the music.

“I felt like this was kind of a good year to take a step back, hit the reset button, because I felt like it was just growing a little bit too large," Richards said." It was becoming less about the music and more about, you know, just going up to Deer Valley with your friends, chatting, having a glass of wine. To me, it wasn't about the music anymore, it was just about getting together with friends; the music became the background for the social experience.”

Even though the concerts will no longer be held at Deer Valley, the resort remains a sponsor, along with title sponsor Grand Valley Bank. Richards said it’s possible the series could return to the resort once construction of the parking lots is complete.

“We don't look at this as a long-term decision," Richards said. "We just felt like this is in the best interest of Mountain Town Music right now.”

The schedule shows 21 concerts slated for City Park from June 6 to Oct. 4 and will feature classical music on Monday evenings, Latino music on Tuesday and jazz artists on Wednesday evenings.

“The idea is not to overwhelm City Park,” he said. “The idea is to spread it out over the course of the summer. And we're not looking to attract thousands; these aren't like the concerts of the park in the like late '90s, early 2000s. So that's what we're trying to create, something that feels good but isn't a ton of people but kind of again, brings the community together. We want people to ride bikes. We want people to take public transit. We want to bring it back to the essence, which is music. Community connection through music.”

The bands that bring the larger crowds will happen in venues like the Silly Sunday Market, the DeJoria Center, Billy Blanco's and Canyons Village.

Also new this summer, a six-week youth music series at the skate park.

“It’ll feature kid bands that normally don't get a chance to play, you know, like in different genres like punk and metal and stuff that we wouldn't normally be able to program at a traditional Mountain Town Music concert,” he said.

Richards added that Deer Valley’s policy to not allow alcoholic beverages to be brought into the venue had nothing to do with the change. He said it was strictly a decision about showcasing the music.

Get more information and the summer music rundown here.