The invasion is already underway here in Park City. Colorful ski jackets and pants have all faded to black. Ski and snowboard boots have been replaced with furry Uggs. Oversized fur jackets and hats are still everywhere—but are no longer being worn ironically.That’s right, Sundance Film Festival 2017 is underway. The ten-day period when we Airbnb our quaint little mountain town so Hollywood can throw a fancy cocktail party in the mountains. It’s the ten-day period when locals either:
Over my many years in Park City, I’ve dabbled in all four strategies and I think I’ve come up with a pretty good plan. So here goes:
The festival kicks off Thursday night, but it’s really not that busy of a day in town. It’s a great day to T.C.B.Y. (Take Care of Business, Yo!) before the weekend starts and nothing gets done. Go out on the town and do some advanced scouting for the upcoming week. Grab a drink at your favorite bar before they forget who you are start charging you a cover. I’ll probably head to No Name Saloon before making my way to The Downstairs to see Skylar Grey.
This is one of the biggest days of the festival. Celebrities will be showing up from their private planes. Uber will probably be illegally operating helicopters out of some sell-out’s yard on Old Ranch Road. It’s a great day to get some work done or hit the slopes. After all, it’s expected to be a moderate powder day. After skiing, change into your most garish People of Sundance get-up and catch the bus into town.
Don’t plan on getting into any bars tonight, but just wander around and do some people watching. Try to talk your way into a private party. If you have an extra $140 laying around, check out Major Lazer at Park City Live. But don’t stay out too late, Saturday will be your Sundance inauguration day, so to speak. And it's going to be yuge.
Wake up early and get to Main Street by 9am to watch or join in the Women’s March on Main, a march (and potentially a Trump protest) down Main Street that already has almost 4,000 RSVP’s on Facebook and a $21,000 budget via a GoFundMe page.
The controversial Sundance Village would be a great place to spend Saturday afternoon. And while the free samples of coffee sounds great, I’d avoid the freebie-hoarding crowds and make my way to Old Town Cellars or Atticus to watch the madness from a safe distance.
Go skiing or go see a movie. Sunday should be another refresher powder day. But if that isn’t your thing, here’s a list of Rolling Stone’s 25 most-anticipated films of Sundance.
I’ll be headed to Deer Valley for the day before making my way to The Montage for the free Live at the Montage Concert Series at 6pm. If I have anything left in the tank, Lil Jon is hosting a DJ Set/Birthday Party at The Downstairs.
Monday is a great day to catch up on some work, sleep, or skiing. I’ll probably do all three and ski into town from Park City Mountain and head to the ASCAP Music Cafe, to check out some musicians, headlined by Michael Franti at 4:30 pm.
Monday night would be a great opportunity to check out the Firestorm Lounge at the Waldorf Astoria Pool from 7-10 pm. Sponsored by Lamborghini and Patron, the outdoor cocktail party features performances by the Fire Muse Circus and Patron cocktails.
Tuesday morning is shaping up to be another powder day. I’ll keep an eye on Wasatch Snow Forecast and see where the snow delivers and head there.
Tuesday night could be a fun night to check out Main Street on one of the slower nights of the festival. I imagine locals will come out of hiding to check out Michael Franti and Spearhead at Park City Live, John Popper at The Cabin, or, the local’s favorite, Rage Against the Supremes at Flanagan’s.
Film festival 2017 will be one for the books! @badfeathermusic @djspider @oteil_burbridge and Friends, The John Popper Project @thedjlogic @vernonreid @robgarzamusic @lukasnelsonofficial @royalblissband @shooterjennings @djbadboybill @natelowpass ... email Amanda about table reservations to any of these shows: firstname.lastname@example.org Limited tickets available www.smithstix.com. #filmfestival2017 #cabinparkcity #altheelkupine #elkupinelove
This could be an ideal day to spend burning off a hangover or, at the very least, some unwanted calories in the backcountry. I’m planning on making my way into the backcountry via Park City Mountain. Then finding my way to Main Street to check out some of the virtual reality (VR) exhibits. Always one of the most interesting events for locals, there are four different VR exhibits at this year’s festival. Then I’m headed to Yuki Yama for some sushi and ramen on what should be a good night for locals to visit their favorite restaurants before the People In Black take the town over again.
Thursday would be a fun day to head to Sundance Ski Resort to see if I can’t ski a run with the Downhill Racer himself, Mr. Robert Redford. If that doesn’t work, I’ll at least grab a drink and hope to see some celebrities at the Owl Bar before heading back to Park City Live to catch RL Grime.
Friday morning would be a great time to work in the morning, and ski Deer Valley in the afternoon, before heading back to The Montage to hear some free music from the members of Guster.
After a quick bite to eat or a nap, you’ll have a tough decision to make, do you head to the recently renovated Spur to see the Metal Dogs, the monsters of 80’s hair-metal cover bands, or do you head to Park City Live to see hip-hop legend Busta Rhymes? I’m aiming to do do both.
This is the last chance to make the most of Sundance 2017. I would plan on getting to Main Street early and spending the day trying to get into every venue possible. Do it all. Dress like a Sundancer. Take selfies with celebrities. Sneak into venues. Show off fake credentials. Pull out all the stops. It’s your last chance to leave Sundance 2017 with a story that no one will believe.
If that doesn’t work, which it rarely does, check out Zedd at Park City Live or head to Downstairs for the unofficial Sundance Closing Party. Dance the night away, knowing that when you wake up, Sundance 2017 will be a distant, blurry memory.