t’s a musical month years in the making for the Vail Valley and I encourage you to encourage the promoters by showing up. From Avon’s concerted effort to bring world class entertainment to a worthy stage to the beer loving crew at Optimum in Eagle, the next few weeks will put an exclamation point on what must be considered one of the strongest years on record for live music in the valley. There are plenty of risks involved from a financial standpoint and though visitors to the Valley will play an important part to the overall success, it will be inherent on the locals. yes you, to patronage these events over the next two weeks to send a message loud and clear.- We want quality live music as part of the identity of the Vail Valley.
Let’s begin wth Avon’s Ben Harper show at the Nottingham Pavilion Friday September 15th. Let it be said that the beautiful venue has not been without its controversy. Overcoming dramatic town council meetings and unfortunate flops, the town has persevered and stuck their neck out on a multi-talented and socially conscious entertainer as a vital show geared as much to the citizens of their town as out of town guests. Harper’s soulful blues with a hint of reggae and folk will find a glorious setting in the town’s outdoor amphitheater that aches for consistent programing that it will get in the years to come if indeed the fans come.
Then we take a Hike to the Mic as Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Elvis Costello and Colorado’s own Elephant Revival perform what should be a magical show at the top of Beaver Creek. Costello will be performing a large portion of his 1982 masterpiece Imperial Bedroom in what promises to be a masterful setting 8000 feet above sea level. This inaugural event promises to make the journey as much a part of the experience as the destination. Ticket holders can hike, bike, ride or glide in the gondola to the peak of Centennial for a panoramic experience of sight and sound. To me it’s not really important how you get there, just go and don’t forget the after party in the BC village as the pride of Bloomington, Indiana- Main Squeeze promises to rock the ice rink. The Beav has never been so cool.
Then it’s off to Eagle the following weekend for Septemberfest. Creedence to Soleil Homes and Ted Wenninger of Optimum Events for a weather risky event that reeks of local pride. From the Bonfire brews to the strong lineup featuring Fruition and guitar maestro Andres Osborne to local stables Bonfire Dub (with perhaps a hint of their special Doors’ tribute), this event should bring joy and hopefully business to the west end of the valley. You should also plan on sticking around and indulging in the local businesses after hours as well.
One constant refrain I have heard over the years has been the search for identity for the Vail Valley culturally. Personally I’d love to see it become one of a live music mecca where promoters are rewarded for risk taking and large acts make Vail as much a part of their treks as lets say Aspen. We are uniquely located along a major expressway leading out of Denver and dozens of artists do drive by’s every week. The only thing that will make them pull over and perform are towns and venues willing to risk upfront guarantees. The only thing that will encourage musical entrepreneurs and various towns to take those risks are if you show up to support them. So do yourself and your town a favor and enjoy some live performances in some glorious settings this September and spend some time and money on live music.