After having to call off what would have been a big splash in 2021, Park City Song Summit is set to blast off in September 2022, with much of the same lineup pf singer-songwriters enlisted to partake in an ambitious and novel mixture of conversations about artistry during the daytime and proof-of-art via concerts in the evening.
The intimate talking-and-rocking festival will take place Sept, 7-10 in Park City, Utah, offering an unglitzy counterpart to the Sundance Film Festival about a half-year out from the town’s signature movie event.
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Among those taking part in concerts, conversations or both are celebrated musicians including Jason Isbell, Andrew Bird, Father John Misty, Fred Armisen, Celisse, Adia Victoria, John Doe, Devon Gilfillian, Josh Ritter, Langhorne Slim, Fruit Bats, Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule.
The list of participants booked as performers, speakers or moderators stretches to include Bonny Light Horseman, Cedric Burnside, Anders Osborne & Friends, Rising Appalachia, Joe Pug, Katie Pruitt, Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel, Daniel Donato, David Ramirez, Dave from Dopey Podcast, Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite Duo, Jay Blakesberg, Jay Sweet, Jimbo Mathus, John Craigie, Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie and Tré Burt.
Dinner is on the agenda for top passholders as well, with Summit+ attendees getting an opening-night four-course dinner and private performance by Isbell and Victoria at Blue Sky Ranch.
Among those confirmed to share thoughts about their creative process at more than 30 Song Summit Labs, taking place at three different stages within the Lodges at Deer Valley, are Isbell, Armisen, Gilfillian, Bird and Celisse. Evening performances will take place at venues throughout Park City.
Says founder Ben Anderson, “The great differentiator between Song Summit and the traditional music festival experience is our focus on conversations about the common bond of song and the universal language of music – the power of song to solve problems, change lives, spawn careers and literally move humankind forward.” Anderson, a Park City resident, is a member of the jam band Aiko.
Summit passes go on sale here May 20. Additional artists are expected to be announced.
Park City Song Summit
Although Park City Song Summit has materialized in a much smaller way in the past, the 2021 gathering represented a significant expansion before the pandemic resurgence forced its cancellation. Anderson is happy to be bringing back many of the artists promised for last year’s edition for the fest’s breakout this year.
“I’m so excited to be joining forces with Park City Song Summit this year.” says Gilfillian, one of the participating artists. “Their format — concerts and table talks — provides an opportunity for artists to connect with fans, peers and fellow industry folks in a beautiful and personal way. I think it’s important that artists have an outlet to explain the real world issues that have inspired our music, the things we’ve experienced in our lives that may not be explicitly evident when someone hears our music.”
Anderson is focused on having mental health be a part of the conversations about artistry, as well as having charitable partners including Communities That Care, Jewish Family Services, Latinx mental health initiatives, and Summit County Clubhouse.
“If, in some small way, this event can use the platform of music to help de-stigmatize mental health and addiction issues and to bring a better understanding around the issues of inclusivity and social justice, then I will count Song Summit as a huge success,” Anderson says. “Our Labs are meant to be a safe space for artist and audience alike to be inspired by others who have faced these challenges and to explore the ever-relevant issues of inclusivity, opportunity and equality.”
Said the band Rising Appalachia in a statement to Variety, “We are excited to be finally making our way to Park City Song Summit. We have been inspired by their format for years and are looking forward to being a part of the world-folk music represented at the summit, as well as sitting at the table in dialogue around some of the more pressing social and cultural themes of our times. The Labs are something we can’t wait to participate in, as the public service component of our work as performers and song catchers feels very true to our own path. It is always such a pleasure to share the stage with other thinkers and pickers alike. Long live the power of song.”
For more information, visit parkcitysongsummit.com.
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