Last year’s EVE celebration ended with record attendance — there were packed houses from the Tabernacle on Temple Square to the Salt Palace Convention Center.
With that kind of success, organizers could have kept the same blueprint for this year’s EVE 4.0.
Instead, the Downtown Alliance revamped in hopes of luring more people to the three-day celebration.
The biggest change is the addition of nationally touring acts. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Nick Waterhouse, Blind Pilot and !!! (Chk Chk Chk) will grace the outdoor stage at The Gallivan Center.
Casey Jarman, founder of the summer Twilight Concert Series, helped sign the national bands, hoping to entice those in Utah’s 20- to 30-something age group — a demographic that has not had high EVE participation in the past.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Blind Pilot have performed at Red Butte Garden in recent years, and Downtown Alliance officials are hoping that the same young audiences that turned out to see Blind Pilot last summer (in a sold-out show with The Shins) will brave the cold to see the group again.
“I really like that we take a risk and do it outdoors,” said Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance. “We’re not afraid of cold weather.”
Besides the national acts, EVE will continue to have local acts, which this year include David Williams, the Joshua Payne Orchestra, the No Nation Orchestra and Night Sweats.
The headquarters for EVE will move from the Salt Palace Convention Center to The Gallivan Center.
A three-day general admission pass costs $15 and will get patrons into all participating venues. A $40 VIP pass gives access to the indoor balcony at the Gallivan Center for viewing the concerts and fireworks.
One of those acts will be Los Angeles-based neo-soul bandleader Nick Waterhouse, who is relatively new to the national scene. The fresh-faced Waterhouse, who will perform Saturday at the Gallivan Center, is bringing two horn players, a rhythm section, a keyboard player and two female backup singers to his first Utah performance.
“I’m thrilled at the novelty of playing in a snowy place,” he said. “I’m scared, but in a roller-coaster-way.”
Waterhouse will follow the New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band, known for its inventive repertoire that honors Mardi Gras traditions while turning out unexpected covers such as Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music,” which is on the band’s latest CD, “Twenty Dozen.”
The group is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, said founding member Roger Lewis. The baritone and soprano sax player said the band is on the road all year long, so cold weather doesn’t scare him. “We played an outdoor concert in Colorado last month.”
Lewis said he hopes to find some Southern-style Hoppin’ John — black-eyed peas with collard greens — somewhere in Utah on New Year’s Day. His mother used to make him this traditional holiday dish as a child.
On Sunday, acoustic folk singer David Williams pairs up with the Joshua Payne Orchestra, a trio known for its genre-bending jazz style.
Williams, a Salt Lake City resident who was born and raised in southern Florida, said he prefers to spend the holidays in the desert. (Before his performance, he will be house-sitting for friends in Moab.) But he said performing with the Joshua Payne Orchestra is “my dream trio.”
The Oregon-based folk-pop ensemble Blind Pilot will follow Williams. It is one of the last tour dates for the band, which has been promoting its sophomore album, “We Are the Tide.”
Blind Pilot is looking forward to 2013, said singer and guitar player Israel Nebeker. There are plans to perform with the Portland Symphony and the group will begin writing material for a third album.
Blind Pilot got its start in 2008 by touring on bicycles from Bellingham, Wash., to San Diego, toting instruments on custom trailers. After that experience, Nebeker said he and his bandmates are not afraid of low temperatures. “Cold makes me alive and in touch with the environment.”
When • Saturday through Monday
Where • Broadway Centre Cinemas, Clark Planetarium, Discovery Gateway, The Gateway, Gallivan Center, Off Broadway Theatre, Temple Square Assembly Hall, Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Temple Square Tabernacle, The Leonardo and Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
Tickets • Three-day general admission pass, $15. Allows access to all venues. A three-day VIP pass is $40 in advance, $50 at door. VIP pass includes top-level balcony viewing for Gallivan Center music acts and fireworks, ice skating and “Da Vinci the Genius” exhibit at The Leonardo.
More • A new Family Festival at The Gateway will be held all three days from 3 to 7 p.m.
Info • eveslc.com
Music schedule at Gallivan Center
Saturday, 7 p.m. • Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Saturday, 8:30 p.m. • Nick Waterhouse
Sunday, 7 p.m. • David Williams with Joshua Payne Orchestra
Sunday, 8:30 p.m. • Blind Pilot
Monday, 7 p.m. • Night Sweats
Monday, 8:30 p.m. • No Nation Orchestra
Monday, 10 p.m. • !!! (Chk Chk Chk)
Highlights of Temple Square Tabernacle
Monday, 9:05 p.m. • Octappella
Monday, 9:55 p.m. • Katherine Nelson
Monday, 10:30 p.m. • Nashville Tribute Band