Twilight Concert Series announced: Flaming Lips, Erykah Badu, Grizzly Bear
The Salt Lake City Arts Council announced the performers for this summer's 26th annual Twilight Concert Series on Wednesday morning.Concerts will be held in Salt Lake City's Pioneer Park on Thursdays from July 18 through Sept. 5, except one week in August when there will be back-to-back concerts on Wednesday and Thursday nights.For the second year, a $5 admission fee will be charged for each of the nine concerts, with season tickets at 24Tix.com. Tickets, which will include a service fee of (75 cents per ticket) for the first time, can be purchased beginning today at noon at 24tix.com. Season tickets can be purchased for $35, with a 40-cent service fee.The performers include:July 18 • Belle & Sebastian with Blitzen TrapperJuly 25 • Flaming Lips with TBAAug. 1 • The National with Sharon van EttenAug. 7 • Grizzly Bear with Youth LagoonAug. 8 • Erykah Badu with TBAAug. 15 • TBAAug. 22 • Kid Cudi with TBAAug. 29 • Empire of the Sun with TBASept. 5 • MGMT with TBACasey Jarman, founder and director of the Twilight Concert Series, said charging an admission fee for the first time last season was met with universal praise from city leaders, downtown merchants and music fans. The average attendance of Twilight Concert Series shows in 2012 was around 16,000, he said, with the previous season's free shows averaging about 33,000.The money collected from ticket sales was put back into the series, Jarman said, giving him more flexibility in whom he could attract. The series has never been seen as a fund-raiser for the city or arts council, he said.Jarman noted that a band that performed last year, Band of Horses, initially was skeptical when they were pursued by Jarman. In past years, the words "arts council" and "free series" raised red flags for a band of its stature, until they came to Salt Lake City to headline. Once they saw the atmosphere and the solid production values, they were pleased, and Jarman said after the show they told him it was one of the best shows they had ever performed.The $5 admission fee is part of a three-season plan, Jarman said.Karen Krieger, executive director of the Salt Lake City Arts Council, said the council wants to find the "right balance" of high-profile acts and a community series affordable to "the most people possible."Jason Mathis, executive director of the Downtown Alliance, agreed. "Five dollars is a good threshold," he said. Downtown businesses supported the entrance fee, he said, because anecdotal evidence showed that people who are willing to pay $5 for a concert are more willing to patronize businesses that are near the concert series. Those people, he said, "have a little more skin in the game."