Like the plants it grows on the foothills of Salt Lake City, Red Butte Garden creates its summer concert lineup organically.
“We try to look at each individual opportunity and show as its own kind of living, being thing,” said Chris Mautz, concert promoter for the Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Series. “Each of them has their own story to tell.”
The 2019 concert series will have 31 stories to tell, mixing up-and-coming performers like blues rocker Gary Clark Jr. and multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana with such legendary musicians as Mark Knopfler, Lyle Lovett, Lucinda Williams, Seal and Boz Scaggs.
Creating the series schedule is “sort of an ongoing conversation that happens pretty much year round,” Mautz said. Sometimes Mautz pursues acts that are planning to tour, sometimes agents and artists approach him, and sometimes he takes suggestions from Red Butte Garden audiences and members.
The outdoor setting is one draw for artists, but so are the audiences.
“Performers are kind of surprised by Utah crowds, and the real attentiveness at times to the show, and the energy that’s shared,” Mautz said. “Red Butte is not a passive place to perform. People aren’t just sitting there having what happens onstage be its own thing. That audience connection is part of the whole thing.”
The range of musical styles covers rock, folk, bluegrass, alt-country, blues, funk and more. The ticket prices also range widely: The cheapest, at $35 for the general public, is for Utah Shakespeare Festival’s concert version of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” on June 6; the most expensive, at $92, is for guitarist and Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler on Sept. 11.
Here are the 31 shows in the 2019 Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Series, with dates and general-public ticket prices. (Tickets are $5 cheaper for Red Butte Garden members.)
• Wednesday, June 5 • Little Feat, southern rock band marking its 50th anniversary. • $47. (Previously announced.)
• Thursday, June 6 • Concert version of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” presented by Utah Shakespeare Festival. • $35. (Previously announced.)
• Wednesday, June 26 • Lucinda Williams, folk/rock singer-songwriter, with her band, Buick 6. • $40.
• Tuesday, July 2 • Utah Symphony’s “Patriotic Celebration,” featuring Broadway actor-singer Hugh Panaro, conducted by Michael Krajewski. • $40. (Previously announced.)
• Sunday, July 14 • Lyle Lovett, alt-country legend, and His Large Band. • $53.
• Thursday, July 18 • Seal, soul/R&B singer-songwriter. • $75.
• Wednesday, Aug. 7 • Mandolin Orange, Americana/folk duo. • $37.
• Wednesday, Aug. 14 • Lord Huron, indie-folk band. • $45.
• Monday, Aug. 26 • Stray Cats, rockabilly band celebrating 40th anniversary. • $79. (Previously announced.)
• Wednesday, Sept. 4 • Gov’t Mule, southern rock jam band. • $42.
• Friday, Sept. 6 • Gary Clark Jr., blues/rock/soul musician. • $63.
• Wednesday, Sept. 11 • Mark Knopfler, rock guitarist-songwriter. • $92.
• Sunday, Sept. 15 • Boz Scaggs, rock/soul guitarist-singer. • $50.
• Thursday, Sept. 19 • Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, Americana/alt-country musicians. • $62.
Tickets for most shows go on sale to Red Butte Garden members online on Monday, April 29, at 7 p.m., and by phone and in person on Tuesday, April 30, at 9 a.m. Tickets for the general public — for shows that haven’t sold out already — go on sale online, by phone or in person on Monday, May 6, at 9 a.m. (The exceptions are tickets for the Béla Fleck, Little Feat, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” and Utah Symphony shows, which are already on sale.)
Those wishing to renew or purchase “Garden-Flex” level memberships, so they can take part in the members-only presale, have until Tuesday, April 23, at midnight to do so.
Red Butte Garden is located at 300 Wakara Way in Salt Lake City, on the University of Utah campus.
For details, go to www.redbuttegarden.org/concerts.