Live music is a hallmark of summer in Park City, and music lovers are encouraged to explore their melodic passions in new ways this September when the Park City Song Summit takes its place on town’s center stage.
Spearheaded by Park City resident Ben Anderson, a member of the popular jam band Aiko, the inaugural Park City Song Summit is set for Sept. 7-10 and is billed as a four-day “love letter to the power of the song.” Passes are on sale now for the Song Summit, which is an ambitious mix of live performances and thoughtful discussions that pull back the curtain not only on the creative process but also the struggles and breakthroughs that contribute to the creation of song.
“We’re in a different lane,” said Anderson, regarding the difference between the Song Summit and traditional music festivals. “We are an immersive hangout for song lovers, and our format is based around the chance to explore and celebrate the myth, the power and the passion behind song and songcraft.”
Exploration of the creative process is the heartbeat of the Song Summit, which features three days of artist-led discussions that have been dubbed the Summit Labs. Lab topics and participants include “Comedy for Musicians, but Everyone is Welcome,” where “Saturday Night Live” alum Fred Armisen talks music, comedy and timing with anyone who’ll listen; “That’s the Way the World Goes ‘Round” with Jason Isbell, Warren Haynes, Margo Price and Newport Folk Festival’s executive producer Jay Sweet, who’ll explore the lessons left behind by the great John Prine; and “Have You Been to Electric Lady(Land)?” where CBS News correspondent Anthony Mason sits down with Lee Foster, co-owner and general manager of Jimi Hendrix’s historic Electric Lady Studios in New York City.
“Park City Song Summit was in part inspired by my love for song but to an even larger degree, it comes from my desire to provide awareness and resources for those who may also be challenged by trauma, addiction and mental health issues,” said Anderson, who’s been sober for 15 years after battling a life-shattering addiction to alcohol. “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.”
Additionally, several popular podcasts – including Katie Pruitt’s “The Recovering Catholic,” Dave Manheim’s “Dopey Podcast,” and Joe Pug’s “The Working Songwriter” – will be on site, recording special PCSS episodes in front of live Lab audiences.
Of course, musical performances will highlight the entire Song Summit, which features live shows across Park City music venues. Early live shows include nine acts over three days and feature Father John Misty, Warren Haynes, Rising Appalachia, Josh Ritter, Celisse, Anders Osborne & Friends, and more. Late live shows on Park City’s historic Main Street include Katie Pruitt, Joe Pug, Daniel Donato and others. Summit+ Passholders will also experience a private kick-off dinner with performances by Jason Isbell and Adia Victoria at Blue Sky Ranch.
Another unique experience at the Song Summit is the “Songwriter Rounds,” which will be held twice daily on Thursday-Saturday. The three-hour Songwriter Rounds will include three songwriters per round.
Park City Song Summit will benefit several Park City community non-profits, including Communities That Care Summit County, Jewish Family Service, Summit County Clubhouse, Peace House and others that comprise the Park City Community Foundation’s Mental Wellness Alliance.
For tickets, passes and more details on the Park City Song Summit, visit parkcitysongsummit.com.