Rock, Country, Blues, and Punk Stars to Perform and Speak at the “Anti-Festival” Park City Song Summit

The “Ted Talk for music,” featuring panels, live performances and more, will run September 7-10.

(Blake Peterson | Park City Song Summit) Ben Anderson, center, founder of Park City Song Summit, chats with Julia Stout, left, director of event operations for the summit) and Julia Rametta, director of business operations.

The Park City Song Summit – which its founder calls a “musical retreat” and a “Ted talk for music” – will return for another four-day series of live performances and panel discussions, featuring musicians working in genres ranging from folk to blues to rock. .

“We try to celebrate the power and myth of song through conversations and interactions between artists and an audience,” said event founder Ben Anderson. “We give people the opportunity to see behind the song and learn more about the artist through conversations.”

The summit – which some have called an anti-festival because it does not follow normal music festival rules – will take place September 7-10 in Park City.

Live performances make up a good part of the event, Anderson said, but there’s more — both for the artist and the audience.

“Instead of just being another stop on a tour – where you see essentially the same 75-minute set you’d hear whether you’re in Omaha, Augusta or Portland – [the artists] have the chance to invite their families, managers and agents to come and enjoy the mountains of Park City,” he said.

A major element of the event are the “Song Summit Labs”, which last for hours, as artists can talk about the power of a certain song, the thought process behind it, and more. Essentially, it’s a mashup between a set of MTV Unplugged music and an artist-led Ted Talk.

There are also more relaxed events, such as songwriter tours and artist experiences.

Among the artists scheduled to appear in both performance and in the Labs are: alternative country singer-songwriters Josh Ritter and Katie Pruitt, blues singer and multi-instrumentalist Celisse, folk singer Joe Pug, musician and comedian Fred Armisen, and John Doe, co-founder of pioneering punk band X.

Artists leading the Labs include country-rock singer Jason Isbell and indie-rock musician Andrew Bird. Artists listed just on the performance side include indie-folk star Father John Misty, blues legends Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite, and Jimbo Mathus, co-founder of retro-swing band Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Anderson said he’s a fan of big music festivals — such as Coachella in California, Lollapalooza in Chicago and Bonnaroo in Tennessee — but that’s not “who we are.” We are truly a summit of songs and ideas and a place where people can come and be inspired and inspired.

One of Anderson’s inspirations was when he met artists who told him that Park City would be “a perfect place to have something that focuses on mental health, addiction, and sobriety.” Anderson is a recovering drug addict himself and he said he wanted to create a festival where musicians who suffer from similar circumstances can have a safe environment. He called it a way to repay the support he received during his recovery.

The nature and foliage of Park City in early fall is arguably the best backdrop for this concept, and the summit includes guided meditations and yoga.

“We like to say that in the hall where there are a lot of festivals, it’s a loud and crowded hall,” says Anderson. “To be heard, you have to shout loudly and paint yourself orange. In our bedroom, we can whisper and be heard because nobody really does that.

Access to Song Summit Labs is only available to pass holders – there are 500 available – and tickets will go on sale to the public on Friday, May 20. Tickets for the live show go on sale June 17 or July and will take place at various venues in Park City.

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