Summer! Concerts! Yeah, it is (finally) that time, my friends! Since we can’t ski all year, once the snow melts, the slopes of Deer Valley Resort come alive with trails, tunes and tons of ways to wind down those long summer days. I’ve been to many festivals and concerts across the country and each are unique in preplanning: from navigating the sprawling New Orleans Jazz Fest to dialing in camping and late-night shows at High Sierra, so I’ve learned a few things along the way that apply to our hometown Deer Valley.
Enjoying a concert at Deer Valley® is unlike any other venue, so hopefully by now you have read fellow blogger Nancy Anderson’s venerable piece: Seven Tips For First Time Concertgoers that covers the essentials of an evening at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. If you haven’t, don’t miss out on crucial tips from bringing extra layers, bet on chairs or blanket options and where to sit. Spoiler: every seat is a front row seat, and there is not a bad place to spread out.
Our goal here is to go beyond the basics and help you concert like “a pro.” The Deer Valley Concert Series kicked off at the end of June with Michael Franti and Ziggy Marley and runs through early September, bringing the likes of Lukas Nelson, Jenny Lewis, Squeeze and John Butler to the Park City area, while the Utah Symphony brings dozens of additional shows throughout the summer months with the Deer Valley® Music Festival. We’re here to help you make a game plan for an unforgettable evening of sunsets and stars, sips and snacks, to the sounds of these world-class artists.
What to pack
I tend to pack heavy. And why not? Deer Valley generously allows concertgoers to bring backpacks and coolers with food and libations, as well as other comfort items. Comfort items, you say? Yes.
That nice bottle of wine needs an appropriate vessel. Glass is a no-no, since it is both heavy and breakable. Lexan or stainless steel wine glasses add the perfect touch of class.
Since the concert venue is on a gentle slope, that top-heavy glass of rosé (hey, it is summer, and everyday is a rosé-day) needs to be secured. Enter: The Steady Stick. So simple, yet so revolutionary. You’ll be the envy of your friends group when you easily push this stake into the ground with a convenient loop at the top that balances your glass of bubbles.
Feel free to go all out with low table/cutting board combos, or even a handy dandy collapsible wagon to tote all of your wares from parking lot to picnic spot.
Just don’t forget these essentials: napkins, utensils – especially a sharp knife and a corkscrew.
What to eat, what to eat?
The easiest (and IMO best) option, by far, is to pre-order a Deer Valley Picnic Bag. Choose from Niman Ranch braised beef short rib to healthy wraps, smoked salmon, cheese and fruit plates and more. Simply order online the day prior to a concert and pick up your spread at the concession stand on your way to your seats. The stand also offers a range of grilled options and sandwiches at each show, which can be ordered throughout the evening.
If you have time to prep in advance, bringing your own meal can be a fun experience. A charcuterie course can easily be put together if you swing through the grocery store on your way to the show. A loaf of bread, a variety of cheeses, plus some cured meats and you are all set.
Other dishes that are easy to prep in advance and travel well: sliced vegetables and hummus, caprese salad, pasta salad or risotto. We like to have an appetizer course before the opening band and the main course before the main act hits the stage.
Did someone say drinks?
All this eating is sure to make you thirsty. First of all, pack plenty of water to combat the dry mountain air: plan on a 32-ounce reusable bottle per person. That being said, I like to start off the evening with a cocktail. In my humble opinion, nothing pairs better with summer than a vodka soda or a gin and tonic. For concerts, I’ll typically bring each component separately: ice, mixer, spirit and garnish in plastic containers or aluminum cans.
For wine, I aim to shop local and bring at least a couple of bottles of Park City’s own Old Town Cellars to each show for our group. White, rosé and red options are all available. I have also seen canned wine begin to show up in liquor stores – and much like some boxed/bagged wine, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality.
Beer is super simple, but again: aim for lightweight and packable cans or pick up a pint of local microbrew at the beer stand.
Make a Day of It
Dancing and air guitar are arguable forms of exercise, but not really. So, before feasting the evening away, I like to go for a hike or bike ride. Deer Valley’s extensive trail system truly has something for everyone, and is great for groups with a variety of abilities or preferred sport. For those who are not into hiking or biking, going for a quick paddle on a SUP board is an option on the lakes behind Deer Valley Grocery~Café – which, by the way, is a great option for grabbing sandwiches, salads and more on your way to a concert.
For weekend shows, I always try to go for a bike ride in the early afternoon and work up a good appetite. I always seem to wind up with a convenient parking spot near the first or second lot, and if timed right, can get in line before the gates open and snag a spot near the stage.
Maybe this isn’t a secret per se, but each Wednesday evening, Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series offers free concerts at Deer Valley‘s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. What better way to hone your concert craft? Just remember to pack the corkscrew.
Save up to 20% on lodging and concert tickets with the Deer Valley Concert Package. It includes deluxe accommodations at Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations managed properties and tickets to concerts held in the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater. Advance purchase required. It’s valid during summer of 2019 for Deer Valley’s Summer Concert Series and the Utah Symphony and Opera’s Deer Valley Music Festival shows. Call one of the on-site vacation planners at 800-558-3337 or 435-645-6528 to book the package.
Need more concert tips? Check out 7 Tips For First Time Concertgoers at Deer Valley.
Originally written by Nick Como for Deer Valley Resort.