Free Summer Concert Series: The Local’s Townhall

Every Summer the Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series brings locals and visitors together for a community experience that feels like walking into your best friend’s back yard. This summer a full five show season will fill the base of Howelsen Hill beginning the end of June until their End of Summer Jam, Sunday, September 4th. The musicians transform Howelsen Hill into a “Town Meeting” where locals flock together to dance, catch up and take in the music. 

Over the past couple of years, the Series has struggled, as have all music and event venues, due to COVID-19. The long-range planning that concerts take means hours and hours of time, energy and work are lost when events are shut down. Planning for the summer begins in October and artists are booked by the first week in April. COVID-19 has had a tremendously negative impact on the organization. “The public health crisis has made the live events world extremely complicated. It forced us to take a year off in 2020, execute a limited season in 2021, and continues to create challenges going forward. In 2022 the cost to produce safe and community focused events has skyrocketed making our mission more challenging. The nationwide staffing crisis left us in a tough spot in 2021 and we are working hard to manage that again this year,” said Ted Carvey, producer of the Series. 

What the Series is experiencing is typical across the music industry. According to Carvey, Covid, the post Covid economy, supply chain constraints, and staffing shortages have made producing all events a struggle. This is even more apparent with free events. Red Rocks and other major promoters can raise ticket prices to accommodate rising costs, and people will pay it. Free events do not have that luxury. They have to work even harder to develop new and stronger sponsor and partner relations to stay afloat.

What will make this year memorable is the sense of normalcy the Free Summer Concert series brings back to the community. Concerts are a time of gathering, a time of catching up, hugging, smiling, dancing and jamming. Now is the time to dance! AWA

ELEVATE THE ARTS: The Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series receives approximately 58% of its funding through concession sales, so drink up and eat up! Individual giving accounts for only 1% of their budget, so consider a donation on your way into or out of the concert.