One of Utah's most beloved concert series, the St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series is searching for a new home for this summer. Produced by the Park City Institute (PCI), which celebrated its 20th anniversary season at the Eccles Theater this year, Big Stars, Bright Nights has been a mainstay at Deer Valley Resort for the previous fourteen years, offering visitors and locals a fantastic mix of established and emerging artists. PCI management was informed in mid-December 2017 that their lease at Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater would not be renewed for the 2018 summer concert season because Deer Valley Resort is developing its own concert series (to be announced in May) to be staged at the 5,000- person Snow Park Amphitheater.
The news was an unexpected for PCI, which now has very little time to find a home that can accommodate a concert series of Big Stars, Bright Nights' caliber. “It is the end of a chapter,” said Park City Institute Executive Director Teri Orr. “We loved the beautiful space, and will miss being there. We immediately began the search for a new location for our 2018 summer series, since our patrons plan their summers around our specific shows.”
Orr and others from the Park City Institute have also been working with city government and will meet the Park City’s Special Events Advisory Committee on Wednesday, March 21 to look at three city-managed locations as possible venues for the concert series. As a last resort, PCI could host the concert series at the Eccles Theater, but it's not exactly an ideal venue for summer concert goers looking to spend time outside in the mountain scenery. “We are thankful for the assistance that Park City Municipal staff - especially Jenny Diersen and Jonathan Weidenhamer - has extended to us during this time,” Orr said. “They have been a tremendous help in evaluating the possibility of specific venues, and recently identified parcels that could serve as locations for a pop-up summer season.”
The success of the Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series is about more than just providing the Park City community with a great outing for the summer. According to Phyllis Robinson, PCI board chair, “The St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series is crucial for our ability to move forward with our plans for a permanent home for the Park City Institute, where we can bring the best creative minds in the world to work, teach, and inspire. Our summer concerts are part of the fabric of our community. They are also a significant amount of funding, largely through sponsorships and memberships, supporting all of our programs throughout the year, including the Main Stage at the Eccles Center, and, specifically, our Student Outreach programs. Ticket sales (earned income) only account for approximately one-third of our annual revenue.”
Despite the setback, PCI is determined to maintain the quality the Big Stars, Bright Nights series is known for. Last year, the lineup included world class acts like Smash Mouth and Melissa Etheridge, as well as up-and-coming performers such as X Ambassadors, Kellie Pickler and Aloe Blacc. Currently, PCI is planning on a series of nine pop-up concerts for the summer with the lineup to be announced in April. Stay tuned for more details on this and other summer concert news.