When spring rolls around, teasing summer, local music fans pant in anticipation of two particularly well-curated concert series: the Salt Lake City Arts Council's Twilight Concert Series and the Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Series. Both announced their lineups this week.
The 2016 Twilight Concert Series, held in downtown's Pioneer Park, is a favorite for its sheer bang-for-the-buck value. Individual shows cost $5 in advance, $10 day of show, and a series pass is $30—a steal, since any one Twilight bill would command more at another venue. Factor in the food trucks, the craft fair partnership with Craft Lake City, and the fact that it's an all-ages experience where you can still get a cold beer, and it's even better.
"Attending a Twilight concert is definitely more than just seeing a killer live show," says Jesse Schaefer, performing arts program manager with the Arts Council. The experience, he says, is similar to that of festivals like Coachella and Bumbershoot, "albeit on a slightly smaller scale. And you're in the core downtown area of a metropolitan city, which makes it even more special."
The Twilight series begins July 21 with Chet Faker and runs weekly with Big Grams with Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals (July 28), Diplo, Jenny Lewis with Shannon and the Clams (Aug. 11), Pusha T. and Digable Planets (Aug. 18), Grimes with Jagwar Ma (Aug. 25) and Fitz and the Tantrums with Trombone Short & Orleans (Sep. 1). City Weekly Best of Utah Music winners Sneeky Long (Best DJ—Open Format) opens for Diplo, and The National Parks (Band of the Year) support Fitz and the Tantrums. The Aces (Best Pop Artist) and Grits Green (Best Hip-Hop/Rap Artist) will open other dates TBA.
Directly east of Pioneer Park, in SLC's breathtaking eastern foothills, the 2016 Red Butte Garden series, kicks off with The Lumineers on May 25. Another 29 shows follow, including The Monkees (June 16), Tears for Fears (July 6), Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs (July 8), Willie Nelson and Family (July 28), the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Los Lobos and North Mississippi Allstars (Aug. 7), Ryan Adams (Aug. 15), Wilco (Aug. 30) and Jason Isbell (Sep. 15). Promoter Chris Mautz says the series continues to thrive thanks to the "tremendous support" of the fans, which allows the series to attract "a wide spectrum of artists and achieve our goal of keeping awareness of the Garden high, while being part of something pretty unique."