It can be hard to convince oneself to get out of the house when it's this hot out all the time, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying the perfect summer goodness of an outdoor show. We've got a few series worth catching before summer ends and, hopefully to your delight, they take place after the sun has gone down. Get to these fun mini fests, enjoy the warm air plus some cool tunes, without getting a sunburn.
Grid City Music Fest: While The State Room has hosted fewer shows than usual this summer, they're devoting their time to a partnership with Grid City Beer Works—one of the best new local breweries and pub-fare spots in town—for their Grid City Music Fest. The festival is a collaboration with other members of the South Salt Lake creative community, recently dubbed members of "The Creative Industries Zone." So Grid City is bringing their beers to The Commonwealth and they're inviting everyone else in the area to bring ... everything else.
Making use of the parking lot outside the venue, the fest is indoor and outdoor, which is the kind of space you need to roam around among all the things there to eat, drink and experience. Two more weekends of the event are still to come this summer, and folks can expect booze from Dented Brick Distillery and Sugar House Distillery, really killer vegan chow from Old Cuss, gluten-free goods from Sweet Vinyl Bake Shop, Tap Root Sodas, plus more beer from Salt Fire Brewing Co. and Apex Brewing. You can also do some axe-throwing with Social Axe Throwing, learn about magic from Crone's Hollow and get your bike babysat at Level 9 Sports's bike valet.
On Friday, Aug. 5, catch Kaleta & Super Yamba Band with Moodlite, and on Saturday, Aug. 6 see Micky & The Motorcars with the Jordan Young Band. Later in the month, see Lost Dog Street Band and Matt Heckler on Friday, Aug. 20 and Shamarr Allen with a TBA opener on Saturday, Aug. 21. Doors are at 7 p.m. and bands start at 9 p.m., well after the sun has set. Tickets for the 21+ series are $25 - $48 at gridcitymusicfest.com.
Little City: You may remember when the shipping container-centered Little City was just a pop-up biergarten and food-truck stop for the weekends. No longer, at least for now. The operation has moved to an abandoned space in the Granary District, complete with a new beer-drinkin' space under the skeleton of a metal roof, and with lots of organic graffiti from over the years decorating the space. It's an exciting use of an abandoned (but cool) space that's somehow yet to fall to SLC development and gentrification. It's something to enjoy while it's here, because Little City will likely one day move on to a new locale, as has always been their plan.
In addition to beer from brewers like RoHa Brewing and food from Bella Food Truck and Cobra Dogs, the new, larger Little City is bringing music, too. While their next summer event is TBA, their most recent one included music from The Freeloaders, Mars Highway and Alyse Morgan, plus mural art by Josh Scheuerman and a mini gallery by All Caps Art Gallery. Each event is free and all-ages, and goes from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m., making it the perfect stop-in weekend hang. Keep an eye out at littlecityinc.com or on Instagram @littlecityinc for their next summer event.
Poplar Grooves: While the Salt Lake City Public Library has been no stranger to hosting unique and exciting artistic acts at any of their other programs (like 12 Minutes Max), that hasn't stopped them from introducing more opportunities for the arts to be heard and appreciated in our community. This time, the library made use of the large back lot behind the Chapman Branch in Poplar Grove, on 900 West. The beautiful old building has plenty of charm of its own, but inviting people to the shady back of the building as the sun winks down to listen to some otherworldly tunes makes it even more sweet.
So far, the series has included locals and ex-locals alike, from Goldie and the Guise and Sophie Blair (locals) to prolific birds-flown-from-nest Emily Brown and Logan Hone—all with genre-spanning offerings. The shows are always free, always on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., and there also always seem to be popsicles and La Croix for concert-goers and their families. There are two more shows to come: Bly Wallentine on Aug. 3, and Little Moon on Aug. 17. The sets are only around 30 minutes, so pop in before or after dinner, or maybe even bring a picnic to spread out among the chairs the library provides.
As a bonus, if you just want to get inside and avoid the hot air altogether, the library also has brought their 12 Minutes Max program back to the auditorium at the downtown branch. The series features a mix of three different short works of dance, music, film, theater, performance art or writing to be performed under 12 minutes. At only an hour, it's a sweet relief from the summer heat to pop in. The next show is on Sunday, Aug. 21 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Find more information on both these events at events.slcpl.org.