From Down Home

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The MusicFest sells out in record time, is heard on live radio broadcasts across the country and beyond, in addition to TV shows, and documentaries, and has been recognized as “history in the making.” The event inspires blog entries, journals, unsolicited articles, and even songs.

Pages of message board posts by excited fans and friends count down the days, making road trip plans and discussing the who, what, when, and where of MusicFest. Most already know the why.

With participants last year spanning 50 states and several countries, odds are you’ve heard about it in one form or another, the “BigSkiTrip,” “Steamboat Music Festival,” “Party in the Rockies” in Steamboat Springs, Colorado each January. Simply and primarily renowned as “MusicFest,” the festival boasts six days and five full nights of incredible skiing, parties, and a concert line-up more staggering than even some of the most seasoned and highly trained show-goers can manage.

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With first class customer service and access to the best wholesale rates available, Dickson Productions gathers Steamboat’s premier accommodations, ski and snowboard equipment rentals, and more discounts into unbeatably priced package deals.  And yes, you can get a private hot tub, a fireplace in your condo, or a massage every morning if you so desire.  It’s all at your fingertips in the world class resort of Steamboat because well, that’s just the way the MusicFest rolls. There is a wide range of hotel and condo options available so no matter your budget, you can enjoy all that Steamboat has to offer.

Indeed, the MusicFest offers something for everyone.  With Champagne Powder snow found only on Steamboat’s slopes, these mountains make for some of the best winter sporting in the world.  It’s true; the music is unrivaled, like last year’s three-hour mulit-band historic jam, or the Annual Tribute to a Legend.

There are the familiar artists, and there are the not-so-familiar names that become familiar, each year the line-up growing more impressive.  There are full band rockin’ party shows, and singer-songwriter listening shows in a range of genres and music styles.  There are highlights, such as the annual outdoor show, Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament, and the Texas Washer Tournament in the snow.  It’s all about enjoying the slopes during the day and spending afternoons and evenings at centrally located venues like Bear River, the custom created MusicFest Tent, or the luxurious Steamboat Grand Ballroom.  The rooms are warm, the beverages are cold, and the music is hot.

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And yet with all of those layers, that’s really just scratching the surface of the MusicFest, because at its core, this festival is about connecting those who are already connected. A common musical thread unites people from all walks of life to create a MusicFest audience that is different than any crowd you will ever stand in.  It’s not just that they sing along to “Never Getting Over Jolie” at the top of their lungs, or that you overhear ‘this is that band I was telling you about’ as you head into Bear River to catch the young unique sounds of DRB.  It’s a dedicated and loyal listening crowd that names players, producers, studio credits, and songwriters, not just the lead singer.

There are not just groups of young partying friends, but families, even sons and daughters hanging out with their parents. It becomes a multigenerational party of cowboys, rockers, yuppies and ‘yippies,’ and everybody in between.  Banners wave from hotel balconies, visual claims to festive forts and jam sessions.  It’s like Luckenbach in ’72 or Armadillo World Headquarters, only more clothes, funnier t-shirts, and fewer hallucinogenics.  In a way, it becomes a lifestyle, not just the music.

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Artists usually stay in Steamboat for the full week, and that’s five nights without a road manager wrangling “time to head out” until next time. The event is FOR the musicians and the rare artist consortium even inspires welcomed artist input and involvement in production. And that’s without even a mention of the frequent jam sessions and sit-ins, sometimes with un-witnessed artist combinations. There is something more personal fostered at MusicFest, where all of these incredible people and talents gather.

If you are individual enough to appreciate each one of these talents for the unique gift that has landed them here, then chances are we’re going to have a nice chat over a frosty beer at Stoney LaRue’s show.  Whether it’s your first MusicFest or you are part of the annual pilgrimage; whether you are on the slopes or enjoying the amazing concerts, may your adventure be extraordinary.