SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah. — To get through the pandemic, Mountain Town Music created new, safe opportunities for residents and musicians to enjoy music in the form of mobile outdoor concerts. Fast-forward to 2021: MTM is planning a summer full of live shows across the county.
Last summer, the non-profit organization held concerts virtually and in-person. Musicians started streamed concerts in its “Locals Lounge.” After a month of those, MTM pivoted to its “Door 2 Door Tour,” bringing music to people’s driveways, yards and cul-de-sacs.
Mountain Town Music Executive Director Brian Richards said the mobile concerts provided jobs for its gig workers and musicians – and normalcy for residents through music. “Music during traumatic times or experiences is so important to us as far as creating a sense of normalcy and well-being and lifting our spirit,” he said.
The group put on 104 Door 2 Door shows in 2020. Richards said these will continue this summer but on a more limited, private basis and for an increased fee. “Musicians have truly suffered during the last year with so many music venues shutting their doors,” he said. “We want to help musicians earn some of the lost income back while also providing the community with an uplifting experience.”
The group currently has multiple in-person, outdoor shows planned for summer. On Sundays, musicians will perform free concerts throughout the day at the Park Silly Sunday Market from June 6 to Sept. 26.
Residents and visitors can also find free concerts at Woodenshoe Park in Peoa on Friday nights. The first concert is set for June 4 at 6:30 p.m., where local band Lash Larue will perform.
Starting June 24, Mountain Town Music will hold free concerts every Thursday night at the Great Lawn at Dejoria Center in Kamas. And two days later, June 26, concerts will start at Miner’s Park and run every Saturday throughout the day until the end of summer.
Richards said MTM is working to book more concerts with its other venue partners once updated COVID-19 protocols are worked out. In the past, it held concerts on Wednesdays at Deer Valley, Thursdays and Saturdays at Canyons Village at Park City Mountain, and Mondays in City Park, where it hosted a Latino concert series called “Noches de Verano.”
Over the last year, Richards said he’s learned that plans change all the time because of things out of his control, like thunderstorms and pandemics.
“The long story short there is that we’re still facing a lot of uncertainty,” Richards said. “We’re going to work with our community partners throughout Summit County to ensure that the community is able to experience music safely.”
Richards said he believes live music is a key part of well-being, along with exercise and eating healthily. “We believe that when you go to a Mountain Town Music concert, you’re going for certain elements: to be with your friends, your family, your neighbors; to be outside in the sunshine, getting vitamin D; to be in a beautiful environment, meaning the mountains or a rodeo ground or Pocket Park on Main Street; to hear music; and then to possibly dance.”