Park City Song Summit has the courage to change

PARK CITY, Utah — Talking with the founder of Park City Song Summit, you’d think it would be all music. Ben Anderson is a lifelong musician and music lover, but more often than not, he’s talking about serving a greater good. The Song Summit goes above, beyond, and behind the music into songwriters’ minds and states of mind.

“At its core, Song Summit is about service,” Anderson said. “It’s a place for people to feel more open, whether it’s artists, thought leaders, or audience members. It’s about having discussions, one-on-one or in a group setting, about how they feel, what’s going on with them, and maybe to add some tools into their emotional or spiritual toolbox to live a better life quality of life.”

From September 7-9, the Song Summit brings fans, artists, musicians, behind-the-scenes industry professionals, and podcasters together for a weekend of storytelling. Live music, songwriter rounds, Summit labs, and wellness activities are all on the docket for the weekend.

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Song Summit labs feature thought leaders that chat openly about anything from, as Anderson puts it, “little t to big T trauma,” sexuality and identity, substance abuse and recovery, race and whitewashing, depression, anxiety, and how these things play into the music fans love and connect with.

“I believe that we proved [at last year’s Summit] that there is a need for and a desire to have events that are curated around wellness, kindness, inclusivity, and being connected in a world that continues to be disconnected. It’s a choice to seek out others who put love first and put kindness and wellness before other things”

From the now-popular “Daisy Jones and the Six” series to “Almost Famous,” audiences expect wild, out of control, and ultimately mentally unhealthy rock stars. Anderson hopes to shift that and shine light on the fact that, at the end of the day, musicians and music industry pros are human.

“Song Summit is for those who have the courage to change, need help on their way of courage to change, or just want to be understood, appreciated, and loved.”

Locals are invited to partake in the wellness journey on Park City Song Summit’s campus at the Canyons Village by joining for guided meditations, yoga, and guided hikes. And you don’t have to be a ticket or pass holder. He encourages people of all skill and experience levels to enjoy a mindful morning in a beautiful setting.

DMC performs at The Cabin on Day 2 of 2022 Park City Song Summit September 8, 2022, in Park City, Utah. Erika Goldring Photo.

Anderson’s highlight from last year was during Darryl McDaniels’ (Run DMC) show at The Cabin.

“The place was just rocking out. In between songs, he turned this hip-hop performance into a discussion about destigmatizing mental health. He was able to tell his story of trauma, talk about wellness and recovery, and what it was like for him to find out at age 30 that he was orphaned. The DJ was still thumping, and he had this audience captivated with his story but still moving and grooving to his beats. The way he masterfully connected with the audience like that, I was like, this is Song Summit. This is what this is about,” he said.

Looking ahead to this year, there will be surprise artists and guests, a Stevie Wonder tribute by artists like Celisse, Joy Oladokun, Danielle Ponder, Cimafunk, and others. Bobby Weir, a founder member of the Grateful Dead, and the Wolf Bros will perform

“I cannot wait for people to come and hear the songs of Stevie Wonder. Eric Krasno is putting together a supergroup that is going to blow people’s minds. We’ll have kids from New Orleans Institute of Music, students from the Trombone Shorty Foundation, and kids from the Havana Funk Experience. “

Tickets and passes go on sale for the Park City Song Summit on Thursday, May 11, on its website. The Summit Pass is a 3-day all-in passes to labs, wellness opportunities, and amphitheater shows in the Canyons Village. For those who want a slice of late-night, they can add a Flex Pass to enjoy shows at O.P. Rockwell and The Cabin on Main Street. Finally, there are single-event and single-show tickets.

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