Aspen Times Weekly: Snowmass concert finale comes to Fanny Hill

A wrap-up, and a few more chances to see the show this year

Katherine Roberts
Special to The Aspen Times
Pimps of Joytime play on Fanny Hill on Thursday night.
Courtesy Pimps of Joytime

The 30th anniversary season of singalong sessions in Snowmass takes a celebratory last lap in the next few weeks, as the Fanny Hill summer concert series comes to close for 2022, with soul band Pimps of Joytime closing out the traditional Thursday offering tonight and the Velveteers playing a special show immediately following the Snowmass Rendezvous on Saturday, Aug. 27. One more Music on the Mall session, featuring 432One, rounds out the shows on Sept. 2, just before JAS Labor Day takes on Town Park.

“The concert series is built for locals,” said Rose Abello, tourism director of Snowmass. “We try to blend a mix of it all. We want to have a broad appeal for visitors and locals alike. The time of year and the time of day work well. The price point is good; I like providing our community with fun and affordable events.”

Typically, local bands play on the mall with the national acts onstage at the base of the hill. Some standouts, according to the team?

“Hazel Miller is such an incredible performer. She brings such a vibrant energy to the stage. She was a highlight of mine this summer for sure,” said Sara Stookey Sanchez, public relations manager for Snowmass Tourism. “Also, the MarchFourth marching band was such a hoot!”

MarchFourth band leader John Averill appreciated the sentiment and the welcoming atmosphere of Snowmass as a place to perform.

“Our aim is just to get people dancing,” he said about the band’s debut on Fanny Hill last June. It worked, according to Abello, who said with an enthusiastic chuckle, “MarchFourth is a whole experience.”

Other touches, besides the music, were also meant to enhance the experience and add to the celebratory atmosphere of the 30th anniversary.

“We got great feedback on the electric dandelions (coordinated in partnership with Aspen Skiing Company),” said Stookey Sanchez. “It was so neat to see them light up as the sun set.”

The Snowmass team also spent the season handing out free beer koozies, T-shirts and posters, all of which “were super sought after,” according to Stookey Sanchez.

“We’ve worked a ton with our landscaper to enhance how the flowers and the grass look,” said Abello.

One of the standouts this summer: Hazel Miller performs as part of a free special Fourth of July concert on Sunday, July 3, 2022, in Snowmass Village.
Austin Colbert/The Snowmass Sun

Beverage stations were also updated with creative bar cars at the top of the hill, which Abello said “looked cool” but received mixed reviews and will likely be reimagined for upcoming seasons. “We will make getting a beer easier next year,” she said.

That said, at the end of the season, it truly was all about the music for this milestone year.

“One thing I’ll say about the Snowmass community is that they’re so receptive to the music. They’re all different genres, and they’re all welcomed by our community. It’s a reflection on the tradition of 30 years of great music. We get really, really positive feedback about the concert series. People love the music; I could go up there on the stage and play a banjo and people would love it,” Abello said, jokingly.

Which isn’t entirely true. With a lineup of well-curated, fan-favorite bands generating excitement and lots of enthusiasm on the part of the performers, the one-of-a-kind venue and experience make a perfect match for a fun, inclusive summer night. And that’s not lost on the bands who come to town. Marty Lloyd, lead singer of Freddy Jones Band, said during an interview about their recent show, “We still have these photos from five years ago when we played Snowmass, and they don’t even look real. Not only is it a great chance to see everyone we know, but it’s a nice opportunity to be playing and having fun in a setting like that.”

How will the team top their season for 2023? Building on that idea of inclusivity is part of the plan, with a focus on continuing to diversify the types of music represented on the hill and better reflect the larger Roaring Fork Valley community. And for now, you’ll have a few more chances to take it all in over the upcoming weeks.