Concertgoers pony up for booze | AspenTimes.com

Concertgoers pony up for booze

Charles Agar
Aspen, CO Colorado
Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times
ALL | The Aspen Times

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” A BYOB ban didn’t stop concertgoers from filing to Fanny Hill at Snowmass Village for the first show in the free sum­mer series Thursday night.

Concertgoers carrying coolers, food or bags had to pass through checkpoints and surrender any alcohol or open containers, and as multicultural Los Angeles band War took the stage, reviews of the new booze policy were mixed.

“Now I can have a really bad wine for a really expensive price,” said a frustrated Joanne Guerrerio of Snowmass Village. She’s been coming to the concerts for years and said she saves her best bottles for the event, and sharing with good friends is what it’s all about.

“I’ve had better,” said Joe Glick, who shared a $15 bottle of Irony wine ” a selection from one of the vendor’s midrange shelves ” with his wife, Amy, at Thursday’s concert.

The two agreed they’d rather pay a lit­tle more for a “decent” bottle such as the Kendall-Jackson wines they used to carry to the concerts. And both said they would not pay $50 for a top-tier wine on the menu.

“It’s going for a good cause, so I don’t mind spending it,” Amy added, but she hoped the money bought something more palatable.

All proceeds from alcohol sales at the summer series will go to area nonprofits.

“So far nobody’s complained,” said Jacqie Stewart, a member of the event staff. With three bars, Stewart said there was no wait and things were going well.

“We’re trying to make it as hassle-free as possible,” said Snowmass Village Mayor Douglas “Merc” Mercatoris. Con­certgoers who didn’t know about the ban could store their alcohol in lockers near the gate, but Mercatoris stressed that peo­ple who bring alcohol to the checkpoint in the future will have to take the bottles back to their cars.

“It’s not a show-stopper for me,” said Andrew Lizotte of Basalt. With afford­able prices and no line at beer and wine vendors, Lizotte didn’t mind the change, adding, “I’m not a raging alcoholic.”

“It’s less to carry in,” said Butch Orben of Basalt. But his wife, Lynn, missed the way it was and said she wasn’t inspired to bring the usual picnic.

“We liked to bring it. I miss it really badly. It’s sad,” Lynn said. And she is disap­pointed that she couldn’t drink anything but the beer on the menu. “What if you want to bring your own microbrew?”

Gary and Amanda Littell of Snowmass Village were put off when guards confiscat­ed their water bottles at other recent concert events, and though they were disappointed in the change at the Fanny Hill concerts they were happy there was free water and prices were reasonable.

“People can’t complain about $2 beers. If they are, they probably shouldn’t be in Snowmass,” Littell said.

A bag checker at the event who wanted to remain anonymous, said, “I don’t like my job; it’s unnecessary,” as he rifled through another backpack.

The free Thursday night series continues next week (July 5) with banjo picker Tony Furtado; Texas boogie-woogie pianist/singer Marcia Ball on July 12; and Scottish funk group the Average White Band on July 19.

Charles Agar’s e- mail address is cagar@aspentimes.com


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