ESPN seeks to let X Games concert run until midnight |

ESPN seeks to let X Games concert run until midnight

Photo by Tom Zuccareno/ESPN ImagesWinter X Games fans show their spirit during 2015's Snoop Dogg concert. An estimated 6,000 people attended the show.
Tom Zuccareno / ESPN Images | Tom Zuccareno / ESPN Images

ESPN plans to eliminate the Thursday night concert at next year’s Winter X Games, but wants to extend the ending time for Friday’s concert to midnight, a network official said earlier this week.

However, a majority of Pitkin County commissioners on Tuesday were not keen to approving the extra hour of noise at the base of Buttermilk Mountain during the annual event at the end of January.

“I think 11 (p.m.) is a reasonable cutoff time,” said Commissioner Michael Owsley. “I’m not willing to push the (concert) lengths until we get complaints.”

Commissioners George Newman and Rachel Richards agreed, with Richards saying the county has already accommodated the network by allowing concerts at Buttermilk in the first place.

Commissioner Patti Clapper, on the other hand, said she would be willing to allow the midnight concert ending for just that one night.

“Part of living here is accommodating for events,” she said. “I have no problem doing it for one night.”

Vanessa Anthes, ESPN’s X Games representative, said the reason for the later ending time is because one of the X Games events that night won’t end until 10:30 p.m., when the network would like the concert to start. The network doesn’t have the flexibility to change that time, she said.

Owsley said that’s up to the network to fix.

“Scheduling is ESPN’s problem,” he said. “It shouldn’t become the county’s problem.”

ESPN wants the concerts to run from 10:45 p.m. to midnight Friday, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. and 9:30 to 11 p.m. on Saturday and from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, said Mike Kraemer, county planner. It wants to serve beer and wine from an hour before the concerts start until a half-hour before they end, the same set-up as last year, he said.

Beyond the later concert time, the only other significant change from last year is that ESPN wants bands that play the concerts to be able to have on-stage pyrotechnics, Kraemer said. However, the fireworks would be noiseless and are not even a confirmed thing yet, Anthes said.

ESPN simply wants to obtain permission for bands to have the pyrotechnics if they want them, she said. The lineup of bands was not listed in a memo Kraemer wrote to commissioners about the 2017 Winter X Games.

Commissioners were all fine with the pyrotechnics idea as long as the fire marshal approves.

Otherwise, the event, which will be held Jan. 27 through 30, will be much the same as the 2016 event, Kraemer said.

ESPN appeared before commissioners about three weeks earlier than last year to take the board’s temperature on the changes before submitting applications for the event, according to Anthes and Kraemer.

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