Jazz Aspen festival attendance doubles from 2010 | AspenTimes.com

Jazz Aspen festival attendance doubles from 2010

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Stewart Oksenhorn/The Aspen TimesThe Zac Brown Band headlined Sunday, the final night of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival.

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Three days of nearly perfect weather and a new alliance with concert giant AEG Live helped push the Labor Day weekend version of Jazz Aspen Snowmass to about twice the attendance of the 2010 festival, according to the head of the event.

“Everything has been totally smooth,” Jim Horowitz, executive producer of Jazz Aspen Snowmass, said minutes before the Zac Brown Band was due to begin Sunday evening.

“It’s been a fantastic festival,” he said. “There’s a wide age range of people attending, which has been great. We really had something for everyone, young and old.”

Horowitz said attendance was 4,500 on Friday, 7,500 on Saturday and 11,000 on Sunday. In fact, the Sunday show featuring Fitz and the Tantrums, Michael Franti and the Zac Brown Band was sold out. Pitkin County authorities issued an email and text alert at 3:24 p.m. to warn that no parking was available in Snowmass Village. Horowitz said he understands that Snowmass lodging establishments were at full occupancy over the weekend.

He said his nonprofit organization’s new relationship with AEG Live, a subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group, was a big help with bookings this year – especially with regard to obtaining the Zac Brown Band, currently one of the hottest country acts touring the United States. The band is due to perform at Red Rocks Amphitheatre Monday and Tuesday.

Last year, Wilco, Lynyrd Skynyrd and two members of the Eagles (Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh) failed to draw huge crowds, leading to the move to bring AEG Live onto the JAS team. Though no major sponsor was lined up for this past weekend of shows, Horowitz said JAS will be working with AEG Live to bring big-name sponsorships in future years.

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“We really didn’t start working with them until December,” he said. “AEG is a major presenter of talent at Red Rocks, and that’s helpful to us.”

The weather cooperated, with only a slight sprinkle Friday evening during Thievery Corporation and sunny skies and mild temperatures Saturday and Sunday.

“We’ve had great weather and a great response all weekend,” Horowitz said. He also credited the JAS team for working hard to put what he described as an “amazing” after-party show on the festival grounds Saturday night following the veteran classic rock act Steely Dan.

asalvail@aspentimes.com

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