Jazz Aspen Snowmass festival attendance close to 2011 level | AspenTimes.com

Jazz Aspen Snowmass festival attendance close to 2011 level

Andre SalvailThe Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado
Lynn Goldsmith Special to The Aspen Times

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Even without a big sellout crowd – which occurred last year on the Sunday when the Zac Brown Band was headlining – this year’s three-day Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival attendance was comparable to last year’s total.Reached by phone shortly before Kid Rock was to perform on Sunday night, Jim Horowitz, the event’s executive producer, estimated attendance at 6,800 on Friday, 8,500 on Saturday and 6,800 on Sunday for a total of 22,100. Last year’s Labor Day music extravaganza drew an estimated 4,500 on Friday, 7,500 on Saturday and 11,000 on Sunday, which totals 23,000.Horowitz stressed that this year’s numbers were preliminary estimates and that he felt that the crowd figures might end up being bigger than they were last year.”It’s been a very smooth weekend, really,” he said. “Operations have been great, crowds have been great, and the weather has cooperated. All of the artists have shown up and put on a great show, on time.”He said he felt that the duo Sugarland, the headliner on Friday night following the Steve Miller Band, and the British folk-rockers Mumford & Sons, who were featured Saturday night, provided standout performances.”The great energy from Sugarland and Mumford were highlights this year,” he said. “I’m sure many people who have come to the festival through the years would feel similarly. But I haven’t seen Kid Rock yet.”This year’s festival was bigger than last year’s in terms of the number of marquee acts that were booked, Horowitz said. For the second year in a row, Jazz Aspen Snowmass relied on AEG Live, a subsidiary of Anschutz Entertainment Group, to help with artist bookings.The arrangement with AEG Live came about after Wilco, Lynyrd Skynyrd and two members of the Eagles (Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh) failed to draw huge crowds in 2010.”We didn’t have the sellout on Mumford & Sons that we did on Zac Brown last year, but the attendance was solid through the weekend,” Horowitz said.In fact, in the hours leading up to last year’s festival-closing performance by the Zac Brown Band, Pitkin County officials issued an email and text alert concerning the lack of available parking. No such alert related to parking was required this year, although authorities did send out a message Saturday about certain items (such as cameras) being banned from the festival grounds at Snowmass Town Park.”I thought all of the festival staff and volunteers, the town of Snowmass and all of their various departments, RFTA bus service, … everyone did a great job,” Horowitz said. “Everyone’s had a wonderful time the whole weekend.”Festivalgoers who arrived at the park Friday afternoon might have felt a few raindrops, but all in all, the bad weather held off. “The weather has been fine,” Horowitz said. “Each day in the early afternoon, it’s gotten a little bit cloudy, but by evening it’s just been beautiful.”asalvail@aspentimes.com

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