Music producer seeks help for fall festival in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Music producer seeks help for fall festival in Aspen

Andre SalvailThe Aspen TimesAspen CO Colorado

ASPEN – The Aspen City Council will deal with three special-event funding requests at a work session Tuesday, including one that would bring a music festival to Rio Grande Park in October 2013.Mountain Groove Productions, which operates the PAC3 music venue in Carbondale, plans to ask the city for $70,000 to assist its efforts in producing the Aspen Autumn Festival next year. Mountain Groove President Josh Berman has been discussing the idea for the event with city officials, including two councilmen, since early summer. Mountain Groove was the founder of the Snowmass Chili Pepper & Brew Festival, which is now handled by another producer.”It will be a mixture of music, food and spirits,” Berman said. “It would incorporate a lot of things that are already here in the valley, bringing in the season and all of the things that are already happening naturally and organically into a music festival.”The company wants the city to provide half of the money for the production costs up front and the balance two weeks prior to the Oct. 5 event date. After the festival hits the break-even point of $70,000 in revenue, which would be reimbursed to the city, the city and Mountain Groove would divvy up profits in a 75-25 percent split.Plans call for local and out-of-town vendors to participate, including Colorado craft brewers and possibly food and art purveyors connected with the Saturday downtown farmers market.According to a memorandum from assistant city manager R. Barry Crook to the council, the festival would run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and also would include a cider and pie-making competition, organized hikes so that visitors can experience what it’s like to “fall in love with Aspen” (a wordplay on the season), a grand beer-tasting, fruit-canning instruction and other activities.Mountain Groove has proven “we are exceptional at planning and executing high-level events while staying within budget,” a letter from the company to the city states. “In addition, we have continually aspired to improve every event year after year, while listening and responding to feedback and criticism.”Crook said the city’s interest in the project stems from a desire to extend the summer tourism season into a month that is typically slow. He said he researched local weather patterns and discovered that the first week of October is typically suitable for outdoor events.Berman said Oct. 5 is a projected event date; it’s up to the city to decide the best time to hold the festival. “We’re flexible on the date,” he said.While Berman has submitted a proposed budget to the city, council members may have their own ideas about what level of support would be provided toward the event, Crook noted.Musically, he’s looking to book multiple bands in lieu of a single “big-name” act.The council also might consider two other special-event requests Tuesday. American Renewable Energy Day is seeking $76,000 to enhance its annual event and to provide a community concert. The Aspen Historical Society is seeking $30,000 for its 50th anniversary celebration, slated for July.asalvail@aspentimes.com