Aspen Times Weekly: Music to My Ears

Meg Simon
Rumpl Mat
Courtesy photo

One of my happiest places on earth is sitting on the lawn outside the Benedict Music Tent during the Aspen Music Festival and School’s summer season. Unfortunately, this Sunday is the last concert of the summer, so I’ll be heading to the lawn for one last hurrah before next year. According to AMFS, this is one not to miss. A 112-member orchestra and 150-voice chorus will be performing Hector Berloiz’s Requiem, a giant work that is only performed roughly every 30 years. While many will be heading inside to enjoy the performance, I’ll be camped out on the lawn with a group of friends to listen to the music with a book and a picnic. Below are a handful of my recommendations for what’s sure to be and epic Sunday on the lawn. 

1. Rumpl Everywhere Mat

A good ground mat is a must on the music tent lawn. This one from Rumpl does the trick and looks good at the same time. It has a waterproof bottom to keep your bottom dry and can be used in a pinch to cover up if it starts raining. A stainproof top side includes a soft, DWR-treated microsuede that repels dirt, crumbs, spills, sand, dog hair, etc. I used this mat last weekend for my mud-covered pup on a paddleboard outing and shook it off at the end of the day like a champ. It easily and neatly folds down into its own pouch. $79, 

Rumpl Mat
Courtesy photo

2. Hydro Flask 20 L Day Escape Soft Cooler Pack

A cooler for transporting your wine and cheese is of utmost importance for the music tent. I love this one from Hydro Flask, because it can easily be carried as a backpack, but at 20 liters still has plenty of room for a big picnic spread. It’s also lighter weight than carrying a hard-sided cooler. A watertight zipper and welded seams make it leakproof, and the liner is constructed with an FDA food grade and BPA-free liner. It claims to keep items cold for 36 hours, and this held up when I tested it. After about 40 hours, my ice packs were still frozen. $200, 

Hydroflask Cooler
Courtesy photo

3. Prana Foundation Wrap Dress

It’s hard for me to imagine myself on the Sunday afternoon music tent lawn without a sundress. Prana has long been a favorite go-to for outdoorsy gals when it comes to casual summer dresses. This one is made from buttery soft Tencel Modal fabric, and the wrapped side is stitched in place so you can move around without worrying about a wardrobe malfunction. It’s comfortable enough to throw on after a hike before you head to the lawn, and versatile enough to hop on your scooter to head into town for dinner after the concert.  $79, 

Prana Dress
Courtesy photo

4. High Camp Flask Firelight 750 Flask

Afternoons at the tent are my favorite combination of relaxing and socializing, and this flask from High Camp Flasks is designed to be shared with its two detachable tumblers. At 750ml, it’ll fit a bottle of wine, a fifth of whiskey or a batch of Paonia peach margaritas. Vacuum insulation keeps liquids hot or cold for hours, and at 29 ounces, it’s light enough to throw into your cooler backpack. The Firelight is already a looker, but if you want to step it up a notch, you can have custom engraving added to the bottle. $125,

High Camp Flask
Courtesy photo

5. Faherty Adirondack Blanket

In addition to a durable ground mat/tarp, I always like to throw in a cozy blanket for tent afternoons. Depending on where you’re sitting, after intermission the trees will eventually block the sun, and a chilly breeze will blow in. This is when I grab my blanket and enjoy my last glass of wine. The Adirondack from Faherty is a favorite for its soft, worn-cotton feel and its Baja sunset vibes. It’s small and lightweight enough to throw in your bag, but big enough to cover you and a friend. $128,

Faherty Adirondack Blanket

Meg Simon is an Aspen-based freelance writer, graphic designer and founder of Simon Finch Creative. She can be reached at