Start Spreadin’ the news: Panic is coming to town | AspenTimes.com
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Start Spreadin’ the news: Panic is coming to town

Stewart Oksenhorn
Georgia jam band Widespread Panic will play two nights at Jazz Aspen's Labor Day Festival. Danny Clinch photo.
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This time the Widespread rumors are true.Jazz Aspen Snowmass announced yesterday that Widespread Panic, the Georgia-based jam band, will play a pair of concerts at this summer’s Labor Day Festival in Snowmass Village. The festival, entering its 11th year, will be expanded to five days – Sept. 1-5 – to accommodate the two Widespread Panic shows.In December 2003, a rumor circulated that Widespread, which typically plays amphitheaters and large theaters, was set to perform two nights at the tiny Ship of Fools bar in Carbondale. The non-event, which turned out to be a hoax perpetrated by an independent promoter, drew scores of Spreadheads, as fans of the band are known, from around Colorado. The rumor prompted the band to post an announcement on its website, insisting the band would not be appearing.The latest announcement has a bit of the raging rumor about it as well. For several months, word has been passed that Panic would make its Jazz Aspen debut at this year’s Labor Day Festival. No confirmation was made, either by Jazz Aspen or on Widespread’s website. Still, in this past Sunday’s edition of The New York Times, in a special section called Summer Stages, Widespread Panic was listed among the bands scheduled to play Labor Day weekend in Snowmass Town Park. Yesterday, Jazz Aspen made it official, with a news release announcing that the six-piece band would play the first two nights of the festival.”It’s been impossible to squelch the rumors,” said Jazz Aspen founder and executive producer Jim Horowitz. “We figured if it’s just a rumor for five months, people will believe it’s not true.”Tickets for the Labor Day Festival will go on sale May 16. Tickets are $45 a day for the Widespread concerts, and a limited number of four-day passes, for Sept. 2-5, will be available for $150. There will also be a special Panic Patron Pass for Thursday night only for $175.Last week, Jazz Aspen made its first round of artist announcements for the Labor Day Festival. Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina, touring this summer for the first time in nearly 30 years as the duo Loggins & Messina, will perform Sept. 3. Country icon Willie Nelson and funk saxophonist Karl Denson are both set for Sept. 4. Additional acts are still to be set, including two acts to open for Widespread Panic each day.Jazz Aspen still has one more rumor fire to exterminate. The New York Times listing that announced Widespread Panic’s dates also announced Steve Winwood as a headliner for the Labor Day Festival. Horowitz said that Winwood would not be spending his Labor Day on the Jazz Aspen stage.For tickets, call the Wheeler Box Office at 970-920-5770 or log on at jazzaspen.org or call 866-JAS-TIXX.Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is stewart@aspentimes.com