The FAC in Aspen is back |

The FAC in Aspen is back

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

FAC is back.

City Councilman Tim Semrau, who has urged the city to revive the Friday Afternoon Club featuring free, live music, made an offer his council colleagues couldn’t refuse Tuesday.

Semrau, a builder, offered to design and build a collapsible stage and donate it to the city for entertainment on the mall next to Wagner Park. Bands will play Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m., starting Aug. 8.

He had a few conditions on the offer: Councilman Torre, former booking agent at the Double Diamond, had to agree to book the bands (he did); the council had to agree to spend up to $4,500 for the entertainment (it did); community relations director Linda Gerdenich had to agree to get the word out (she did); and the city has to dismantle the stage each week after Semrau’s crew puts it up (it will).

After pushing for a month to get something going before the summer is over, Semrau quickly cut through the bureaucracy last night.

Rather than worry about the cost of renting or buying a stage, tent and sound equipment, he offered to build the stage and suggested the city forget about the rest.

“Like everybody does for every wedding around here, you take your chances on the weather,” he said. “A week from Friday, let’s get some talent.”

The experiment, inspired by the July 4 street dance on the mall, will run Aug. 8, 15 and 22, weather permitting.

Mayor Helen Klanderud suggested local bands get first dibs, but Semrau urged Torre to find the best talent he can with the money he has to work with – $1,500 per week. Bands set to play at the Double D later in the evening may want to take the stage, Semrau said. It’s up to Torre.

“I don’t believe I’m going to book bands again,” was all Torre could say.

Semrau pitched the event as a way to celebrate the end of the work week for local workers. The Hotel Jerome used to host lives bands for FAC in its courtyard in the good ol’ days.

“We’re trying to give everyone in Aspen a reason to say, `It’s Friday afternoon, thank God I’m in Aspen,'” Semrau said.

If it’s a success, the city may want to explore venues next summer where people can lay out a blanket or set up chairs and bring their own beer or wine, a la the Thursday night free concerts on Fanny Hill in Snowmass, said Councilwoman Rachel Richards.

“Our officers may come back telling us people are enjoying it in their own way with brown bags,” she said.

“I’d be a thousand times for the beers, but that’s way too complicated,” Semrau said.

[Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is]

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