Snowmass Mammoth Fest returns with biggest music lineup yet |

Snowmass Mammoth Fest returns with biggest music lineup yet

Jill Beathard
Snowmass Sun
Les Claypool plays for the crowd during the Snowmass Mammoth Fest on June 15.
Aubree Dallas/Snowmass Sun |

The music festival industry is discovering that the tunes alone are not enough, and for Steve Gumble, that’s good news.

Gumble, the producer of Telluride Blues & Brews and, for the past three years, the Snowmass Mammoth Fest, has built both events around not only offering great music but also beer tastings, food and craft vendors, and a complete festival experience.

In its former incarnation as the Chili Pepper & Brew Fest, the Mammoth Fest was more about chili and beer tastings, and those activities remain the “backbone” of what the event’s all about, Gumble said.

“I was just reading an article yesterday about how these big festivals, the bubble’s about to burst because people want experiences,” Gumble said in a phone interview from Telluride on June 5. “They don’t want to go and sit in a field and just see music. So having the beer grand tasting on Saturday and having the chili cookoff adds to that experience.”

But nonetheless, Gumble’s company, SBG Productions, has definitely expanded the music component of the festival. Traditionally an earlier night, the lineup on the final day of this year’s event on June 14 is packed thanks to the addition of the Wheels of Soul Tour — featuring Tedeschi Trucks Band, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and Doyle Bramhall II — to cap off the weekend.

To bring in big bands like these, SBG is bringing a bigger stage this year and investing in the production aspect of the event. Despite getting a little cramped for space with the addition of the new stage and more vendor booths, the festival will stay on the west side of Town Park, with a free night of music and chili tasting on the Snowmass Village Mall on Friday.

It should be easier than ever to get there, too: This year, the festival is sponsoring shuttles from Aspen that will run opposite of the RFTA schedule, ensuring that there will be a bus to and from the city and Town Park every 15 minutes. And Village Shuttle buses will run from Snowmelt and Brush Creek roads to the festival venues every 10 minutes early in the day and every five during peak hours.

“We really encourage people to bring a tarp, bring lawn chairs, bring coolers — can’t bring alcohol — but, you know, make a day of it,” Gumble said. “There’s all kinds of food vendors, there’s craft vendors. It’s really designed to get your butt to the park and spend the day with us.”