Buffalo Commons to play Steamboat Free Summer Concerts lineup reveal party Saturday
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Fans of the Steamboat Free Summer Concert Series won’t have to wait much longer for the announcement of the much anticipated lineup for 2023.
An artists reveal party will be hosted at Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill on Saturday, May 13. The festivities will kick off at 5 p.m. with the announcement of the lineup later in the evening.
Entertainment for the evening will be provided by Buffalo Commons, who hail from Steamboat and have been growing their fanbase locally, regionally and at the state level in recent years. There will also be a silent auction with items from local businesses and restaurants.
“It is going to be a really great time,” said John Waldman of Great Knight Productions, who has been promoting the series for the 31 years of its existence. “None of this would be possible without the hard work of the volunteer board members who dedicate many hours all year long to bring five free shows to Howelsen Hill each summer.”
As Waldman explained, the history behind the series is deep and involves multiple individuals and entities, with the series’ funding coming from sponsor donations, concessions sales and a contribution from the city. The series, entering its 31st year, is a testament to the community-driven ideals and grassroots movement behind it.
In the summer of 1993, the first free concert occurred on the lawn of the courthouse in Steamboat Springs. The sound from that event would echo in the Yampa River Valley for more than three decades after.
The series was the brainchild of Waldman and Joe Kboudi, and it evolved around the concept of consistently bringing great music to the people of the area. Moreover, it involved the concerts being completely free.
What: Steamboat Free Summer Concert Series Lineup Reveal Party
When: 5 p.m. Saturday, May 13
Where: Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill
Tickets: $75 at KeepinItFree.com
That summer, there were two shows on the lawn of the courthouse, and the event quickly grew in subsequent years. By its second year, the free concert series had blossomed to four shows and the fanbase exploded as well, placing a strain on the small lawn space of the courthouse.
“We were approached by the police department, who told us they would have to block off lanes of traffic on Lincoln Avenue due to the size of the crowd,” Waldman recalled. “Then, the Parks and Recreation department came to us with the idea of moving the event to another location.”
Thus, the series migrated to the base of Howelsen Hill with occasional shows in the base area of Steamboat Resort.
In 2008, a board was formed to manage the series, and it gained nonprofit status. The governing body of 11 members from around the area has since provided residents of the Steamboat Springs area with a wide variety of musical performances ranging from bluegrass to R&B, to rock and more.
In its 31 years, the Steamboat Free Concert Series has hosted musicians and bands from around the state, nation and world.
Waldman believes that this year’s lineup is “one of the more diverse and stronger lineups of the series over the past years.”
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