Steamboat Free Summer Concerts set to reveal lineup at Thunderhead party |

Steamboat Free Summer Concerts set to reveal lineup at Thunderhead party

JJ Grey & Mofro rock Howelsen Hill Amphitheater during 2018’s Steamboat Free Summer Concerts.
Katie Berning

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It’s a day as suspenseful as the moment a beloved band emerges on the stage, as suspenseful as that endless millisecond before the first note of a favorite song.

On Friday, April 5, the Steamboat Free Summer Concerts throws its lineup reveal party at Thunderhead Lodge at the top of the gondola. Organizers will announce the shows that will perform during the Summer 2019 series to the public for the first time during the event, with local band Buffalo Commons providing live music and local businesses providing auction items.

“The reveal party is a time to connect with all your concert friends from the summer and be the first to know the lineup,” said Steamboat Free Summer Concerts Board President Ted Carey, who’s been involved with the series for about six years.

Steamboat Free Summer Concerts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and raises all the funds necessary to put on the five-concert series via fundraising throughout the year and the summer concerts’ concession sales.

The organization also partners with fellow local nonprofits. The concerts have raised more than $26,000 in cash and more than 25,000 pounds of food for LiftUp of Routt County Food Bank. The family-friendly summer concerts, located at Howelsen Hill Amphitheater, are Zero Waste events. It’s estimated that more than 500,000 people have attended a free summer concert in the 22 years they’ve been happening.

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“We’re really excited, because we’re doing a number of different things this summer,” Carey said. “We’re doing a double-header for our June show — two headlining bands, which is something we’ve never done before. And only one band will have played in the series before, but it’s one we haven’t had in many years.”

Past lineup reveal fundraiser parties have raised about $17,000.

“We’re trying to beat that this year,” Carey said.

Proceeds from the Reveal Party will account for about 5 percent of the series’ 2019 revenue.

The cost of each of the summer concerts is between $40,000 to $50,000, before the band is even paid, according to Carey.

If you go

What: Steamboat Free Summer Concerts: 2019 Lineup Reveal Party
When: 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 5
Where: The Champagne Powder Room at Thunderhead Lodge
Tickets: $25 at, $30 at the door (21+)

“The price of the bands keeps going up — that’s inevitable,” Carey said.

He noted this summer’s talent budget is about $100,000.

The series aims for big names with international recognition across a variety of genres. In its 2018 lineup, the series featured The Motet, JJ Grey & Mofro, The String Cheese Incident’s Kyle Hollingsworth and others.

Those interested in supporting the Steamboat Free Summer Concerts may make individual donations at, and small businesses and corporations can support as sponsors. And, of course, support can also take the form of purchasing tickets to Friday’s lineup reveal party.

Stephen Marley and his band spread the vibes to a packed audience at Howelsen Hill Amphitheater in a 2018 Steamboat Free Summer Concerts show.
Katie Berning

Tickets to the lineup reveal party are $25 ahead of time at, and $30 at the door.

“While the concerts are free to the user, they’re not free to produce,” Carey said. “We’re lucky to have an awesome community that really does make this possible.”

If you can’t make the Friday party, find the lineup announcement at, the Steamboat Free Summer Concerts social media or in Saturday’s Steamboat Pilot & Today edition.

Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.

Kyle Hollingsworth, of the Kyle Hollingsworth Band, plays keyboard at the 2018 End of Summer Jam.
Eleanor C. Hasenbeck

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