VAIL — With rain and more rain in the forecast, locals and visitors have warm weather and free concerts to look forward to, kicking off June 18 with Freddy Jones Band — a roots rock band from Chicago with a reputation for expansive and energetic live shows — at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater at 6:30 p.m.
Hot Summer Nights will continue on Tuesdays through Aug. 27, presenting a variety of free concert options, from indie rock-Americana and blue grass to funky jazz, blues and reggae. New this year, the Vail Valley Foundation will also feature “Hot Summer Happy Hour,” offering food and drink specials at the amphitheater from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. before the concert starts.
Following the kickoff to free summer concerts in Vail is ShowDown Town in Eagle, which kicks off July 11 with Boulder rock ‘n’ roll band Eminence Ensemble. ShowDown Town shows continue on Thursdays throughout the summer, wrapping up on Aug. 15.
The Vail Valley Foundation is celebrating more than 25 years of free concerts in the valley this year. All shows in the Hot Summer Nights and ShowDown Town lineups are free to the public, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. and concerts starting at 6:30 p.m.
“Free concerts are one of our favorite summer pastimes and ways of celebrating our community here in the Vail Valley,” said Jennifer Mason, director of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. “We can’t wait to open our doors for the summer 2013 season.”
The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is located east of Golden Peak at Ford Park in Vail. Concert attendees are asked to park at the main Vail Village parking structure, with overflow parking at the Lionshead parking structure. For added convenience, the free town of Vail shuttles will run extended routes past Golden Peak from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., with a drop off at the soccer field near the Ford Amphitheater. Additionally, a special Village-to-Village express bus will run from 4 to 9:30 p.m. with stops at the east entrance of the Lionshead parking structure, in front of the Vail Village Information Center and at Ford Park.
ShowDown Town concerts take place at Eagle Town Park and offer weekly kids activities that are sure to entertain all ages. All shows begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information on the Vail Valley Foundation’s free concert series, like “Vail Free Concerts” on Facebook or visit www.vvf.org.