A week of Spring Back to Vail celebrations | VailDaily.com

A week of Spring Back to Vail celebrations

Daily Staff ReportVail CO, Colorado
Daily File Photo/Kristin Anderson

VAIL, Colorado An annual event heralding the close of the ski season, Spring Back to Vail has morphed from an excuse to head to the slopes for discounted lift tickets and lodging packages to a week-long, event-filled shindig, replete with three big-name concerts this year.

We always try to go bigger and better than we do the previous year, said James Deighan of Highline Sports & Entertainment, the events producers. The concerts, the events, the overall feel of Vail during this time its the best time of year to be here on the mountain and in the town.This years celebration is no different. Govt Mule, Kottonmouth Kings and Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals will headline the music scene. Harper, backed by his band The Innocent Criminals, specializes in a socially conscious blend of blues, funk, reggae, R&B and folk that has earned him a legion of fans. Govt Mule, formed in 1994 as a side project of the Allman Brothers Band, is a southern- rock-style jam band that has become a staple at music festivals across the country. Like many jam bands, Govt Mule did not build its broad fan base through radio play, but through extensive touring and strong stage presence. With more than 12 years of touring under their belts and more than 1 million records sold, Southern Californias Kottonmouth Kings are known for their blend of hip-hop, punk rock and soul music.Govt Mule plays Dobson Arena on Thursday from 7 to 10 p.m.; Kottonmouth Kings plays Dobson Arena on Friday from 7 to 10 p.m.; Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals play live in concert with Bedouin Sound Clash at Ford Park on Saturday. There will be a Warren Miller movie screening prior to the Ben Harper concert on Saturday evening.Tickets are still available for these concerts online at http://www.springbacktovail.com. General admission tickets are also available locally in the Vail Valley at the Marketplace on Meadow Drive in Vail and the Bottle & Cork in Edwards. General Admission tickets are priced as follows: Govt Mule, $36; Kottonmouth Kings, $26; Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, $45.

In addition to the concert line-up, the week is packed full of other opportunities to experience new music. DJs provide the atmosphere at the Vista Bahn, the Gondola and on the deck at Mid-Vail throughout the week. Pretty Lights, Little Hercules and DJs Wolf and Lamb will be playing Samana on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. Music really sets the tone for a place, said Amy Hornyak of Highline Sports. The bands and performers that we have playing in Vail for Spring Back just compliment our amazing town. Its going to be a great week.Highline also brought on some new sponsors for Spring Back to Vail. Bacardi will host the pondskimming event, a yearly favorite. Now, the annual event is known by a new title: the Bacardi World Pondskimming Championships. But Bacardi is bringing more than just its name to the event. Bacardi wants people to know that its okay to have a good time, but we want them to be safe as well. As a real-live symbol of our commitment to responsible drinking and safety, were donating a puppy to the Beaver Creek Ski Patrol to train as an avalanche dog, said Joe Gerbino, manager of corporate communications for BACARDI U.S.A., Inc. I guess you can say that the Bacardi World Pondskimming Championships are going to the dogs!The Bacardi World Pondskimming Championships are also attracting another type of champion to this years race across the pond Olympic gold-medalist Jonny Moseley will be one of the announcers at the event, which will be held Saturday at Golden Peak. While pondskimming is a little different than going through a mogul field, Im sure that Jonny will prove to be a veritable treasure trove of insight into the competition, Deighan said. It may not be common knowledge, but Jonny and I go way back on the pondskimming circuit together.Moseley will also be signing autographs at Los Amigos from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday as part of the Bacardi/Cazadores Party.For more information on Spring Back to Vail, visit springbacktovail.com.

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