Inaugural Après at The Amp draws nearly 5,000 concertgoers for two nights of music
Event producers shoveled the snow to prepare for the start of spring and summer at The Amp
Over the weekend, the Vail Valley Foundation celebrated the imminent end of Vail Mountain’s 60th anniversary season with an inaugural Après at The Amp concert series.
On Friday and Saturday night, headlining shows from French house duo Polo & Pan and Denver electronic dance pair Big Gigantic drew just under 5,000 guests to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail.
“The Amphitheater was alive with amazing energy in the Winter/Spring season for the first time ever and it capped off an unbelievable 2022-2023 (ski) season,” wrote Dave Dressman, vice president of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, in an email to the Vail Daily. “Attendance was strong and both the guest and community feedback has been exceptional.”
In addition to the headlining artists, supporting bands included Colorado native and Belly Up regular Haasy and Frenchman Lewis OfMan on Friday, April 7, as well as Colorado-based artist Alana English and DJ Pee .Wee (aka Anderson .Paak) on Saturday, April 8.
This stacked lineup of artists led to one main piece of feedback from attendees: “We need to book more electronic artists,” Dressman said.
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That, and “the artists delivered; people were very grateful for the unique experience,” he added.
And while they also heard that tickets were “a little pricey,” this was in “direct correlation” with artists’ fees, production costs and de-winterizing costs for the venue, Dressman said.
Because bringing one of the earliest concerts ever to The Amp was no easy feat.
“From an operational perspective, getting The Amp ready for this was a herculean task,” Dressman said. “The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater was and is designed as a summer venue. As we all know, Mother Nature delivered an unbelievable winter season and while that has provided an amazing on-hill experience, it created immense challenges to get the Amphitheater safe and operational.”
The Vail Valley Foundation drew from its partners at the town of Vail and from Vail Resorts to bring the evening together, with Dressman commenting that it was “truly a team effort.”
While bringing the concerts to life required challenging venue preparations and a short runway for booking talent, preparing, promoting and planning the events, the end result was worth it, Dressman added.
“We pulled it off and the actual concerts were filled with positivity and were extremely memorable for those in attendance, the artists and those working,” he said. “The electronic genre delivered a youthful crowd who filled the venue with unmatched energy across two beautiful nights.”
While the two nights of concerts marked the end of Vail’s Après Concert Series — which brought free concerts to the town throughout the ski season — it also marks the start of concerts at The Amp for the year.
Looking ahead, Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater is preparing to host not only cornerstone events like the Vail Dance Festival, Mountains of Music at The GoPro Mountain Games, the Foundation’s free Hot Summer Nights concert series and the Bravo! Music Festival, but also a full schedule of summer concerts with AEG.
“In my opinion, our Amp Summer Concert schedule is the best we’ve had since launching our partnership with AEG in 2018,” Dressman said. “Caamp and Chicago are already sold out. The Pixies & Modest Mouse, Mt. Joy and Trombone Shorty & Ziggy Marley are ‘low ticket alerts.'”
And as for whether or not Après at The Amp will return in spring 2024, that is still to be determined, Dressman added.