Vail Bravo!: A festival for you and a festival for me
July 14, 2010
VAIL – A music festival is a music festival no matter what genre of music. People are all there for the same reasons – they love the music, and the music makes them happy. It sounds so simple, but yet it goes much deeper than that. You may disagree with me, but let’s take a well known festival like Bonnaroo, held in Manchester, Tenn., or Wakarusa, held in Ozark, Ark., and compare it to our beloved Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.
Bonnaroo books a lineup more than 200 bands, that range from chart toppers to underground phenoms to comedians, and the festival crams all of this into just four days. Bonnaroo attracts over 90,000 people, from all over the world, and has music playing from 9 in the morning until 6 a.m. the next day, on numerous stages and tents spread across the festival grounds.
Now just by looking at that statistic you would think that Bravo! can’t compare to an event of such scale, but you’re wrong. Bravo invites three of the nation’s top orchestras and more than 40 internationally acclaimed soloists to perform during the six-week festival. Bravo holds performances all over the Vail Valley. The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater could easily be considered the “main stage,” where the headliners such as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and The New York Philharmonic all perform, putting themselves on the same pedestal as Phish, Dave Matthews Band, and Kings of Leon (Bonnaroo’s past headliners). Actually, Trey Anastasio, Phish’s famed front man, has performed entire concerts with The New York Philharmonic. I bet you didn’t think that was possible! Then you have the Vilar Center, the Vail Mountain School, local libraries, and private residences all hosting Bravo! performances, which are exactly like the Revival Tent, the Outpost Tent, and the Satellite Stage at Wakarusa.
Large festivals like Bonnaroo and Wakarusa encompass everything from jazz to jam to electronic. Bravo! has classical, pops, blues and the Captivating Classics chamber music series, which could even be considered a festival within a festival.
Just because Bravo! festival attendees don’t barter for food or make garlic grilled cheese in the parking lots doesn’t mean we aren’t all similar in our quest for that one magical music moment. Whether your moment is one magnificent violin concerto that touches your soul or that one rare Phish bust-out you have been chasing for 15 years, in the end, once it happens, the feeling is the same – jubilant elation.
So next time you think the Mozart-loving Bravo patron has nothing in common with the hula-hooping hippie, think again. And when you see another music fan, no matter what their genre of choice, give them a hug, because they are trying to find that musical joy just like you.
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Patrick Marshall is the ticketing and marketing associate for the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. He’s also an avid Phish, STS9 and Umphrey’s McGee fan, and tries to attend as many music festivals and concerts as he can.