Vail Today: Hot Summer Nights concert series celebrates 30 years in Vail |

Vail Today: Hot Summer Nights concert series celebrates 30 years in Vail

By Tricia Swenson | Vail Today
Tuesday nights mean summer in the Vail Valley with Crazy Mountain Brewery’s Hot Summer Nights concert series. A project of the Vail Valley Foundation, this free offering draws crowds of all ages with its diverse range of musical acts. The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater offers the perfect backdrop for concert fun. Lawn seating is very popular with many families bringing their own blankets and picnic fare. For those wanting to tap their toes, clap their hands and see the band up close, covered seating near the stage is the best choice. Covered seating is also a nice back up plan in case of inclement weather since these shows happen rain or shine. This free concert series started in 1987 and has featured bands such as Rusted Root, Dixie Chicks, Sheryl Crow, Dierks Bentley and various offspring of Bob Marley. In the beginning, the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater was simply a set of donated seats sitting on a hillside. “In the mid-80s, when Harry Frampton and the Vail Valley Foundation stepped in and said, ‘this can be more’, the big challenge from detractors was, ‘who is going to go way out there to Ford Park for a performing arts show?’ said Tom Boyd, director of communications for the Vail Valley Foundation. “The community came together and made it happen and who knew, back then, that it would become this iconic center of art and culture for our town and also for our region,” said Boyd. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, the Vail Valley Foundation is hosting a musical birthday bash in August. Lucas Nelson and the Promise of the Real will open on Friday night, Aug. 18 for Rodrigo y Gabriela, and Dead Man Winter featuring Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles will open on Saturday night, Aug. 19, for Third Eye Blind. For more information about the 30th anniversary celebration or to check out the rest of this summer’s Hot Summer Nights line up visit

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