Three days, 25 bands and hundreds of music lovers. Organizers of the inaugural South Park SummerFest hope they will all come together to create an opportunity to launch a movement revitalizing the arts culture in rural Colorado. Headlined by international tribute band Lez Zeppelin, the music festival will be a weekend of rock-and-roll with a dedication to the arts, organizers say, while drawing what might perhaps be an unprecedented show of musical talent to Park County - just over Hoosier Pass from Summit."It's that last festival of the 2012 summer," SummerFest spokeswoman Lindsey Shorthouse said. "It's good old American rock 'n' roll, it's national talent and local talent and it's a really good mix." Denver performers the MOTET, Air Dubai, Toddy Walters, Black Postcards, Instant Empire, In the Whale, Izcalli, Atomga and The Canopy will join headliners Lez Zeppelin out of New York City. The lineup will also feature Sacramento band Fly Radio, Madori & Ezra Boy out of Santa Rosa, Red Light Cameras from Albuquerque and local DJs Chris Diablo, DJ IZ and DJ Hotness. Vendors, artisans and activities - including ATVs, relays, horseback riding, after parties and art award contests in Fairplay - will complement the music throughout the weekend. The event kicks off Thursday night with a VIP reception. The main stages at American Safari Ranch, located a few miles outside Fairplay, will feature alternative, indie rock and pop bands through Friday and Saturday. Music-industry legend Barry Fey will help close out the festival Saturday with one of the last public signings of his memoir, "Back Stage Past." The first project of newborn Colorado-based nonprofit Vibrant Culture, SummerFest is intended to be a launching pad for their primary objective - to reintroduce the arts to rural parts of the state. Their efforts will focus on dance, theater, music, painting, writing film and photography, with a special Art & Soul youth program targeted at fostering talent among children 6-12. "This is their inaugural event so they can start raising money (to) bring all sorts of different arts to rural areas where arts have been cut off due to budget constraints," Shorthouse said. Fey will split the good spirit of the weekend Saturday, with an on-stage tribute to the victims of the Aurora shooting. He will be joined on the main stage by the dozens of other performers for fundraiser to benefit the victims' relief fund. Band members are expected to sign a large painting by Denver artist Mark Cline, which will be auctioned. The proceeds will be donated on behalf of Vibrant Culture.
Where: American Safari Ranch, 1484 County Road 7, FairplayWhen: Friday, Aug. 17, 5 p.m. - Saturday, Aug. 18, 4 p.m. How much: Single-day general admission: $27.50 for adultsWeekend pass general admission: $50VIP vacation packages: starting at $680 More information: SouthParkSummerFest.com