‘Burro Palooza’ hits Fairplay | SummitDaily.com

‘Burro Palooza’ hits Fairplay

FAIRPLAY – “Burro Palooza,” whose name is a take-off on the Lollapalooza concerts that have been held around the country for years, looks to become a nationwide attraction in Fairplay on Saturday, September 11. Officially called the South Park Art and Music Festival, the event promises more than 60 national and local up-and-coming bands at five different venues around the town. And best of all, admission is free! Oh, wrong. The very best of all is that more than 2,000 CDs of the featured bands will be distributed free of charge to attendees.

Organizer Matt Fecher said that so many bands were clamoring to be included, “We could probably collect 60 artists who barely didn’t make the cut and put on a second festival and compilation that would be equal in quality to this one.” For a list of the musical artists and some sound clips, check out the Web site at http://www.southparkmusic.com.The event has garnered lots of buzz on the Internet and has a list of national and local sponsors that include Coors Brewing Company, RSN TV, XM Radio’s Unsigned Channel, IndieMusic.com, and the town of Fairplay. The town will shut down a portion of Front Street, as music fans gather to hear musicians from all over the country, some of which will undoubtedly be signed, and a few that are sure to become famous. (Wouldn’t it be great to have attended one of Elvis’ first performances, or been in attendance in the underground bar where the Beatles debuted?) Music isn’t all the day will offer. A number of artists will display their wares (some will demonstrate how they produce their art), the South Park City Museum will offer free admission with townspeople and board members portraying the citizens of the 1880s town and about 20 vendors will supply food and drinks, including beer (I.D. will be assiduously checked and the areas where beer is allowed clearly defined.)

Outdoor music will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m., when the tunes move to three indoor venues until midnight. Camping is free for devotees of outdoor sleeping, and there are a number of lodging possibilities, from a charming log-sided motel to luxury accommodations at Breckenridge Ski Resort. (Check the Web site for directions to camping spots and a list of sponsoring lodgings, as well as tons of information about the event.)We posed a number of questions to the mastermind behind the festival, Leanne Smith, a former governmental manager charged with decommissioning a nuclear facility. Smith revealed that the impetus for the festival was to give back to her newly adopted community and help fund the local parks and recreation district with a small festival. But when a neighbor, the Fechers, revealed their son Mat, had spearheaded a number of music festivals, including a very successful mp3 project in Indianapolis that featured music ranging from the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra to punk rock, she knew she had the right guy to help develop the festival into a national venue. She said with a laugh, “Then Matt and I hit it off, and the rest is magic!”

Fecher agrees. “The talent will be there. We’re not exaggerating when we say the “eyes of the world will be on Fairplay.” For the weekend of Sept. 10-11, this will be “The Place” to be for independent music.So, why the name Burro Palooza? For those who don’t already know, Fairplay is known as the burro capital of the world. What other place would have not one, but two monuments to honor the burros that were the mainstay of the gold and silver mining booms in the area? The first of the triple crown of burro racing is held in Fairplay and has been run since 1949. It only seemed natural to include the word burro in the event. Has the community gotten on board for this? “The town of Fairplay has wholeheartedly supported Burro Palooza from day one,” Smith said. “Then, local vendors, a lot of local businesses and community government began to realize how this was evolving into an awesome full-blown festival.”

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