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Big Sky Ideas Festival to give winter signature event

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Cord McCoy added to TEDxBigSky lineup

By Bay Stephens EBS Staff Writer

BIG SKY – TEDxBigSky will not stand alone this year but will be enveloped into the inaugural Big Sky Ideas Festival from Jan. 23-27. And also joining the TEDxBigSky lineup is former bull rider and three-season veteran of CBS’s “The Amazing Race,” Cord McCoy, a staple of Big Sky PBR. The festival will “activate” curated speakers through breakout sessions involving the community to promote thought and action.

Organized by Outlaw Partners (publisher of EBS), the vision for Big Sky Ideas Festival began with the success of the Professional Bull Riders event that Outlaw has hosted in Town Center the past eight summers. Outlaw CEO Eric Ladd said the goal was to create a winter counterpart to PBR and chose to build the platform around TEDxBigSky, which debuted in 2017.

“It came from a desire to create a signature event in winter that the community could rally behind and participate in,” Ladd said. The festival allows the community additional touchpoints with the speakers, breaking down the presenter-audience dichotomy for more experiential learning opportunities.

As ideas festivals such as those hosted by TED—a nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading”—have grown in popularity, Outlaw decide to host its own independently organized version of TED Talks, called TEDx.

“Our mission at Outlaw is to create connections that inspire others to act,” Outlaw’s Media and Events Director Ersin Ozer said. “We do this through journalism and storytelling, video and marketing, and live events. The Big Ideas Festival is an example of Outlaw’s mission coming to life and gives our community more opportunities to apply what they will hear about at TEDxBigSky into their lives.”

At this point, the festival will include a performance by flutist Ulla Suokko, and a concert by the Jamie McLean Band, the namesake of which will close out the night at TEDxBigSky with a musical performance on Saturday, Jan. 26.

The Outlaw team also is interested in hosting a more intimate gathering with Jay Sanguinetti, so audiences can have a closer look at how the positive effects of meditation could be enhanced by neuromodulation. Other events are in the works with dates, times and locations forthcoming.

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