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Music in the Mountains’ triumphant return

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Music in the Mountains, now in its 13th year running, is on this summer. The Arts Council announced this summer’s diverse and star-studded lineup at Tips Up on June 10. PHOTO BY GABRIELLE GASSER

The community’s beloved music series announces star-studded lineup

By Mira Brody EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – Tips Up in Big Sky Town Center buzzed with energy on the night of June 10. It was the Arts Council of Big Sky’s Music in the Mountains lineup release party, and the scene was a vastly different energy than last year, as last year’s live music scene—across Big Sky and the world—was silenced by the pandemic.

Music in the Mountains, the community’s beloved free concert series, now in its 13th year running, is on this summer. The Arts Council announced this summer’s diverse and star-studded lineup alongside a performance by local Grateful Dead cover band, Dead Sky.

Dead Sky played at Tips Up for the Music in the Mountains lineup release party. PHOTO BY GABRIELLE GASSER

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since we’ve had Music in the Mountains—everybody knows Music in the Mountains, right?” Brian Hurlbut, the Arts Council’s executive director, asked a crowd of boisterous fans.

Last year, the series went virtual with the help of the stage and technology of the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center. Although an impressive production, it just “wasn’t as cool as live music,” says Hurlbut. Indeed, much of the show’s energy comes from visiting with your friends, family and locale and enjoying local food vendors in the park.

This year, the series will kick off on July 3 and 4 for Fourth of July weekend in Wilson Plaza pending the completion of their regular stage area in Len Hill Park in Big Sky Town Center. Hurlbut says they hope to move to the park by their July 15 show. Steep Canyon Rangers, the band comedian Steve Martin famously plays banjo in, will kick off the July 3 show, and the Tiny Band will bring in the Fourth of July fireworks show.

Before reintroducing Dead Sky back on stage following the lively lineup announcement, Hurlbut gave a nod to Joe Knapp, one of the group’s former bandmates, who passed away suddenly in May.

“We’ve had Dead Sky for Music in the Mountains and it just seemed like the right thing to do to bring these guys back,” said Hurlbut.

Music in the Mountains will run every Thursday, with the exception of Fourth of July weekend, Big Sky PBR weekend and the Bravo! Big Sky Music Festival weekend, starting at 6 p.m. The free, family-friendly concert series is made possible by generous sponsors, including: High Altitude Property Management, The Cave, Conoco, Big Sky Build, Big Sky Vacation Rentals, Big Sky Landscaping, Suffolk, Mia Lennon of Big Sky Real Estate and Ace Hardware.

“It’s a big relief,” Hurlbut told EBS in an interview. “I think, like many people in the community, the staff and board of the Arts Council … we really missed having it last summer. The series is a great way for us to be in front of the community, to showcase what we do, and I think it’s what we do best.”

Music in the Mountains summer 2021 lineup

July 3—Steep Canyon Rangers

July 4—Tiny Band

July 8—Dusty Pockets

July 15—Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons (first show in the park)

July 22—Magnolia Boulevard (Big sky PRB weekend)

July 29—Toubab Krewe 

Aug. 5—John Robert’s Y Pan Blanco

Aug. 12—Dammit Lauren

Bravo! Big Sky at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center

Aug. 13—Angella Ahn and Friends

Aug. 14—Futureman/Silverman

Aug. 19—Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs

Aug. 26—Erica Falls

Sept. 2—The Waiting

Sept 9—Pinky and the Floyd

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