Orion Independent Music Festival Debuts in Park City, Utah

National and international musicians to showcase talents before the Sundance Film Festival

By: By Christopher Ponzi

Skiers having fun on the slopes in Park City, Utah, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, Jan.14-20, will have the opportunity to attend the inaugural Orion Independent Music Festival. The festival, which is also taking place prior to the Sundance Film Festival, will provide exposure to unsigned music acts in a similar way that Sundance promotes up-and-coming filmmakers. Artists will perform in several venues throughout the town’s historic Main Street. Music genres will include rock, pop, jazz, R&B, lounge, country and hip hop.

Orion is the brainchild of Salt Lake City musician Steffon Olsen. The festival’s creation was inspired by Olsen’s own experiences as a singer/songwriter and his desire to positively impact the music business by highlighting new ways for artists to market themselves.

“I’ve grown frustrated by the music industry’s general lack of interest in the art of music while it becomes more focused on profits and artistic control,” explained Olsen. “Music is on the cusp of a revolution thanks to the Internet empowering the independent artist with the ability to self-promote. Our mission is to create an annual forum in Park City for independent acts to be discovered.”

The Orion Independent Music Festival will be a convergence of industry professionals and music-lovers looking to broaden their tastes. During Park City’s busy ski season, Main Street’s live music venues will be buzzing with visitors and locals who will enjoy the rare opportunity to discover new talent after a day on the slopes.

Several Main Street venues have committed to showcasing festival artists, including Cisero’s, Doolan’s, Downstairs, Flanagan’s, Harry Os, Lindzee O’Michaels, The Sidecar, The Spur Bar & Grill, and The Star Bar. Each will serve the signature Orion cocktail. Part of the Festival proceeds will benefit Mountain Town Music in Park City.

Opening ceremonies will be held Jan. 14 at Park City’s historic Egyptian Theater during which Park City Mayor Dana Williams will welcome festival attendees and treat them to some of his own original music.

Festival wristbands, allowing access to all venues, are available on its Web site for $40. Visitors can also pay $5 at the door for individual showcases.

Orion Independent Music Festival