Making an
Impact

Mountains of
PERFORMANCE

ShowDown TOWN

For 23 Years, ShowDown Town

in Eagle has been a place to gather, see old friends, be with family and live ‘the good life’ in the Colorado Rockies.

For anyone who wants to see the spirit of the Town of Eagle come to life, ShowDown Town is the perfect place to do it.

It’s also a place where up-and-coming bands can show their stuff. Many of the valley’s now-beloved acts had some of their first gigs at ShowDown Town. It’s a place where the VVF can support not only a quality experience for everyone involved, but also help cultivate the music scene in the central Rockies. it’s one more way that we support quality of life, via the arts, throughout Eagle County.

In 2019, the series featured seven artists:

  • The Runaway Grooms
  • Treehouse Sanctum
  • The Vegabonds
  • Ten Years Gone
  • Kendall Street Company
  • The Dip
  • Shovelin Stone

We look forward to announcing next year’s lineup in spring, 2020, as we partner with the Town of Eagle and multiple community sponsors each year to continue this cherished downvalley tradition.

 

Entire books have been

written about one of architecture’s greatest tricks, or at least one of its most sought-after outcomes, which is the ability for a building to blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. It’s a lofty goal, one that is exceedingly difficult to accomplish, but it comes with great reward.

On a bend on the river, nestled perfectly against a sloping hillside, there are very few places on earth that achieve this mission more adeptly than the iconic Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, now heading into its 34th year of providing one of the most beautiful performing arts spaces imaginable.

Inspired in its shape by the amphitheaters of antiquity, yet timeless in its modern lines, it requires a trained eye to notice that, also like Rome, the Ford Amphitheater was not built in a day. Since the venue held its opening ceremonies on June 27, 1987, the venue has undergone six major renovations and many other smaller upgrades and additions.

The evolution of the physical space has paired perfectly with the flourishing of the cultural offerings within. Since day one, the Vail Dance Festival and the Hot Summer Nights free concert series (both projects of the VVF), and the Bravo! Vail Music Festival have called the Ford Amphitheater home. Each of these events has been brightly woven into the tapestry of Vail’s summertime success, and together they draw tens of thousands of people, and contribute millions, to the Vail economy each year. Economics aside, the venue’s immeasurable impact can also be poignantly expressed in more intangible terms: as a valued gathering place for Vail’s tightly-knit community; where graduations, community events, and memorials create lasting bonds and memories each year. This year, in 2019, we hosted the Celebration of Life for the legendary Pepi Gramshammer – a day that exemplified this critical role of the Ford Amphitheater in the valley.

Throughout its history, the Ford Amphitheater has
hosted big-name artists from time to time, but it wasn’t until 2018 that a new partnership between the Vail Valley Foundation and AEG Presents helped make such shows a regular occurrence.

These performances meet the expressed desire – discovered in countless community surveys and stakeholder discussions – to continue to make Vail a leading destination for entertainment in the Rockies. Taken together with the entire season’s offerings of dance, classical, and community events, one can begin to see just how colorful a spectrum of performing arts the venue is capable of providing.

This broad spectrum, together with the venue’s destination-worthy appeal, has led the Vail Valley Foundation to move away from the Whistle Pig Vail moniker, which once housed the VVF/AEG co-produced events. Instead, we will let the intrinsic beauty of the Ford Amphitheater, and its wide selection of summertime offerings, lead the way. Together with this new approach will come a refreshed logo and brand identity for the venue, something that borrows from the Ford Amphitheater’s rich history even as it sets us on footing for the many promising years to come.

Each year the return of Bravo! Vail to the Ford Amphitheater is a return ‘home’ for all of us. Its beauty provides an ideal backdrop for our performances, and I can’t imagine a more inviting location for musicians and concert-goers alike.

Caitlin Murray
Executive Director, Bravo! Vail Music Festival

The Vail Valley Foundation, and our entire community, was so amazing, filled with energy and love for Pepi. Thank you for making Pepi’s Celebration of Life at the Ford Amphitheater unforgettable.

Sheika Gramshammer
First Lady of Vail

We work in music venues of all shapes and sizes, but what I love about the Ford Amphitheater, besides that it’s a beautiful place, is its people. Everyone is very hard-working, accommodating, and has a positive attitude.

Chris Villanueva
Production Manager, AEG Presents

ShowDown Town is where our community comes together to connect in summertime. We are grateful to our partners at the Vail Valley Foundation for all that they do to make this event happen. It’s a great example of why Eagle is such a great place to live.

Brian Hall
Special Events Manager, Town of Eagle

GRFA
By the Numbers

59
events held
119,642
total attendees
86,715
tickets issued
7,533
Pacifico beers served
6
Hot Summer Nights free concerts
3
nights of free concerts at GoPro Mountains of Music
20
Bravo! Vail events
9
Vail Dance Festival performances
8
headliner shows from VVF & AEG Presents
The 23'x10' screen has enhanced the experience at the Ford Amphitheater.
Photo by Dan Davis