It’s the fifth time Downtown Music is throwing an event of this magnitude. Last year, the event drew more than 200 people, but the organizers hope they’ll have a much higher turnout after upping the ante by adding new sponsors, including Hardcore Tattoos, Discreet outdoor apparel and the Alta and Snowbird resorts.
Downtown Music owner Matt Wolfe, who also owns outdoor-oriented website AltaBird.com, says the idea for a fall block party originated with him wanting more exposure for not just his companies, but for the local bands who rehearse at Downtown Music, as well. Downtown Music has been renting rooms to local artists since 1982.
“We are a family business that has been around for 30 years,” Matt says. The space boasts 67 units, 55 of which are used by local bands to practice for gigs or just hang out.
Out of the 55 bands, seven are lined up to play at the party: Aerial, Rattlesnake Shake, Downfall, Flor de Palma, Fractal Rock, The Anti Matter and Merit Badge. But the lineup may change, Wolfe says, because “there’s always a last-minute scramble with the bands.”
Two of the seven performing bands are fronted by Downtown Music veteran and Harley enthusiast Michael Hernandez—hard rockers Aerial and Rattlesnake Shake, a Motley Crue tribute band. Hernandez has been practicing at Downtown Music with Aerial since 1986.
“It’s a great facility,” Hernandez says. “It gets kids out of their parents’ basements, and bands who didn’t have a place to work in.”
The space has been described by many as a tight-knit community where everybody knows one another and borrows from each other. Aerial’s guitar player Kurt Johnson’s son is also in Aerial, and Johnson also plays in Downfall, another Downtown Music band.
Hernandez also has a third band that practices at Downtown Music called Cattle Drive. “All three have participated in the block parties, as well as other events,” he says.
This time around, Aerial will be playing an all-original set, and Rattlesnake Shake will be playing (in full regalia, of course) Motley Crue classics like “Shout at the Devil,” “Kickstart My Heart” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” “We usually have a few [girls] dancing on the stage for that song,” Hernandez says.
“People are more than welcome to bring their own meat and lounge chairs,” Wolfe says. He’ll have hot dogs, soda and giveaways, and he says guests can bring old ski or snowboarding equipment to burn in the bonfire.
“It will be a sort of sacrifice to the snow gods.”
PRAY FOR SNOW BLOCK PARTY
833 S. Main
Saturday, Oct. 23
Free, All Ages