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Twilight Concert Series in New Home in One Week

Modest Mouse opens series in Pioneer Park.

By Dan Nailen
Posted // June 29,2010 - In just one week, when Modest Mouse and Avi Buffalo take the stage, the Salt Lake City Arts Council and music fans of all stripes will find out how the new location for the massively popular Twilight Concert Series is going to work out.

There will undoubtedly be some bumpy aspects to the transition from the Gallivan Center, where the free Thursday-night shows have been held for years, to Pioneer Park, a place often associated as much with the drug trade and homeless population as with the successful Downtown Farmers Market. But, everyone from the city’s police department to Pioneer-abutting businesses to city officials are hopeful the shift will not only improve the concert experience for those who thought Gallivan was getting too crowded, but also make the park a more vital part of the city’s day-to-day life.

The Salt Lake City Arts Council’s Casey Jarman, who’s been booking the Twilight lineup for more than two decades, believes people will welcome the change from the Gallivan, which often felt uncomfortably overstuffed in recent years for shows such as The Roots, Bon Iver and The Black Keys. The Gallivan is currently undergoing a facelift that will help it accommodate larger crowds, but it would not have been available this summer.

Jarman looked at a couple of dozen potential spots for the series once the Gallivan renovation project was put into place, eventually landing at Pioneer Park because of its size, location and park atmosphere that was preferable to a cement parking lot or closed-off street.

“It was pretty evident walking through (Pioneer Park), this is the space to be,” Jarman said at the press conference announcing Twilight’s new home, noting that he knew the series was outgrowing Gallivan about five years ago. The free Thursday concerts average about 15,000 attendees, and have gone as high as 23,000. And yes, there will still be beer and wine available at Pioneer, as there was at Gallivan.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said he has high hopes for what the concerts can do for Pioneer Park, in conjunction with the farmers market and other, smaller events already making positive changes in the park. The arrival of the Twilight Concert Series, Becker said, will help “make Pioneer Park what it should be, a jewel in the middle of our city.”


July 8: Modest Mouse, Avi Buffalo

July 15: Girl Talk, Memory Tapes

July 22: Beirut, Twin Sister

July 29: The New Pornographers, The Dodos

Aug. 5: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Jamie Lidell

Aug. 12: Matisyahu, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe

Aug. 19: Big Boi, Chromeo

Aug. 26: She & Him, Dum Dum Girls

Gates and the Twilight Market open at 5 p.m. on show days. Concerts begin at 7 p.m.

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Posted // August 4,2010 at 12:01

no one needs to worry about getting stabbed. that park isnt as bad as everyone makes it out to be. and there are a ton of cops for the concerts. like two every block.


Posted // June 29,2010 at 10:50

I'm excited for the location change. Thursday night concerts are always a good time, but the Gallivan DID get uncomfortably crowded and over-stuffed. It was difficult to navigate not only through the crowds but around all the obsticles at Gallivan; the rink, the railings and planters, stairs... I'm looking forward to the trees, grass, flat-level grounds and breathing room of Pioneer Park.


Posted // June 29,2010 at 13:53 - I doubt this will be much better, now everyone can just worry about getting stabbed instead.