Under A Snow White Sky
Chuck Morris has been promoting at Red Rocks Amphitheatre since the ‘70s, yet there’s still something he hasn’t done there, until now: a concert in the middle of winter.
The iconic outdoor venue on the edge of the Rocky Mountains near Denver has always been shuttered during the snowy months. Remember Red Rocks’ famous U2 concert – that Morris and Barry Fey promoted – with Bono’s breath visible in the icy air?
“That was in June,” Morris told Pollstar. “That’s the way Colorado is. You can never predict the weather.”
But Colorado natives are accustomed to wintery climes, so when AEG Live Rocky Mountain was approached with the upcoming Jan. 27 concert featuring Atmosphere and Common, it didn’t sound like a risk. It’s just that there are plenty of inside venues for wintertime events. But in this case, ticket sales are brisk, according to Morris.
Icelantic’s “Winter on the Rocks” runs in conjunction with the SIA SnowShow, a large trade show presented by SnowSports Industries of America that has been held in Las Vegas until it moved to Denver in 2010. Icelantic is a ski distributor based in Evergreen, Colo., and expanding to Europe.
But even with the polar bears known as ski fanatics, AEG is not going to make them suffer unduly.
“There will be heaters on stage, and we’ll have heating tents for the audience,” Morris said.
AEG Live Rocky Mountain’s Rob Thomas, head of special projects, told Pollstar they’ve been shoveling the venue for weeks to keep the walkways and roadways clear. The AEG branch has done winter concerts before – last year they were involved in shows in Lake Tahoe, Nev., and Vail, Colo. Then there was the Snowball Music Festival, held in Avon, Colo., in March while the snow fell on 10,000 people over three days.
“It’s an interesting thing that happens with the crowd and with the bands when they’re put into that situation,” Thomas said. “They almost dig in harder and fight harder and become more engaged. During the Flaming Lips, it dumped snow but it actually worked with the performance. As they were firing confetti off the stage, it meshed with the snowflakes. The end result was beautiful.”
As far as doing more concerts at Red Rocks during the winter, its one step at a time, but Morris will assess the possibilities after the 27th.