The Beatdown

The mountains win again at the South Park Music Fest.

While I'd planned to hit more shows that evening, once I was back at the Treehouse, I just couldn't peel myself away from the hot tub. As I sat there soaking and smoking, I ruminated on what a perfect getaway the South Park Music Fest has become. And that's exactly what Fecher, a recent Denver resident who previously served as executive director of the Midwest Music Summit, had in mind when he founded the event last year: He has hopes that this industry retreat will become the musical equivalent of Park City's Sundance Festival.

It was certainly what this overworked music minion needed. While South Park is much smaller than South by Southwest, I still didn't see as many acts as I intended -- but the ones I did catch were outstanding. From a festival perspective, though, it still has a way to go. I didn't see many industry heavyweights, and while I caught some interesting national artists, I was much more impressed with the Denver acts that Fecher had imported.

Things will change, though, once word leaks out about how cool the South Park Music Fest really is. I'm confident that with some minor tinkering (including relocating the panels out of the forest and closer to town, and providing a map of the venues), South Park could quickly become one of the country's premier music conferences. I'm already looking forward to next year -- assuming I can stock up on a gaggle of O2 canisters before then.

As I settled into bed on Saturday night, lungs and senses ravaged by the altitude, Krystal 93, Breckenridge's locally owned radio station, perfectly summed up my South Park experience by playing Blues Traveler's "The Mountains Win Again."

Head for the hills.

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