Belly Up Aspen, an intimate venue hidden in the mountains, turns ten this week. The space has hosted some unforgettable shows in that time (including sets by the Jane's Addiction, home state hero Pretty Lights, the Wu-Tang Clan, B.B. King and more), and the owners have plans to keep the momentum going. They'll mark the anniversary this week with a full slate of shows, including headlining sets from Kaskade, Skrillex, Chromeo and Wiz Khalifa. "We cant do it without the local community and we cant do it without the acts," says the venue's founder Michael Goldberg. "As much as we want to make this a celebration, it's really a thank you."
We talked to Goldberg and came up with five things you should know about the space as it enters its second decade. "There's still a lot of work to be done," he says of the anniversary. "We're just getting started."
5. Belly Up started big: The Roots played Belly Up's opening weekend. For Goldberg, simply opening the doors ranks among his proudest achievements to date. "The biggest milestone was that we actually got it open," he says.
4. Goldberg's favorite show so far was: "Jimmy Buffet!" he says, without hesitation. "And that was year one."
3. The venue prides itself on return visits: Belly Up has a reputation of getting some big players into the small space, repeatedly. Chris Issac has played a whopping eleven times. The Flaming Lips make it an almost annual stop. Jane's Addiction played three years in a row. Goldberg says while variety is important, it means a lot that acts love to come back. "Our goal is to keep doing that, but bigger and bigger," he says.
The Flaming Lips during one of many shows at Belly Up.
2. If you've never been to Belly Up, this is your week: In addition to the full slate of shows (Kaskade tonight and tomorrow, Skrillex on Saturday and Chromeo and Wiz Khalifa on Sunday), Goldberg has a surprise or two planned. "We have a few more toys we're going to unveil during the week," he says.
1. It's a family business: Michael Goldberg first opened Belly Up, but his two sons Danny and David who have taken on major roles in the management of the venue. "I'm excited I've gotten to end this ten-year run with Danny and David having grown into as integral a portion of this business as they have," says Goldberg.
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