MusicFest returns with freebies

Music Tent will close ski area gondola parking lot in January

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— A local tradition with a little Texas flavor will be back in Steamboat next week.

For the eighth year in a row - and 22nd overall - MusicFest will return to the Steamboat Music Tent at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

John Dickson, organizer of the event, said more than 3,500 people and 40 bands are expected to make the trip for the event that starts on Thursday and runs through Jan. 9.

Dickson said he moved the MusicFest around different parts of Colorado before finding Steamboat to be the perfect area.

"The style of the music generally fits the whole Steamboat vibe," Dickson said of the largest group ski trip of its kind in the nation with concerts featuring Texas and Americana music.

While the show is sold out, and has been for some time, Dickson said a free concert for people of Steamboat will happen on Jan. 6 at 1:30 p.m. at Gondola Square.

As part of the free concert, there will be a Cajun cookout and music from the Brandon Ryder Band and Randy Rogers Band.

Grammy award-winning country artist Lee Ann Womack also will perform on Jan. 9 at the Music Tent. That concert starts at 6:30 p.m. This event is open to the public and tickets are still available at All That Jazz, Christie Sports-Central Park Plaza and Gondola Square SportStalker. The cost is $28.

With numerous events, the Steamboat Springs Ski Area announced that Lot 1 - where the tent will be perched - will have limited access for the month of January.

Starting on Tuesday and running through Jan. 31, Lot 1 will not provide any parking because of the presence of the Music Tent. Also, access to Lot 1 for public drop-offs will be restricted for the entire month.

Lot 1 will be closed to all vehicle traffic for set up on Tuesday and Wednesday and tear down on Jan. 30 and 31.

Lot 1 is the parking lot at the base of the Gondola Building accessed from Apres Ski Way.

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