The Soundtrack to Summer

Every summer has a soundtrack -- the music that best accompanies long days spent in the sunshine and warm nights spent under the stars. It is the music that when you hear it weeks or even years later, brings you right back to the moment. For the summer of 2018, these memories will be made at the Sun Valley Pavilion and at River Run with more than 25 live concerts planned between June and September. No matter if your tastes run to classical, retro, or up-and-coming, Sun Valley is the place to be all summer long.

Citizen Cope & G. Love kick the season into high gear on June 16 with a highly anticipated concert at the Pavilion

The amazing season kicks off early this year on June 16 with a highly anticipated night of fun. That’s because the one-and-only Citizen Cope with guests G. Love & Special Sauce will kick summer into high gear. Clarence Greenwood (a.k.a. Citizen Cope) is known for hits like “Let the Drummer Kick”, “Bullet and a Target”, and “Son’s Gonna Rise” (among many others) and mixes blues, soul, folk, and rock to create a singular sound. Other megastars like Carlos Santana, Dido, and Richie Havens have also recorded this songwriter, producer, and performer’s compositions. Joining him at the Pavilion is G. Love & Special Sauce, a three-member alternative hip-hop band known for songs like “Lemonade” and “Sugar”. Together, they are sure to rock the audience and put on an unforgettable show. Tickets are going fast so don’t wait to get yours (I bought mine the day they went on sale! Can’t wait).

Other highly anticipated live shows follow close on the heels of Citizen Cope. On June 25, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents a night with St. Paul & the Broken Bones with special guest the North Mississippi Allstars. Starting at 7 p.m., this night of music brings some southern soul to the Pavilion. St. Paul & the Broken Bones, an eight-piece soul-based rock band, is based in Birmingham, Alabama and will blow you away with their incredible horn section. They have killed it at Coachella and opened for the Rolling Stones: now it’s out turn. Tickets for this show are available HERE.

Ready to get summer off to a rollicking start? Then don’t miss the Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ concert featuring St. Paul & The Broken Bones – soul comes to Sun Valley

The very next night on June 26 (all this and we’re not even to Fourth of July yet!), the incomparable Mary Chapin Carpenter graces the Pavilion stage. This American singer-songwriter burst on the scene in 1989 with her album “State of the Heart” followed in 1990 with “Shooting Straight in the Dark”, each of which produced Top 20 hits on the Billboard charts. She hasn’t slowed down since. She has won five Grammy® Awards and sold more than 12 million records worldwide. Come see why for yourself.

The July 4 holiday brings two great concerts to Sun Valley. The first, on July 3, features The Bluzmen: The Ultimate Tribute to The Blues Brothers starting at 8 p.m. Fans of the original favorite duo will be delighted with this twosome who bring non-stop energy, production value, and, of course, great music and choreography to the show. They were a staple in the award winning show "Legends in Concert" in Las Vegas for a decade and are a crowd favorite everywhere they go. From “I Can’t Turn You Loose” to “Shout”, we dare you stay in your seat!

Then, let your patriotism show on Saturday, July 7, when the Salute to America the Beautiful Concert with Brian Stokes Mitchell and Cynthia Erivo takes over the Pavilion. Bonus? This show includes a fireworks spectacular! The concert features pop and Broadway classics, as well as patriotic favorites, all accompanied by the impressive American Festival Orchestra conducted by Dr. Craig Jessop. This promises fun for the entire family and is co-sponsored by the Sun Valley Opera.  

Crowd favorite Big Head Todd & The Monsters returns to Sun Valley to perform hits like “Bittersweet” and “Broken Hearted Savior”

Another big name is coming to town on August 1 as part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts Summer Concert Series. Big Head Todd & The Monsters performs at gorgeous outdoor River Run Lodge venue starting at 7 p.m. A concert at River Run is a can’t-miss Sun Valley summer experience as concertgoers come early to picnic (bring your own or buy awesome food on site) and enjoy the beautiful nature amphitheatre before dancing the night away under the stars. Big Head Todd & The Monsters is the perfect band for this environment.  With huge hits including “Bittersweet” and “Broken Hearted Savior” they are guaranteed to bring it to this very special show. Opening for the band are the rock-folk duo Shovels & Rope. Come early, stay late and have a blast. Tickets for this show are available HERE.

Love the music of the Beatles? Then this is for you. The 1964 The Tribute will play the Pavilion on August 18. Taking audience members on a journey back in time to the early 60s. They play a ‘live Beatles concert’ from this era, complete with period instruments, clothing, hairstyles, and onstage banter. You’ll love them (yeah, yeah, yeah).

Sun Valley has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to concert venues, including the one-of-a-kind River Run stage that invites concertgoers to picnic, mingle, relax, and then party and dance the night away beneath the stars

Summer’s not over yet, though! On August 22, Baldygrass presents a One-Night Music Fest, again at the beautiful River Run venue. The final concert in the Sun Valley Center for the Arts summer series, this amazing evening features The Infamous Stringdusters with opening acts Kuinka and AHI. Get ready for nonstop bluegrass, Americana, indie-soul and much more. Tickets for this show are available HERE.

The music moves back to the Pavilion on August 27 for a very special night with Grammy® Award nominee Martina McBride – yes that Martina McBride. This amazing artist has sold more than 18 million albums including 20 top 10 singles and six No. 1 hits. This intimate venue provides a can’t-be-missed chance to enjoy this performer in a way that is very rare. You may think she’s singing her hits like “Valentine”, “I’m Gonna Love You Through It”, and “Independence Day” just for you!

​Catch the incomparable Martina McBride at the intimate Pavilion venue on August 27

Summer then blends into Indian Summer with two September concerts. The first, on September 2, features Gov’t Mule with favorites Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real starting at 6:30 p.m. Celebrate the Labor Day holiday with Gov’t Mule’s timeless American music and signature sound. They are joined by crowd favorites Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real, promising a non-stop, thrilling show.

Finally, on September 22, Brett Eldredge rounds out the season on a serious high note. This sensation performs at the Pavilion starting at 8 p.m., bringing with him his signature country sound.  Rugged good looks, a new album, amazing showmanship, and just plain great music. What more do you need?

Tickets to all these fantastic shows are available HERE.

Free Sun Valley Symphony concerts practically define summer in the Wood River Valley. Bring your low-back chair, your picnic hamper, and your friends, and get ready to enjoy world-class symphony music

Oh, did I neglect to mention the more than a dozen nights of world-class FREE music at the Pavilion during the Sun Valley Symphony summer season? The whole Symphony experience is part of what defines at Sun Valley summer: from picnicking and socializing on the vast lawn (think everything from hampers overflowing with crudités, smoked salmon, dips and chilled sauvignon blanc, to piping hot pizzas and beer), to leaning back and enjoying the music of some of the country’s most accomplished musicians whether you are under the Pavilion sail, or on the lawn watching all the action on the Jumbotron. For many visitors and locals alike, this is the highlight of the summer and this year’s program is certain not to disappoint.  Some highlights include Mozart, Tchaikovsky (the Fourth Symphony), a tribute to Leonard Bernstein, the Family Concert, and even Star Wars: A New Hope in concert. Seriously – there is something for everyone! A very special Gala fundraiser on August 6 features Chris Botti, the world’s largest-selling American instrumental jazz artist. This is one Symphony event that requires tickets and they can be purchased HERE. For more on the Symphony experience and etiquette, please click HERE.

The mountains in Sun Valley will certainly be alive with music this summer. There is nothing like being outdoors listening to amazing live music, to make you feel grateful for this special place. Be sure to get your tickets and mark your calendars now … your summer 2018 soundtrack awaits.

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