Vail Snow Daze announces Wilco, the Shins, Michael Franti as 2012 headliners - Reverb

Vail Snow Daze announces Wilco, the Shins, Michael Franti as 2012 headliners

The Vail Snow Daze festival is consistently a good time – big musical acts and skiing and snowboarding, both amid the resort’s legendary snow. But this winter’s event looks to be the best fest yet.

Wilco, the Shins and Michael Franti & Spearhead will headline this year’s Snow Daze, marking the best lineup in the event’s history.

The catch: Whereas the event has been free in the past, it is now a hard-ticketed festival. Single-day tickets will cost $29.50-$39.50, and three-day passes will run $99. (Ticket prices will go up on Dec. 11.) Still it’s a smart move, because fans would rather pay $40 to see a band they want to see rather than sit through a band they don’t care about on a soft-ticketed (a.k.a. free) bill.

The Shins will kick things off on Dec. 13, and Franti and his band will headline the stage on Dec. 14. Wilco will close things out on Dec. 15. Tickets for the shows – to be held at Ford Park, which is walking distance to the east of Vail Village along the frontage road – will go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 17.

The reason for the big switch? Vail’s big 50th anniversary bash.

“As Vail Snow Daze 2012 is part of Vail’s 50th anniversary celebration this season, we wanted to make the event bigger and better than ever before,” said Chris Jarnot, Vail Mountain’s senior vice president. “It’s our way of commemorating Vail’s birthday and saying thank you to our guests for 50 amazing years.”

The lineup is exciting, and while it’s a different vibe than the popular SnowBall Festival that has taken over the nearby town of Avon for the last few winters, this festival ups the ante for wintertime fun in the Rockies.

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Ricardo Baca is the founder and executive editor of Reverb, the co-founder of The UMS and an award-winning critic and editor at The Denver Post.

  • VailIsGreedy

    “fans would rather pay”? I remember seeing some really good free shows (counting crows, etc) there and paying for lift tickets and lodging in terrible early season snow conditions but would justify it because the shows are free. Wasn’t that the point?