Although a jaw-dropping headliner like Metallica or U2 has been notably absent from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, highbrow ticketed events and interactive activations make the 30th Anniversary of Robert Redford’s indie film brainchild a deceptively good year to be in Park City. (Aside, of course, from a particularly strong film program.)
ChefDance has returned with a new Top Chef sponsorship, featuring four past contenders including Season 7 winner Kevin Sbraga and Season 10 finalist Brooke Williamson. Bartending Bootcamp has added a custom cocktail menu for diners with exotic names like Paloma Rosado and Tierno de Agave. (Who knew egg white and agave syrup went so well with alcohol?) The near-impossible-to-score tickets are $500 per person, although the chances to lock eyes with an A-lister are strong. Claire Daines, Danny Masterson and Emily Browning are among past attendees.
Village at the Lift is also back, this year as the Stella Artois Café. The popular space, which has hosted Fred Segal, Guitar Hero and even MySpace (remember that?) in years past, will continue to headquarter media with interviews taking place on the plaza. (Hopefully not directly on the ski run — it’s happened before.)
New at this year’s health-conscious Festival, which also features a Morningstar Farms Veggie Burger Bar and an Eco Hideaway, is a Soul Cycle studio complete with a smoothie bar. In a trend away from super-exclusive celebrity gifting suites, the studio is open to all enthusiasts giddy about keeping their workout going through the Festival, as long as they are savvy enough to find out how to RSVP.
A star-studded celebrity poker tournament benefiting the late Paul Walker’s Reach Out Worldwide organization lets a limited number of guests in on the action at $2,000 a seat. Those who can’t keep a poker face can join the scene with a $500 spectator pass.
Alpine enthusiasts looking to take advantage of immaculately groomed, practically empty slopes can ski into the High West Distillery from Park City Mountain Resort for a week-long ice bar, or enjoy champagne sabering at the St. Regis Deer Valley, located near the base of Deer Valley Resort. Look for Justin Beiber, Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, all mountain-loving celebs known to have hit Park City’s slopes.
Sundance Institute sponsors, including Acura and Chase Sapphire, will feature open-to-the-public lounges on Main Street.