The Ketch'em Alive summer music series is entering its eighth year at Ketchum's Forest Service Park, where it will feature nine shows every Tuesday night from June 26 through Aug. 21, from 7-9 p.m.
"Breathing activity into the city is good for the economy," said Will Caldwell, Ketch'em Alive's founder and organizer. "It's good to have the community come together, but it really is all about the music.
Caldwell and a sound production person are the entire operation of Ketch'em Alive, which has brought as many as 800 people in attendance throughout a summer. With a variety of rock, reggae, world beat and blue grass, Ketch'em Alive brings an eclectic mix of music to the valley.
"People get up on their feet and facilitate a lot of interaction," Caldwell said. "This summer there is country rock and world beat—my favorite."
Caldwell especially enjoys having children come and dance in front of the stage.
"They stake their claim on the dance floor early in the evening," Caldwell said. "It's a great way for kids to get over their inhibitions."
Some far-off bands such as Prezident Brown from Washington, D.C., will make their way to Ketchum this summer, but for the most part, bands are from the Northwest.
The park fills up and people are encouraged to bring picnics, though there will be drinks for sale. The evening always begins with a local band before the headliner, which Caldwell believes is important to provide a forum for local and young people's bands.
"It's a real catalyst for them to perform," he said. "We will have two nights with high school bands and this year there will be three local bands as headliners."
The support of the Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau and the City of Ketchum allows one of the valley's favorite summer entertainment venues to exist. In addition, a host of community business sponsors such as First Bank of Idaho, Barry Peterson Jewelers, Ketchum Drygoods, Rocky Mountain Hardware and Chilali Lodges are supporting this summer's music series.
"It's my baby, but we coordinate with the chamber, which supports it and allows it to be free," Caldwell said.
"My motto is that summertime here, every night is a great opportunity for an outdoor mountain experience. It is one of the few places in the country that is not too hot and the air is good."
June 26 ... Albino
July 3 ... The Heaters
July 10 ... The Motet
July 17 ... The Maladies
July 24 ... Too Slim and the Tail Draggers
July 31 ... Kan'Nal
Aug. 7 ... Blue Turtle Seduction
Aug. 14 ... Prezident Brown
Aug. 21 ... 812 band