It's called "the loudest show on snow," and 48 Straight, along with Jeep King of the Mountain, plan to make Friday, March 14, through Sunday, March 16, an unforgettable event. This year's tour offers skiercross and snowboardcross racing and ski halfpipe competition, as well as the same Basecamp Music Experience under the big tent in the middle of Ketchum, late nightclub shows and street parties, but with a little more consciousness.
The mastermind behind it all, Ketchum-area resident Kipp Nelson, said the event is more than just a party.
"If your interest is to party, it's there, but this is about mountain town culture, entertainment, sport and everything that makes mountain living," Nelson said.
This year the tour has expanded with the "Green Your Scene" symposium, which began on Tuesday, March 11, and continues through Thursday, March 13. In addition, there are added events such as the play "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea" at Whiskey Jacques' by Company of Fools on Friday, March 14, at 4:30 p.m. The $10 ticket covers drinks, making the event free for imbibers. In addition there will be an Eco Alley Expo at both Dollar Mountain and Warm Springs during the sport competition days Friday through Sunday.
"I think the reason this town is so good for this event is because it is the premiere destination resort in the country," Nelson said. "People here embrace the event and show up. It's what sets us apart. You need the city government, Sun Valley resort and the public to make it happen. It's not easy to get all three to support."
The event will be broadcast on CBS as well as on syndicated networks, including a show hosted by John Mosley. Nelson said there are more events to come for the summer, with a possible downhill mountain bike race and skateboard competition.
"We are back for a second year and have expanded from two events to six events, and this year because of all the snow we can do more with the course on Dollar," Nelson said. "We've been criticized by the athletes for the course not being hard enough because they want to be challenged. I don't want to see anybody get hurt, but there is a reason why these events are called extreme sports."
Nelson has revived ski events in Sun Valley with the addition of cultural and educational events, and is especially excited about the appearance of Michael Franti and Spearhead. Franti will spend some time in the valley beginning Thursday, March 13, for an environmental symposium at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum.
Franti had to cancel his Labor Day appearance due to the Castle Rock Fire, but his excitement to perform in Sun Valley for 48 Straight prompted him to cancel a yoga retreat in Bali.
"I want to talk about climate change and how it is affecting mountain towns from an economic and environmental standpoint, and how we as individual citizens can contribute," Franti said. "I am going to talk about traveling around the world and how different places do the same. I spend part of my time in Bali. In the last 20 years everything came to Bali wrapped in plastic and there is no garbage man there. I want to start a movement to get rid of plastic bags."
Franti has been described as a "peaceful warrior," and legendary recording mogul and founder of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, speaks of Franti as, "the most important artist recording and touring today who has yet to reach the mass audience."
Franti is not just a rock 'n' roll star whose towering six-foot frame, waist-long dreadlocks and infectious smile turn many listeners into loyal fans. Franti lives by his creed, so much so that he went to the Middle East to find out how and why the United States is fighting there. Through his music he connected country and culture, culminating in a documentary film, "I Know I Am Not Alone," and a CD, "Yell Fire!"
"I am most proud about the band," Franti said. "We have a connection to our audience which goes beyond MTV and radio. It is a success because of word of mouth and touring non-stop for 15 years. I am proud that people come to hear our music."
Franti plans to play music from all his albums and several songs from his new album, which few people have heard.
"We are just finishing up a new album, and it will come out this summer," Franti said.
Later on Saturday evening, valley favorite Micky and the Motorcars will perform at Whiskey Jacques. The son of Muzzie Braun and brother of Reckless Kelly band members Willy and Cody, Micky Braun is a Wood River Valley crowd pleaser who plays his own blend of roots and country rock. His brother Gary is also a member of the Motorcars.
"I was born in Sun Valley," Braun said. "I live in Austin, Texas, which is a good city for what we do."
Micky and the Motorcars are hardcore musicians and plan to play lots of new material. They expect to release a new album at the end of July.
"The newer stuff we are playing is a little more on the rock 'n' roll side than what we have been putting out in the past," Braun said. "We sold out the last time we played. We hope our fans can get into the show and enjoy it."
The band has played over 200 shows a year for the last four years and has been doing well.
"Everyone in our band is a road dog," Braun said. "After five days off we get a little stir crazy."
There is plenty of free music for the weekend, such as DJs at both Dollar and Warm Springs lodges starting after 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. In addition, there will be a Ketchum street party with a DJ both Friday and Saturday nights.
The Basecamp Music Experience will feature another valley regular, Kamphire Collective, with DJ Logic on Friday evening followed by a Slightly Stoopid and late-night appearance by Mickey Avalon. On Saturday night under the tent, prior to Michael Franti and Spearhead, will be a performance by Ky-Mani Marley, a son of Bob Marley, and late-night on Saturday will be the return of Swollen Members, who played last year for The Ski Tour.
More live music will take place at Whiskeys, the Roosevelt and the Sawtooth Club both Friday and Saturday evenings. For more details and tickets visit, jeepsports.com.
'Green Your Scene'
The Community Library and 48 Straight presents the last two days of the symposium free to the public. For more details, call the Community Library, 726-3493 or visit 48straight.com.
Wednesday, March 12
· Jana Dean (speaker to the U.N.). Moderated by Aimee Christensen, consultant.
· The Community Library, Ketchum. 6-8 p.m.
Thursday, March 13
· May Boeve (Middlebury College green pioneer), Mariel Hemingway (actress, author and entrepreneur) and Michael Franti (musician, filmmaker and human rights worker), moderated by Aimee Christensen, consultant.
· The Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum. 6-8 p.m.
'48 Straight' Basecamp Music Experience
Tickets available ticketweb.com and Atkinsons' markets. For more details, visit jeepsports.com.
Monday, March 10, through Saturday, March 15
· Happy Hour, Courtyard, East Ave. Ketchum, 4-6 p.m. Six 48 Straight event ticket giveaways nightly. Enter raffle, "What's My Carbon Footprint?" at any Courtyard business. Drawing 5-5:30 p.m.
Friday, March 14
· Eco Alley Expo at Dollar Mountain, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
· Company of Fools presents "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea," Whiskey Jacques, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Doors open 4 p.m.
· Apres-ski party, Dollar Mountain, Sun Valley, DJ at base of hill, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Apple's, Warm Springs, Various Artists, 3-4:30 p.m.
· Gallery Walk, Ketchum, 6-9 p.m.
· Basecamp Music Experience tent, Ketchum, Doors open 5:45 p.m.
· Kamphire Collective and DJ Logic. 7-7:45 p.m.
· Slightly Stoopid 8:05-10 p.m.
· Mickey Avalon 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Doors open 11 p.m.
· Ketchum street party, 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. DJ Native Wayne. All ages.
· Whiskey Jacques, Ketchum, Salem 10-11:45 p.m., DJ Logic midnight-2 a.m. 21 and over.
· Roosevelt Tavern, Ketchum, Bula presents Bassnectar, 10:30 p.m. 21 and over.
· The Sawtooth Club, Ketchum, Dirtie Blonde, 10:30 p.m. 21 and over.
Saturday, March 15
· Eco Alley Expo, Dollar Mountain, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
· Apres-ski party, Dollar Mountain, Sun Valley, DJ at base of hill, 2:45-4:30 p.m.
· Apple's, Warm Springs, Various Artists, 3-4:30 p.m.
· Basecamp Music Experience, Ketchum, Doors open 5:45 p.m.
· Ky-Mani Marley 7-7:50 p.m.
· Michael Frenti & Spearhead 8:10-10:10 p.m.
· Swollen Members 11:30 p.m.-12:45 a.m. Doors open 11 p.m.
· Ketchum street party, 10 p.m.-1:30 a.m. DJ All ages.
· Whiskey Jacques, Ketchum, Micky and the Motorcars, 10:30 p.m., 21 and over.
· Roosevelt Tavern, Ketchum, Dirty Sweet, 10:30 p.m. 21 and over.
· Sawtooth Club, Ketchum, DJBedz "The White Shadow," 10:30 p.m. 21 and over.
Sunday, March 16
· Eco Alley Expo, Warm Springs, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
· Apres-ski Party and Dog Pull, Warm Springs Lodge, 3-4:30 p.m.
· Fashion Show, Warm Springs 4-5 p.m.
'Sun Valley Jeep King of the Mountain' competitions
Wednesday, March 12
Snowboardcross Qualify/seeding at Dollar Mountain
· 8:30-8:50 a.m. SBX Inspection
· 9-11 a.m. SBX Training
· 11:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m. SBX qualify/seeding
· 1:45-3:15 p.m. Inspection/training skiercross athletes only
Thursday March 13
· Skiercross Qualify/Seeding at Dollar Mountain
· 8:30-9 a.m. SX Inspection
· 9:15-11:15 a.m. SX Training
· 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. SX Qualify/Seeding
· 1-6 p.m. HP Skier registration
· 7 p.m. HP Skier meeting/Training, bib distribution
· 1:30-1:50 p.m. Inspection SBX
· 2:00-3:15 p.m. Training SBX
Friday, March 14
Snowboardcross Finals at Dollar Mountain
· 10:30-10:50 a.m. SBX Inspection
· 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. SBX Finals training
· 1-2:45 p.m. SBX Finals
· 3 p.m. SBX Awards
· 1-3 p.m. Skier HP Training at Warm Springs
· 2:45- 3:15 p.m. SX Inspection
· 3:30-4:30 p.m. SX Training
Saturday, March 15
Skiercross finals at Dollar Mountain
· 10:30-10:50 a.m. SX Inspection
· 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. SX Finals Training
· 1-2:45 p.m. SX Finals
· 2:45 p.m. Jeep Terrain Park Challenge
· 3 p.m. SBX Awards
· 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Ski HP Qualify/Training at Warm Springs
· 1-2:30 p.m. Skier HP Qualify at Warm Springs
Sunday, March 16
Skier Halfpipe at Warm Springs
· 10:30-11:30 a.m. Skier HP training
· 12-1 p.m. Skier HP Finals
· 2:15-2:45 p.m. Skier HP "Monster Hit" Training
· 3-3:30 p.m. Skier "Monster Hit" Finals
· 4 p.m. HP and One Hit Awards and Final Awards
All schedules/times subject to change due to weather and other unforeseen variables.