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High West Joins the Bonanza Campout Music Festival


The hills will soon be alive with the sound of music.

The Bonanza Campout will bring daytime visitors and campers to Rivers Edge in Heber City for a two-day, two-stage event largely featuring indie rockers, electronica and some hard rock and hip-hop.

"It's a 35-minute drive from downtown Salt Lake City, and you're surrounded by the beautiful outdoors that are right in our backyard and listening to great music," said Bonanza Campout co-founder Vaughn Taylor.

The weekend kicks off Friday, June 10, and continues Saturday, June 11, and goes from 1 p.m. to midnight each night. It features 32 bands, including Cold War Kids, Big Gigantic, Savoy and Emancipator.

Taylor, of Live Night Events, has hosted the Reggae Rise Up concerts and Live Nite Vegas. He and his co-founders, Danny Bateman and Zoe Bonderman, decided Utah needed a festival that incorporated the natural beauty of the state. When they saw that indie rockers fared well in more traditional venues in Salt Lake City, they decided there was an audience for that kind of music in Utah and built their show around the genre. So far, ticket sales indicate between 3,000 and 4,000 people will attend each day.

With festivals like this, the first year usually isn't profitable, but as the word gets out and the event grows, so do ticket sales, Taylor said, adding that he is happy with the turnout this year.

Bonanza is more affordable than many other festivals, Taylor said, pointing to Coachella, which costs $400 for general admission to the three-day festival. At Bonanza Campout, one-day passes are $40, weekend passes start at $75, and $400 would cover a camping site and four passes to the show.

The organizers have partnered with several local vendors, breweries and eateries to provide a Utah feel to the show.

"Bonanza has been great at including local individuals, companies and brands. It is an exciting new festival, which I think the community is really going to gravitate toward," said McKenna Taylor, marketing digital editorial manager for Skullcandy. "Bonanza feels true to the area's roots, creating an intimate and inclusive environment centered around music, art and the outdoors."

During the festival, Skullcandy is supporting local nonprofit Legacy Music Alliance, which provides music-education programs across the state.

"Bonanza Campout is a little bit of a perfect storm for us," said McKenna Taylor. "We love being involved with our local community in any capacity, but when music is a part, we get really excited."

Another local partner is High West Distillery, the exclusive whiskey provider for the festival. The distillery is two hills over from the event space, so it was a "no-brainer" to get involved.

"[The festival] is bringing in names on a national level, but it's also going to help the community. It is very locally focused and they're bringing in great bands from the Utah area," said Julia Camp, Utah state manager of sales for High West. "I just hope everyone has a good time and that it brings the community together."