10 Tips Utah Natives Need to Know Before Going to the Sundance Film Festival

This weekend marks the beginning of the Sundance film festival in 2014, an event that all native Utahans should try at least once. However, the festival isn’t what it used to be – gone are the days when Park City residents could see celebrities on the street and ask for a picture or autograph. Instead Sundance has become more like Disneyland, which one key difference: Anaheim never gets below 30 degrees. So before you head off to Park City, read a few of these tips to know what to watch out for:

  1. Dress warm! You’d think this piece of advice would be obvious, but many newcomers envision a glamorous event. Park City is still Park City, even if famous actors are somewhere in town. The streets will be covered in old, hard snow, and you will be able to see everyone’s foggy breath in the air. Instead of wearing your party dress, stick with your warmest, most comfortable clothes. Trust me, you won’t stand out. Also ditch the heels because you will be doing lots of walking.
  2. Parking will be a mess, particularly along Main Street. Don’t fight other vehicles for a spot; it’s better to park further away and walk. And if you’ve worn your winter-appropriate clothes, this won’t be a problem!
  3. Try to use public transportation where possible. Park City has provided a number of free shuttles for visitors to use.
  4. Cell phone coverage will be spotty during the busy weekend. If you are planning on meeting friends or family in the city, plan a meeting spot ahead of time. With that many people in one small space, your cell phone will be competing for service. If you do need to get a message out, text messages generally work better than making a call.
  5. Unless you’re willing to wait outside in long lines, don’t plan on eating in any restaurants on Main Street or other busy areas. Kimball Junction provides some great alternatives that aren’t too far away, but are still outside of the crowd.
  6. Keep up with perks and special offers from local businesses with the Sundance Film Festival Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/sundance, and Twitter feed, https://twitter.com/sundancefest.
  7. Those trying for a VIP, once-in-a-lifetime experience can check out SundancePartyList.com (http://www.sundancepartylist.com/) to find all of the celebrity parties. Be warned though – the list itself costs $100, and does not guarantee you a spot into any party or event.
  8. Residents of Utah have special ticketing options available to them that include priority access and cheaper pricing: http://www.sundance.org/festival/locals/.
  9. This year, the Festival is offering the option to check into lines online. Instead of waiting outside in the cold, you will be given a number based on when you checked in and you can wait your turn from the warmth of a local business: http://www.sundance.org/festival/tickets/ewaitlist/.
  10. Many of the featured films shown in Park City are also being shown in Salt Lake City. The Tower Theatre in the 9th and 9th neighborhood hosts parts of the Sundance Film Festival from now until January 26th. If you’d like to see some of the films that are not available in mainstream theaters without driving to Park City, try buying your tickets for that venue.

Do you have any great tips to share for Utah natives wanting to go to the Sundance Film Festival? Please share in the comments below!


“A Park City local offers Sundance survival tips.” http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogssundanceblog/57394818-50/festival-film-park-sundance.html.csp. (17 Jan. 2014).

“Sundance @ Tower.” http://saltlakefilmsociety.org/category/movies/now-playing-tower-theatre/. (17 Jan. 2014).

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