Summer concerts are one thing my husband, Kim, and I both enjoy. Yes, we have a lot of differences; he'd rather be on the dunes and I'd rather be on the dance floor. He goes for action movies and I'm more into period dramas.
But we both like sitting outside as the sun sets, and getting into the music. Often, we're re-living our youth with "oldie" performers such as John Fogerty, Air Supply, the Beach Boys and The Temptations; but our kids have enjoyed some of these concerts as well. If we have general admission tickets, we like to come early to throw down a blanket to stake our spot, and enjoy a simple picnic while we wait for the music to begin.
Some venues don't allow you to bring in your own food, but we've been able to pack in a picnic and/or drinks and snacks at the amphitheaters in Layton and Sandy, and Deer Valley and The Canyons resorts. If you're in doubt, ask or check online about the picnic policy. It's no fun to have to leave your cooler at the gate.
My pet peeve about outdoor concerts is that some people get so caught up in the casual outdoor atmosphere that they forget that there's a concert going on. Maybe Blood Sweat & Tears or Michael McDonald aren't as exciting as say, a U2 concert. But the rest of us came to listen to the performers, not to someone talking nonstop about their work problems while their kids squeal and wrestle with each other. They are so oblivious to the music, I wonder why they even bothered to come.
Some people like to go all out with an al fresco dining experience. For years, Deer Valley has offered gourmet picnic baskets. New this year is a picnic bag, that contains two mini sandwiches per person: garden tomato/basil/mozzarella, and roasted turkey/brie/fig chutney. Also you'll find local Beehive cheeses, flatbread, an apple, a Caesar salad, and a trio of Idaho, yam and purple Hawaiian potato chips. It's polished off with a jumbo chocolate chip cookie. A single Picnic Bag is $28 and a Bag for two is $52. The Picnic Bag comes in a recycled, reusable insulated bag.
The Deer Valley Picnic Basket is even more upscale, with a choice of smoked salmon or chilled filet of beef, steamed artichokes, olives, Creminelli truffle salami, and pear tomatoes, double cream French brie, baguette, apple and grapes, lemon pound cake, chocolate raspberry truffle tartlets. A single Deer Valley Gourmet Basket is $42 and a basket for two is $78. Vegetarian options are also available. The baskets or bags must be ordered 72 hours in advance, at 435-645-6613.
Silver, a new restaurant on Park City's Main Street, is also offering picnic baskets. For $15 per person, the meal includes housemade foccaccia, cured meats such as salami and prosciutto, artisanal cheeses, housemade condiments, fruit salad, truffled potato chips, pecan bars and chocolate espresso brownies. Orders must be placed 24 hours in advance at 435-940-1000, and picked up at the restaurant.
But I don't care whether you tote your own humble picnic, or buy a fancy one, or don't bring anything at all. I just hope that if you're sitting next to me, you'll stop talking, make your kids sit down, and pay attention to the music so we can all have a great experience.