Sundance Parties: First Look at 5 Hotspots for 2017

Tao is moving off of Main Street, and more early details on the parties in Park City, Utah, to distract you from Trump’s inauguration

Sundance Parties 2017
Getty Images

The holidays are already upon us and that means that the 2017 Sundance Film Festival is just around the corner.

And so is Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017 …

“Sundance is sort of like a vacation for some people while they work,” top Hollywood event producer and restaurateur Jeffrey Best recently told The Party Report of the Park City, Utah, festival from Jan. 19-24.”They are going to need it more than ever on the 20th.”

As Sundance kicks off with its first full day, Trump will be officially taking place in Washington, D.C. at 10 a.m. Mountain Time. For the thoughtful, intelligent, open-minded, anti-kleptocracy audience who comprise a majority of festival attendees, they’re going to need a drink.

Charlie Day, John Krasinski, Casey Affleck
Charlie Day, John Krasinski, and Casey Affleck (Evan Agostini/Invision for Chase Sapphire Preferred/AP Images)

In that sprite, here’s The Party Report’s first look at where to find a lighter mood in Park City on the festival’s opening weekend.

Kia Supper Suite
Opening Weekend, Saturday Jan. 21-Monday. Jan 23

Spike Lee
Spike Lee at the Creative Coalition Dinner in 2016. (Getty Images for the Kia Supper Suite)

Cisero’s is no more. New ownership rebuilt the heavily-trafficked restaurant from top to bottom, rebranding it as “Firewood on Main.” Chef John Murcko is the kitchen general (he’s a James Beard semi-finalist).

The #KiaSupperSuite is our sponsor and party partner for the festival. Last year, they hosted events with then-Sundance sensation Nate Parker, Spike Lee and Kevin Smith, and the ESPN “O.J.: Made in America” doc that is now shortlisted for an Academy Award.

This year, A-List Communications produces events on Saturday-Monday of the opening weekend.

Of note, Robin Bronk and her Creative Coalition are coming in fresh from the celebrity-free inauguration in D.C. for their annual Spotlight Awards on Sunday night, which often feature some sincere moments shielded from the Main Street bustle.

Events will continue on Monday night.

Friday-Sunday nights, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., The Yard

Seth Browarnik
Scooter Braun, DJ Vice, and Noah Tepperberg. (Seth Browarnik/WorldRedEye)

The overwhelmingly popular nightspot is moving off of Main Street.

After several years transforming the underground garage at the Village at the Lift in to a late night club, the festivities will now be at The Yard (1651 Kearns Blvd.), about 1.5 miles off of Main Street. It is not walkable.  Conveniently, an Uber Lounge is reportedly popping up in an adjacent space.

Their big parties will be on Friday-Sunday nights, from 11 p.m. until 4 a.m.

As a global captain of the vibe-dining industry, in advance of opening Tao Restaurant and Lounge adjacent to the Dream Hollywood in 2017, they are smartly making a big push. By leveraging a changeover in ownership of the garage on Main to shake things up, by hosting a large swath of entertainment industry gatekeepers, influencers, publicists, media, and celebrity talent for multiple nights, they are making a significant marketing and relationship investment, one that has served them well for over a decade.

They have rented the space for the run of the festival, so there may be non-nightlife related events there after the first weekend.

Start lining up now.

Friday Jan. 20 – Tuesday, Jan 24
Back for the 14th year, ChefDance returns for five nights of multi-course meals in the lower level of Park City Live. Chefs are to be announced. While ingesting anything more than tray-pass in the festival is a luxury, the elite invite is anything at owner’s Mimi and Ken Griswold’s estate, where a water feature runs through their lodge-like living room.

Jeff Vespa’s “Verge” Issue Launch Party
Saturday night, Jan. 21

Morgan Spurlock Jeff Vespa
Morgan Spurlock and Vespa at the Verge event in 2016. (Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Verge)

It’s the fifth anniversary of the pioneering celebrity and event photographer handpicking the actors on the verge of stardom for festival-timed photo portfolios as they’re about to make a big break. Before “Star Wars” fame, John Boyega was a pick. Vespa’s industry gathering is intimate with a guestlist focused on quality over quantity.

Stella Artois Filmmakers Lounge
Opening Weekend

John Cooper, actor James Franco and Sundance Director of Programming Trevor Groth
John Cooper, James Franco, and Trevor Groth at a previous Stella Lounge. (Getty Images)

This footprint for film parties is no longer at the Village at the Lift, instead moving up the hill to 364 Main Street.

They have hot titles “Ingrid Goes West” (Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr.), Marti Noxon’s “To the Bone” (Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves) and other films featuring Melissa Leo, Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Michael Cera and Shiri Appleby coming through the space on the opening weekend

To Come …
YouTube, WME|IMG, Chase Sapphire, NVE Entertainment, and DirecTV are amongst the groups planning events in Park City.

Please send invites, updates, and additions to the the writer, Mikey Glazer, here.

TheWrap’s Party Report at Sundance is presented by the vehicle that will be shuttling filmmakers and casts to special events, the Kia Niro Hybrid Crossover. Among those special events are The Party Report’s party pal and HQ, the Kia Supper Suite at the new “Firewood on Main” where Maestro Dobel Tequila and Johndrow Wines will be poured. Keep up with real time images of the scene in Park City on @SundanceParties (Twitter and Instagram).

The Party Report and this writer are not affiliated with nor endorsed by the Sundance Institute or the Sundance Film Festival.