Insider's Guide to Sundance

Updated: Apr 12

Sundance is a magical film festival that takes place in Northern Utah (Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and The Sundance Resort) January 23rd – February 2nd, 2020. It's the perfect place to see films, mix and mingle with storytellers, and breathe fresh mountain air in a picturesque town.


Film

The heart Sundance is the film. Drama, documentary, premieres, horror, kids, shorts: Read the 2020 film's synopsis here. If you get a ticket to 1 shorts program, it's like seeing 6 films. You'll like at least 1 of them.


Tickets can be purchased online or at the following locations:

Box Office Locations


1. Park City Box Office - 136 Heber Ave. Park City, UT

2. Trolley Square - 700 East 500 South, Salt Lake City

3. Sundance Mountain Resort - North Fork, Provo Canyon


Insider Tip: Sundance is the most tranquil venue.


If you plan to tickets buy day-of, early bird gets the worm. Box office opens at 8am. I tried this once at 10am and got tickets to a late night film that was way too abstract for my taste... I'll never get that 2 hrs or $15 back again 😒 Now, Sundance film tickets cost $25. Can you believe it?! I can. Apparently, tickets are high in demand.

Lucky locals get free screenings the week after the festival. Join the Waitlist.

Egyptian Theatre Main St.

Action!

A lot of action happens the 1st weekend off Main St. in Park City. Already, I’ve seen Aquaman, Letizia, and Zack Galifinakis. If you like the buzz, go the first weekend. If you like less of a hoard, go the 2nd weekend. A lot of people leave Monday, and sadly Tinsel Town takes town Wednesday. Hello! Can you please stay until the end of the festival?!


Events

Check out & RSVP for Sundance events on Eventbrite.


Slamdance

Happening the same weekend @ the same time! The Slamdance Film Festival.

Check it out Jan 25th - 31st at the Treasure Mountain Inn on Main St. in Park City. They call themselves what Sundance used to be: True independent film. Read their film program here and purchase a ticket to the pictures! It's an excellent way to experience independent film in Park City without the hustle and bustle of Sundance. Plus, you get a more intimate experience with the filmmakers. It's real cool! Slamdance us located 300ft North East of the Egyptian Theatre in The Treasure Mountain Inn.


Lodges/Lounges

Credential:

Acura Lounge, Dropbox, Canon Cafe, CNN cafe, Artois Cafe, ASCAP music cafe.


Non-credential:

Co-op

Lyft


Private + public:

Filmmakers Lodge

Chase Sapphire Lounge

Sundance HQ


New Frontier

The New Frontier is the coolest exhibit at Sundance. It's an interactive display of art, technology and creative storytelling designed to push the boundaries of thought and execution. I once worked here with the team of 1979 by Ink Stories. It's free and open to the public, although there are times that it's reserved for credential holders.


Insider Tip: There are people selling credentials on Craigslist Salt Lake City for $100-200.


Co-Op

The Co-Op is a fun place to warm up and engage in unique brand experiences. There’s a station where you can get a free Sundance water bottle and fill up (they do a good job of reducing one-time waste here). There’s always a fun photo opportunity, and brands giving practical things in exchange for an e-mail or fun shoutout on social media.


Open:

Jan. 25 - Feb. 1 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Feb. 2 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.


Filmmakers Lodge

The filmmakers lodge is a nice place to warm up, listen to panels (if you have credentials or if they're open to the public) and spend time in the same room with inspirational storytellers. Jackie framing Chan is here!! Take a look at the panel schedule here.


Festival Headquarters

Filmmakers and Press check-in here. Pick up credentials, a film program, and get oriented with the Sundance landscape.


ASCAP

ASCAP showcases musical performances from artists with music in the films premiering at Sundance. This requires credentials or a special invite. See the artists performing this year here.



Transportation

Driving is the best way to get to Park City. Park in a lot off Main St. or along the road leading up to it. Be conscious of neighborhood signs. Parking lots near Main St. cost $40. Once you're in Park City, there are free shuttles busses that drive from venue to venue, and a free trolley that loops Main St. The Egyptian Theatre & Treasure Mountain Inn are at the top, the Acura Lounge, High West Distillery, and ASCAP Music Cafe and at the bottom. Utah's public transportation UTA Route 902 offers a bus from SLC - PC on the hour between 5am-8am and night buses one the hour from PC - SLC 2:40pm - 7pm. $5-10.

Here's a map.


Lodging

There's a lot of lodging options in Park City (hotels, airbnb, and vrbo) on Main St. and nearby. You just have to plan early. On average, a hotel off Main St. costs $300-600/night during Sundance. Today, it's $1-2K. Craziness. The Treasure Mountain Inn is the perfect local-first option. The Marriott is the commercial option.


Skiing

If you come to Park City, you have to ski or snowboard! There's no greater feeling than riding down a mountain on whipped cream snow. Utah is known for the greatest snow on Earth and it's true. Come at the right time, and it's heaven. Park City has a lift right off Main St. that will take you straight to the slopes!


After skiing consider soaking in The Crater of Midway Utah, a 98 degree geothermal pool inside an inactive volcano. If you're scuba certified, you can dive and rent equipment here.


That's all you need to know about Sundance with a little bonus at the end. Are you going?! What films are you going to see?! If you found this article helpful, like it, share it, and follow me @ValDouroux on Instagram and YouTube.

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