Jan 18, 2013


As thousands of film lovers venture into Utah for the annual Sundance Film Festival, the party scene is of course on many people’s minds. Day 1 of Sundance 2013 kicked off this year ‘from the window to the wall’ with a birthday party to celebrate the life of film legend music genius “yeah”-catchphrase-originator Jonathan Smith, aka Lil’ Jon. (Mr. Jon is now a schockingly 41!)

The party was held at Hyde Lounge in the heart of downtown Park City and was attended by a mixture of college-aged fans (some of whom dropped $50 for a ticket to the over packed club), frat boys, Park City locals, and the occasion middle-aged film festival-goer. Adrian Grenier, a Sundance mainstay, was at the party supporting Lil’ and paid close attention to opener Kate Voegele (One Tree Hill), who’s guitar rock was not quite what I, or anyone there, expected to see at a Lil’ Jon show, but who kept the crowd’s attention and put on a great performance. Once Voegele finished, the endless wait for Lil’ Jon began, and this reporter got tired of the frat party atmosphere (not to mention no open bar or complementary coat check – what kind of a Sundance party is this??) and decided to venture off into the frozen tundra of the Sundance night.

What this weekend and this festival has in store for this reporter remains to be said, but I’m sure the films and parties during this film feast will be memorable!

Food recommendation:
Grub Steak Restaurant
Unbelievable food at not outlandish prices, this welcoming steakhouse should be a regular stop for all Sundance patrons.

Film recommendations:
I was lucky and got sneak peaks of Michael Cera’s drug-induced road comedy CRYSTAL FAIRY, an Isaiah Washington film based on the Maryland sniper shootings called BLUE CAPRICE, and Roger Corman’s first produced film to make it into Sundance, the goofy video game parody VIRTUAL HEROES. I was excited by the prospect of seeing each of these films based on their loglines, but unfortunately none really paid off. Word on the street was that opening night film MAY IN SUMMER left some viewers unimpressed, and even less impressed by the line to get into the over-capacity after party on Main St.

Stay tuned for more Press Pass LA adventures at Sundance and follow us @presspassla, reporter @trevorck on Twitter.