It’s no surprise that in a place like Aspen, the extreme activities of X Games aren’t limited to the slopes (and jumps, and pipe, and rails) of Buttermilk.
And as places like Lake Tahoe and Park City prepare to vie for our signature winter event (the current contract to keep the X Games in Aspen expires after 2014’s games), the sheer breadth of the musical, cinematic, and fashion offerings of this year’s event is sure to give the ESPN execs a little food for thought. Because as everyone who lives here already knows, no mountain town throws a party quite like Aspen.
This year’s off-piste activities are divided into three separate yet undeniably overlapping areas: music, film and style.
Live music has always been a bit of a specialty for Aspen during the X Games (and all year-round, quite frankly). From free live shows at the X Fest stage at Buttermilk to intimate gatherings with artists at surprisingly affordable prices at Belly Up (especially given the artists’ stature and the size of the club), this year’s line-up is one not to be missed. And, amazingly, one that the general public can still get tickets to see. As of Wednesday morning, all the shows — with one notable exception — still had tickets available.
Friday night’s performance at Belly Up by Scottish DJ, singer, songwriter, and record producer Calvin Harris already sold out, with scalped tickets reportedly going for more than $300. But you can still catch the “Feel So Close” artist and producer of Rihanna’s international hit “We Found Love” for free on Saturday at the X Fest stage at 4:15 p.m.
In downtown Aspen at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, New Orleans rock band Mutemath plays a free show at the base of Aspen Mountain, as part of the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series.
British indie rockers Bloc Party took the stage on Wednesday evening, and 21-year-old rap phenom Tyler the Creator, best known for co-founding alternative hip-hop collective Odd Future, takes the Belly Up stage Friday night in his own show before Calvin Harris.
Major Lazer, consisting of the dancehall-hip-hop-reggae fusion of DJ-producer Diplo, rounds out the free X Fest stage shows on Sunday at 4:15 p.m.
After the men’s snowboard SuperPipe action at Buttermilk closes out the on-snow action Sunday, dupstep superstar Datsik spins at Belly Up at 10 p.m. Snowboarder Scotty Lago says the club’s Sunday night throwdown is the best after-party of the weekend (page 16).
The Wheeler Opera House will play host to two films as part of this year’s X Games festivities. The first, “The Crash Reel,” premiered on Wednesday, and chronicled the unforgettable story of elite snowboarder Kevin Pearce’s life-changing crash and incredible comeback story.
The second, called “¡Quatro!” gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the world of Green Day, from their spontaneous live performances in select cities across the U.S. to detailing the conception and recording of their current trilogy of albums, “¡Uno!,” “¡Dos!,” and “¡Tre!”
It screens at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26
Fashion — from what the athletes wear to what the fans sport on and off the hill — is an integral part of the X Games. The event was sans fashion show last year, but the runway returns to X Games Aspen 2013.
The show goes down on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m., right before the screening of the Green Day flick. Some brands will be familiar, while other represent a growing trend where designers and mashing up fashion, lifestyle and sports.