October 21, 2019

A Diamond in the Rough: The Great Saltair

Utah might be known for the Great Salt Lake as a landmark, but there’s a hidden gem sitting right alongside it. The Great Saltair is a music venue right off of the lake that has seen several high profile artists come through and raise the roof. In 2019 alone, artists have included NF, Zedd, Bastille, The Head and the Heart, and Tyler, the Creator. While pop stars tend to stick to the Vivint Smart Home Arena and country artists sing their hearts out at Usana Amphitheatre, the Great Saltair provides a more intimate venue for indie bands, rappers, and others who may have a smaller (but still invested) fan base. 

The venue is relatively cozy compared to some of the other arena options--while not as small as the lounges found in downtown Salt Lake, the Great Saltair has the space for a strong audience, without feeling too crowded. The stage sits near the floor, and provides the focal point for each artist to put on their show, and allows artists to really interact with audience members. You can see everything--”nosebleed seats” aren’t a thing here. The building also provides a balcony section for audience members 21+, with a bar and patio to enjoy a cold one while enjoying the music. 

The Great Saltair may feel a bit out of the way (it’s not exactly close to downtown or any of the ski resorts), but does provide an opportunity to see some favorite artists in a closer setting. The history of the building itself tells a story of resilience and character. Originally a lakeside, family resort the Great Saltair hosted multiple musical acts, even gracing the cover of an album for the  Beach Boys. Unfortunately, the building was destroyed by multiple fires, but was eventually restored by investors in 2005, who recognized its significance as a concert venue. Since that time, the Great Saltair’s walls have been filled by ardent fans who love the feeling of being a part of a concert--not just watching one go by.

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