This week the Salt Lake City Council approved $200,000 to help fund the Twilight Concert Series for 2017. Twilight has gone over budget for several years now, and City Council members are once again reevaluating the future of the concert series.
At the meeting Tuesday, several council members were frustrated at being asked for more money to fund Twilight concerts for another year.
“I’m tired of dealing with this and having the uncertainty year after year,” said Councilman Charlie Luke.
The concerts bring thousands of people to Pioneer Park Thursday nights through the summer.
Kelsey Ellis is with the Salt Lake City Arts Council, which organizes the concerts. She reminded members of the City Council about its economic impact—Twilight draws people to spend money downtown in the short term. But it has long-term benefits as well.
“That’s where we get the national attention from Realtor.com and other places that say ‘millennials are moving to Salt Lake’ because of things like Twilight. And I think that’s really the value,” Ellis said.
But there was also some discussion about whether the Twilight series has become stale. Councilman Derek Kitchen suggested the Salt Lake City Arts Council put on the concert series as planned for 2017, then reevaluate it for the future.
“I feel like Twilight, in some ways, has gotten too big for its britches in the 30 years that it’s been around and it’s lost its identity somehow,” Kitchen said, “and also we really don’t know what we’re trying to get out of it.”
The City Council had this same conversation nearly a year ago, when the Arts Council asked for $150,000 to fund Twilight concerts in 2016.