To put it mildly, we were experiencing sensory overload. Just seeing all the movies would have been enough, but in addition to the films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival there was the overwhelming rumpus that seemed to permeate every moment of the day. Parties, dinners, concerts, events, nightclubs—they were all there for the taking and, at some point, started to blur together. Still, there were indeed some standouts in the crowd. Here are some of our favorites.
Belle & Sebastian
Fans of the Scottish pop band were already atwitter thanks to the Sundance debut of God Help The Girl, frontman Stuart Murdoch’s debut effort as a film director, but devotees really went wild when the band took stage for a rare, intimate, Airbnb-sponsored show that spawned one of the more impressive round-the-block lines of the festival.
The buzzy L.A. restaurant hosted a Main Street-adjacent pop-up with a door as hard to get through as the original. Still, once you were inside the tasty food—fried chicken, a kale Caesar, a great burger, plenty of suds from sponsor Stella Artois—and the well-curated crowd made it one of the most enjoyable rooms in town.
There were non-stop parties up and down Main Street for the duration of the fest, but nothing was as popular as the pop-up version of Tao, the nightclub with outposts in New York, Vegas and beyond. Thanks in park to the star-studded clientele and the catering (hello, McDonalds!), the club—inside a modified parking garage—was this year’s ultimate see-and-be-seen spot.
We’re not usually bus people, but with cabs nearly impossible to find and our usual go-to Uber boasting insane waits (and already infamous surcharges), the festival shuttles—manned by what might be the most patient drivers alive—quickly became a regular part of our routine.
Coffee’s an important part of any day, especially when we’ve got to keep a breakneck pace of screenings and events from morning until the wee hours. Thankfully the Airbnb Haus had the festival’s best coffee—in addition to free Wi-Fi and snacks, great panel chats, a comedy show and a night with The Moth—care of San Francisco favorite FourBarrel.
Jayma Cardoso’s pop-up nightclub was an undeniable hotspot once the sun went down—dinners and film parties kept a crowd permanently gathered at the door—but it was almost more exciting to drop in during the day, when we’d charge our phone, read the trades and enjoy a very rare moment of silence.
While a snowstorm almost delayed our flight back to NYC, the weather in Park City was unusually warm. Not only was there no snow for the entirety of the festival—sorry skiiers!—but daytime temps made it possible to ditch our winter coats and soak up some sunshine before heading back into a dark movie theater.