The Meeting 8, recap video.
Following Thursday’s Sundeck party and Friday’s panel discussions, it was time to boogie. Friday evening played host to a screening of MSP’s Superheroes of Stoke at the Wheeler Opera House. Following the screening, moviegoers spilled down the block to Belly Up, where Stephen Marley—second son of the late Bob Marley—graced the crowd with his musical and lyrical talent. From there, it was on to any of the various late-night after parties. Choose your poison.
Outside Wheeler Opera House. Photo by Jeremy Swanson.
On Saturday morning—another rude awakening for most—the agenda called for go-cart racing at Aspen’s Woody Creek Race Track. Nestled up in the foothills, the track is first class and highly exclusive. In fact, many Aspen locals—even those who grew up in Pitkin County—are unaware of its existence. Thanks to the good people at Red Bull, the track was ours for the day and we took full advantage.
Photos by Jeremy Swanson.
The carts are mighty fast, exceeding 50MPH on straightaways. For hours, heat after heat of racers battled for bragging rights. All the while, those who were awaiting their chance to shred engaged in a bit of networking. With so many great people assembled to partake in The Meeting, it’s easy to strike up conversation with a new face, and to make fast friends.
Elsewhere in town, many others opted to spend their Saturday hiking—checking out the fall foliage—or on biking adventures (both mountain, and road). While hiking and biking in Aspen at this time of year is amazing, I’m glad they stayed away from the track—more time in the carts for me.
Photo by Jeremy Swanson.
Saturday afternoon saw an official Happy Hour session at the Limelight Hotel—another great chance to talk biz (or whatever), and of course, to load up on free Bud Light—and later, screenings of Voleurz’s Kill Your Boredom and PBP’s WE, both at the Wheeler Opera House. The afternoon film sessions transitioned into an evening showing of TGR’s The Dream Factory. TGR athletes Todd Ligare and Griffin Post were on site for the screening.
Ligare said about The Meeting, “I’m really excited to be here in Aspen right now. This is an awesome opportunity to watch everyone else’s movies. I’m kind of a geek about it, I like to absorb as much ski media as I can, so it’s great for me to come here and watch everything. Plus, I get to see some familiar faces that I haven’t seen in a while.” Ligare also spoke about the day’s go-cart session, noting, “Aside from the movies, there are of course other highlights to The Meeting. Go-carting today, for example, was awesome. I had such a great time out there with a bunch of athletes and industry folk. We had one minor accident on the day—one of my buddies smashed into some tires and came out bloody—but it’s all good.”
Todd Jones, Todd Ligare and Griffin Post introduce The Dream Factory. Photo by Jeremy Swanson.
The conclusion of TGR’s flick marked the end of the film screenings at The Meeting 8. The fun would continue, however, as Brit Floyd took the stage later that night at Belly Up. Whether or not you’re a fan of Pink Floyd, you’d have dug these guys’ powerful sound; the band absolutely crushed it, inspiring all in attendance. Following the show, it was on to (you guessed it) any of the various late-night after parties. Choose your poison.
Brit Floyd performs at Belly Up. Photo by Jeremy Swanson.
Sunday was a free day, allowing everyone to recover from the prior three days’ events. For those who decided Monday was better suited for recovery, there was certainly no shortage of mimosas and Bloody Mary’s to be had around town.
I, along with the rest of the Freeskier crew, returned to Boulder on Sunday, looking ahead to the start of a new work-week. Driving over Independence Pass, I was certainly sad to be leaving Aspen (as is always the case) and I looked back on The Meeting 8 with a smile on my face. I’d seen a fantastic NEPSA Awards show, bared witness to many rowdy film screenings, absorbed great knowledge at Friday’s panel discussions, seen some badass musical acts, go-carted my face off, partied hard, and met some wonderful new people along the way. I couldn’t help but think back to a conversation I had with photographer Flip McCririck during the Brit Floyd show; Flip simply stated, “Why everyone in the entire skiing industry doesn’t come to this event is beyond me.” And quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more.
Big thanks goes out to Aspen, and the organizers of The Meeting for another stellar iteration of one of our favorite annual events. Let the countdown to #TheMeeting9 begin.
Thank you, Aspen. Photo by Jeremy Swanson.
To see a recap of Thursday/Friday at The Meeting 8, follow this link. This story includes a recap of Friday’s panel discussions, where industry leaders touched on content distribution, branding, growing an audience and more.
To see what was happening at The Meeting via Twitter and Instagram, check out the hashtag #TheMeeting8.