Why Kilby Block Party is ‘life changing’ to music lovers in the Mountain West

May 14, 2024, 5:00 PM | Updated: 6:28 pm

Fans enjoy Kilby Block Party 5...

A crowd watching The Garden at Kilby Block Party 5 on Saturday, May 11, 2024. (Mark Less, KSL TV)

(Mark Less, KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — In the five years since its genesis, Kilby Block Party transcended from a humble gathering on 700 South in downtown Salt Lake to a staple attraction in the Mountain West, known for its indie roots and dreamy mountain backgrounds.

The festival began as an anniversary celebration of Salt Lake City’s longest-standing all-ages venue, Kilby Court. For its fifth block party, Kilby Court celebrated 25 years of shows at the widely beloved venue.

The first two parties were headlined by friends of the venue and nationally acclaimed bands, Death Cab for Cutie and Young the Giant, which snagged the eyes of local music lovers in the Salt Lake Valley and nearby areas.

The load-in and main entrance to Utah’s Kilby Court. (Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News)

The third festival held in 2022 was moved to Library Square and headlined by Phoebe Bridgers and Mac Demarco. The festival took an even larger turn the following year, booking early 2000s heavy hitters The StrokesPavement and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

The fifth festival, which kicked off on Friday, headlined another group of 2000s alternative rock bands, Vampire Weekend, The Postal Service + Death Cab for Cutie, and LCD Soundsystem.

It may be difficult to imagine what could drive such growth, but the track record of popular headliners joining the roster speaks for itself. Folks in the crowd though had more specifics to give for why the festival had become such an annual importance in their lives — and it wasn’t just fame.


Related: SLC 2024 Twilight Concert Series announces lineup

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Why Kilby Block Party is ‘life changing’ to music lovers in the Mountain West