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Sugar House Journal

Concert Series Shows why Hidden Hollow is a Valuable ‘Backyard’

Sep 18, 2015 23h05 ● By Rhett Wilkinson

The Hidden Hollow Concert series recently concluded for another year after a one-year hiatus. It is evidence of the value of the Hidden Hollow Nature Preserve, Utah Open Lands Director Wendy Fisher said. Photo courtesy Utah Open Lands

By Rhett Wilkinson

Event planning isn’t Utah Open Lands’ main objective.

But when it comes to the Hidden Hollow Concert series, that doesn’t matter.

Wendy Fisher made that argument, citing education and outreach. Fisher, UOL’s executive director, said that the series’ home, the Hidden Hollow Nature Preserve, is a “labor of love” for the community.

“It makes us realize our backyard,” Fisher said. “There’s a reason it’s called Hidden Hollow.”

Bikers and business people have enjoyed the area while passing through or for professional meetings. Now, so have more bands. Nine performed over four Friday evenings this summer at the ampitheater found tucked into an area with trees up to seven decades old. Attendees welcomed new neighbors in residents of Wilmington Flats and Draw at Sugar House, a tunnel that connects Sugar House Park to the Hidden Hollow area. The tunnel created a continuous nine-mile trail with little to no traffic.

Performers included Albino Father and September Say Goodbye (June 26); Lake Effect, Quiet Oaks and The Lab Dogs (July 10), Michelle Moonshine and Bullets & Belles (Aug. 7); and The Time Cruisers and Standing in for Joe (Aug. 21).

They came after no performances were held last year. Construction necessitated that, and it made UOL nervous about future attendance. But 100-plus folks attended the second show.

“The thing that was amazing about these local bands and how much they enjoyed playing in the space,” Fisher said. “And we did not pay them a lot of money. It was a scant amount.”

A Salt Lake City grant made payment for the bands possible. A conservation easement made the nature preserve possible. Students from Hawthorne Elementary School in 1990 restored what was once a forgotten pile of construction debris. They returned as college students in 2000, when the easement was granted, to see fruition, which included the ampitheater. That was part of the hollow’s early design, Fisher said.

“That was meant to serve that community and get the community in the space for a variety of things,” Fisher said. “So Utah Open Lands felt that it would be great to provide the community with local music.”