I don’t know about you but I love festivals. I’m serious, I absolutely love them. I can remember back in the day attending the Warped Tour to see a bunch of fellow punks come together in unison to kick the shit out of the man (or each other). Or the Phish festivals where a hundred dozen hippies take a bunch of drugs together and spread free love all over the place, including your own blanket (you still disgust me). I mean these things are fantastic, from a writer’s point of view anyway. That being said, it’s with great pleasure to welcome back to Salt Lake City: X-Dance!
Now don’t get me wrong here, I actually do enjoy this festival. I mean I would much rather be in Park City waiting five hours in the cold to listen to Nick Cannon Wyld n’ Out and sneaking peaks of Paris Hilton’s exposed vajayjay, but I’m not welcomed back after "the incident." Instead, I get to gather with people I actually have respect for that do things that make me and a million other people happy. Sure, I love me a good romantic comedy but what really juices my loins is seeing a bunch of dudes in swimsuits pulling in and out of barrels. Is that gay?
Anyway, this year marks the ten year anniversary of X-Dance and if you've never been I suggest you do yourself a favor and go. Over the past ten years this festival has been bringing SLC some of the world’s best action sports athletes and showcasing the best action sports films. If you’re into award shows, enjoy Mountain Dew and live to get radical, in the words of Bodhi (RIP mister Swayze, best role ever!) then this is the event for you. Over the three years I have attended I had the opportunity to interview Tony Hawk, rub elbows with Laird Hamilton, slam shots with Travis Rice and his posse, and laugh at how much of a nerd Travis Pastrana is (despite the fact that that guy is completely out of his mind, he’s just a normal dude). Not to mention the parties! For those of you looking to break into the industry this event is a must. Just tell the doorman you're on the list, make up a fake production company and recruit a friend with a camera and microphone and make some connections, because the who's who’s will definitely be in attendance.
This year the festival should be even bigger and better. Warren Miller will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award and even though his films should be shown on the National Geographic channel, you have to respect what that man has done for the industry in terms of educating viewers. No matter what extreme sport you're into there are sure to be a few videos of your liking on display at the Broadway Theater. I know I’ll be there, California dreamin' of the ocean and escaping Utah for some 30 odd minutes or so.
If you have access to the internet, be sure to visit X-dance.com for a list of films and athletes in attendance. In the meantime, put down the glow sticks and pick up a pen and mark the date on your calendar because for the week of January 21st will be the only festival in Utah or anywhere for that matter worth attending that doesn’t feel like a social experiment.