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Here Comes the Sun rock festival comes to Payson at the end of June

By Kelcie Hartley - | Jun 8, 2022
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John Pilmer rocks the bass at 2020 Orem Summerfest Lite. Pilmer is a co-founder of the Utah Live Concerts Foundation. The next event will be in Payson on June 24 and 25, 2022.
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The Utah Live Concert Foundation released its 2022 Here Comes the Sun poster and band list. The event is set for June 24 and 25, 2022, in Payson.
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Matt Rushton, left, and John Pilmer perform at Summerfest Lite. Pilmer is the co-founder of the Utah Live Concerts Foundation, set to hold its fourth event in Payson on June 24 and 25, 2022.

The Here Comes the Sun rock festival is coming to Payson on June 24 and 25 at Memorial Park.

The festival is run by the Utah Live Concerts Foundation, created during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. ULCF co-founder John Pilmer believes this year will be bigger and better than ever.

This will be the second festival held in Payson, and last year around 6,000 people attended.

The festival is free for the public. Payson’s event will be June 24 from 2:30-8:30 p.m. and June 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. There will be over 20 bands playing between the two festival days.

“We were in the middle of the pandemic two years ago and a bunch of us got together and talked about how everyone being driven within their homes was not fun,” Pilmer said. “Live music took a hit, and professional musicians took a big hit during this time frame. There were no live events to go to two years ago. So we thought, ‘Let’s change that.’ We had the skills to do it.

“Two years ago, during COVID-19, there was an opening for about a month for a potential to do an outdoor event. We contacted the Utah County Health Department director and asked if we could do this and presented our safety plan. We were told yes, and we haven’t looked back.”

To help increase potential festival attendance, ULCF has put efforts into Facebook and advertising to expand their reach within the community.

Also new this year is that ULCF is partnering with the American Red Cross to help them raise money.

“We were very interested in causes globally that are in terrible need of help,” Pilmer said. “American Red Cross gives support as far as eastern Europe and also local support for disaster relief. You can bet that if we have an earthquake, they will be first in line to help people, so we said, ‘Hey, we are going to help you raise some money through this as well.'”

Around the festival stage will be URL and QR codes displayed to encourage people to get out their phones and donate to the Red Cross while watching the event.

Payson’s event will be the fourth put on by ULCF, and its fifth event will be the Come Together rock festival in Orem from Aug. 19-20. Pilmer said the foundation has evolved over the years.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said. “We’ve learned a lot of things. We’ve learned how to get people to play for free. All the people here are volunteers. We have a volunteer staff, and we have musicians that have to apply. Not everyone gets in, and we screen them to put the best ones on stage.

“We are more choosy this year on who the bands are. The bands will be good; the quality is going to be high. We do a pretty good job with volunteer bands and screening them for the best ones. We have professional lighting and sound.”

During the festival, there will be a section for youth bands and local music schools to have an opportunity to perform. This year will also highlight a Beatles tribute.

More prizes will be given away than years prior. Pilmer said ULCF has thousands of dollars’ worth of free things to give away. The top prize will be an $800 guitar given away to one lucky attendee.

T-shirts can be purchased at the event or pre-ordered on the foundation’s website. Pilmer recommended pre-ordering and picking up at the event because they have run out of certain sizes in the past. All T-shirt options costs $20.

“We’ve been able to entertain a lot of people for free and bring people out of their caves to enjoy live music again,” Pilmer said. “That’s important to our mental health. We all need to enjoy live music and the outdoors and fresh air. This allows us to do it in a way that is totally funded by sponsors.”

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