With the incredible energy and spirit of the X Games Aspen (January 28–31) only two weeks away, Aspen is getting an early taste of creative youth culture at the historic Crystal Palace building. For those attending X Games Aspen, its the perfect place to get a dose of Aspen's nightlife, arts, culture and community.

Already underway and continuing throughout the month of January, the indoor festival pairs the talents of local artists, musicians, and other visionaries alongside craftsmanship and creativity from abroad. The event cofounders — Reuben Sadowsky and Joey Stokes — promise a showcase like Aspen has never seen before, but with a goal that goes far beyond good times.

“Together, we can work to cultivate a community with a healthy mind, body, and spirit, and create new ideas to inspire and help ourselves as well as the world."

“We see a reinvigoration of the Aspen Idea and hope to connect the illustrious and established institutions that inhabit Aspen with a new generation,” Sadowsky says. “Together, we can work to cultivate a community with a healthy mind, body and spirit, and create new ideas to inspire and help ourselves as well as the world.”

Their takeover of the Palace is multifaceted: an organic café, art gallery and concept retail store will be open seven days a week; nighttime programming will run Thursdays through Saturdays. At the café, Hayden Dudley’s Elevated Elixirs offer superfood-dense health tonics, including a superfood hot cocoa to ward off the chills. Vegan plates and soups are also available.

On the visual arts side, Gravity Gallery’s “All The Feels” show, curated by artist Max Kauffman, comprises a mix of local and national artists including Hannah Stouffer, John Fellows, Jamie Molina and Scot Lefavor.

A pop-up shop dubbed BLK MKT (pronounced Black Market) sells goods that can be found almost nowhere else. BLK MKT creators, Sam Steen and Mike Delaney, have pulled together a mix of fashion that includes their own clothing line, ROAM; John and Eric Jackson’s jewelry line, Jax Union; Shayne Maratea and Spencer Hansen’s Blamo Toys and Heathen Clothing; and the geometric wooden sculptures of Aleph Geddis.

Gravity Productions Winter X Games Prefestival Aspen
Gravity Productions Winter X Games Prefestival Aspen

Thursday nights feature the Spark Series, a line-up of speakers and conversations designed to inspire, connect and share knowledge from the cutting-edge, followed by an art opening by one of the nationally acclaimed artists curated by Kauffman. Friday and Saturday nights bring a full indoor festival with an electric-circus vibe, interactive art and music events. The event organizers teamed up with local bar Justice Snow’s to create a unique bar and cocktail experience — the space is hosting an absinthe bar, maté bar and craft cocktails from Justice Snow’s nationally famous drinks menu.

Gravity Productions Winter X Games Prefestival Aspen
Gravity Productions Winter X Games Prefestival Aspen

Gravity Productions Winter X Games Prefestival Aspen
Gravity Productions Winter X Games Prefestival Aspen

Gravity Productions Winter X Games Prefestival Aspen
Gravity Productions Winter X Games Prefestival Aspen

Over the course of the month, the music line-up includes Ill-Esha, Kraddy, Dirtwire, Pumpkin, DEFUNK, Jpod, Dimond Saints, Soohan, Laura Low, Henry Pope, SoDown, Berkel Beats and Lula Granji.

Listen to Soundcloud tracks from these bands.


The event certainly has a lot of intriguing elements to it. So why were the founders so ambitious in its scale?


“Because we love this place and we care about it,” says Sadowsky, who, like Stokes, is an Aspen native. “As a group of artists who want to support ourselves, we don't want to have to go to New York or L.A. to get paid for what we do. Our work here is helping spearhead a whole new industry, paving the way for what will still be relevant 10 to 60 years from now: environment, a strong food network, living well, and creating art and ideas for ourselves and others."

“As a group of artists who want to support ourselves, we don't want to have to go to New York or L.A. to get paid for what we do. Our work here is helping spearhead a whole new industry, paving the way for what will still be relevant 10 to 60 years from now ..."

About the Author

Nicole Lindstrom, Aspen blogger, Wanderlust yogi
Nicole Lindstrom, Aspen blogger, Wanderlust yogi

Nicole Lindstrom is the co-author of Wanderlust, A Modern Yogi’s Guide To Discovering Your Best Self, and was the 2015 producer of Wanderlust Festival's lecture series, The Speakeasy. Nicole relocated from New York City to Aspen in October 2015 to join Gina Murdock in co-managing the Aspen Yoga Society.

Five years with Wanderlust, Nicole has practiced with the world's top yoga instructors and has worked with some of the world's leading experts in health and wellness. This exposure opened Nicole to a wide array of yogic offerings and instilled in her the desire to share all that she has learned.