Snoop Dog. Vampire Weekend. Big Gigantic.

How Belly Up and Aspen Skiing Company Keep Bringing In the Best Musical Acts.

by Nicole Birkhold


As Michael Franti has said, “Music has the power to bring people together like no other art form.” Two people who agree with their good friend Michael are Danny and David Goldberg.

Danny and David run the day-to-day operations — as well as book all the shows — for their father’s nightclub and live music venue, the Belly Up. Belly Up has been operating as Aspen’s premier music venue for 11 years; and the Goldberg brothers have been involved since day one.

“Danny and I grew up in the venue,” says David, the eldest brother. “When we were away at college, instead of phone calls with dad consisting of, ‘Hey, how is school going?’ It was, ‘How much can we get for Snoop Dogg on this date?’” he jokes. “Most kids would take the bus home after school. We took the bus to the Belly Up,” adds Danny.



But it wasn’t until about five years ago when David and then Danny decided to move back to Aspen after college and other endeavors that they took over some of the reigns at the club. Why did they come back? Family. Community. Music.

“The best part of coming home and working at Belly Up is we get to work with our best friends — our family — every day,” says David. “We get to build something unique and special and continue growing that together.” What the Goldbergs are building (and have been building for those 11 years) is essentially the Aspen music scene. Because not only are they continually adding to the incredible sound, lighting and calendar at the Belly Up, but also they are intimately involved in helping Aspen Skiing Company book acts for the company’s outdoor Hi-Fi concert series.

“Danny and I grew up in the venue,” says David, the eldest brother.


“When we were away at college, instead of phone calls with dad consisting of, ‘Hey, how is school going?’ It was, ‘How much can we get for Snoop Dogg on this date?’”

Michael Goldberg — dad and proprietor of the Belly Up — started working with Ski Co in 2007 on booking the Hi-Fi series. That season consisted of Blues Traveler, Ky-Mani Marley and De La Soul to highlight a few.

“The guys from the Belly Up are booking 300+ nights a year of music and have developed such strong ties with artists, agents and the music industry,” says Deric Gunshor, Events Director for Aspen Skiing Company. “That it is something that we could not do on our own.”

“My dad was booking the Hi-Fi series in conjunction with Ski Co before we arrived and when I came back he asked me to take it over and work with Deric. I loved the idea. He has great taste in music and we’re on the same page of wanting these events to make a bigger impact year after year. We want to raise the bar,” says Danny. “Aspen Skiing Company is a huge influence in this town and we want to be as well so it goes hand in hand. We want to do something special and so do they.”

Belly Up and HiFi Concerts at Aspen Snowmass
Belly Up and HiFi Concerts at Aspen Snowmass

Belly Up and HiFi Concerts at Aspen Snowmass
Belly Up and HiFi Concerts at Aspen Snowmass

Belly Up and HiFi Concerts at Aspen Snowmass
Belly Up and HiFi Concerts at Aspen Snowmass

And the Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert series is indeed special. It consists of five or six free shows throughout the course of the ski season — often times at the base of the mountain or in one of the large downtown parks. It kicked off in the 2001-2002 season with Black Eyed Peas headlining and since then has featured the likes of Rusted Root, The Wailers, Vampire Weekend, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, The Offspring, Big Boi, Ratatat, and Umphrey’s McGee… just to name a few. One of the goals is to provide a wide array of musical genres as well as a great party.

“This isn’t a paid Belly Up ticket,” says Danny. “We want people who can maybe only come up on the weekend and want to ski all day also be able to see a free live show. What a cool experience is that?”

A pretty cool one indeed. These shows are often upwards of $50 or $100 dollars to see in a traditional venue. So a free show, outside in the snow or sun or whatever the weather may be with thousands of your closest friends makes for an unforgettable experience.

The Goldbergs love seeing Aspen locals come to the Hi-Fi series along with visitors and see them taking pride in the Aspen music scene. “We want people to feel a sense of ownership and pride in the shows here at the Belly Up and the Hi-Fi series as well,” says David.

“We want the experience to be amazing and have people want to bring their friends to these shows,” adds Danny.

“We want people to feel a sense of ownership and pride in the shows here at the Belly Up and the Hi-Fi series as well.”

“The community always comes out for free music and shares the info with guests and friends,” says Deric. “Music is a huge part of the scene here and the experience of living in and visiting Aspen.”

This year’s Hi-Fi series kicked off with Jamestown Revival on November 29th and continued with RaRaRiot on February 13th. This spring boasts a killer lineup for Spring Jam with Nahko & Medicine For People on March 19th and the core party downtown Aspen will feature Big Gigantic on March 25th.

Mark your calendars and come be a part of the Aspen’s music family.

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