Big Heavy World and Ski Vermont: Music to Ski By
By Casey Kaufman Photo of Vermont band Lucy Vincent
Everyone knows that the main attraction of Vermont during the winter is the selection of great slopes for skiing and snowboarding. Thousands of people from all over the world flock to these mountains, from families to winter sport fanatics, which inspired The Vermont Ski Areas Association to use this wide-reaching venue to introduce visitors to another exciting aspect of the Green Mountain State: the Vermont music scene! The Vermont Ski Areas Association, well-known as Ski Vermont, is passionately committed to the promotion of skiing in Vermont. This winter, the organization invited Big Heavy World, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of Vermont-made music, to coordinate programming for a new promotional effort geared to the skiing and snowboarding community.
Big Heavy World helped Ski Vermont release a CD containing the work of sixteen Vermont bands. 10,000 of the music samplers were produced to be given away at tradeshows around the world, including Boston, New York, Toronto, Canada, and even London, England. The free CD promotes a streaming jukebox (online media player) at the Ski Vermont website, www.skivermont.com, where almost 100 Vermont-made songs can be tuned in to.
The jukebox plays tunes non-stop by Vermont artists, representing a wide variety of genres from punk rock to acoustic folk. Ski Vermont’s design team, Methodikal, developed the CD packaging and Propeller Media built the media player. Visitors to the site can now enjoy fun music coming out of the state while they browse for 'ski and stay' packages, weather conditions, and other information regarding Vermont winter sports. It gives them the chance to gain an appreciation for music they might otherwise never have heard, and provides a great venue for Vermont's talented independent artists. Most of the music can be downloaded as MP3’s to iPods for listening on the slopes!
According to the Ski Vermont Vice President of Marketing, Tori Ossola, it's important to include other aspects of the “Vermont brand” because it helps to tell the story of the state and to increase public interest in Vermont recreation and attractions. Jim Lockridge, Executive Director of Big Heavy World, reinforces this appreciation for the authenticity of Vermont's homegrown arts and culture. "This project is a valuable opportunity to give the public insight to the diversity and stunning talent of Vermont's musicians. No matter what your preference is - to chill, or to rock-out - Vermont makes perfect music for it," says Lockridge.
Artists featured on the jukebox are excited about this exposure for their music. Hans Olson of the band “Waiting for a Miracle” has already received positive feedback from listeners who heard the CD sampler. Aaron Flinn of “Aaron Flinn’s Salad Days” is pumped about the project as well, saying, “the image of someone screaming down the slopes with one of my tunes blaring in their ears is fantastic!” Some tracks, like Punque Vance's, have made their way to sports programming on television.
This project demonstrates the passion and dedication that Ski Vermont and Big Heavy World have for exposing people to Vermont culture and recreation. If you are looking for some good tunes to pump you up for a winter filled with fun on the hills, or if you just want to try some new, local music, be sure to check out the jukebox on the Ski Vermont website, http://www.skivermont.com/gallery/jukebox.php