Despite festival founder Robert Redford’s declaration that the recession had stripped away the fashion houses that clung like barnacles to the festival’s side, the gifting game is still going strong on Main Street. It may not be the gold rush it was five years ago, but up and down the block, one finds celebs emerging from behind guarded doors, arms loaded down with loot.
Getting celebrities to take and hopefully be photographed with your products means luring them in by any means necessary. Modeling agencies cast the staff at many of the gifting booths and young people fly in from all across the country for the two to ten day gigs.
3. Random Celebrities
It is not just the stars of the independent film world that come to Sundance, or even stars who have anything to do with the independent film world. The festival draws anyone from the Hollywood orbit who loves a giant party. And now and then, they might even see a movie. (Although appearances by stars at screenings of films they are not in are rarer than Haley’s Comet.)
Filling up the gifting suites and hospitality lounges are the rank and file of Hollywood; the look-glamorous but not-actually-famous of the world, who are just connected enough to get on the right VIP lists and score the right party invitations.
5. People in Uggs
Furry Uggs. Plain Uggs. Ugg boots. Ugg slippers. Sundance has got a lot of Uggs.
6. Makers of Strange New Products
There is no better way to get your new product off the ground than to have it adopted by Hollywood. Each year the festival is flooded with the creators of innovative and odd new products who buy up spots at the gifting suites where they can show off their wares. Tea of a Kind (pictured above) is a flavored ice tea drink with a nitrogen cap which explodes when opened.
7. Celebrity Chefs
At night, Sundance migrates from the lounge circuit to the dinner party circuit, which means a host of events presided over by famed chefs. Pictured above, preparations for the nightly “Chefdance” dinner party which this year includes Top Chef champion Richard Blais.
Amidst all the hubbub, people still come here just to ski. The shuttle buses and the Main Street remain a constant battle with people hauling their gear up to the slopes.
9. People in Funny Outfits
They come from all over the land and descend on Sundance wearing bizarre get ups of every kind. Something about the celebration of independent film spirit brings out those who have other sorts of spirit to display and they turn out each year in droves.
10. The Paparazzi
Like flies to fame, walk up and down Main and you will see them everywhere, lying in wait.