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Sundance Festival

Attending the Sundance Festival


  • When: Held annually for 10 days in late January
  • Reservations: Highly recommended
  • Cost: Charges for attending films, packages or individual tickets
  • Location: Downtown Park City
In 1978, the Utah/US Film Festival began in Salt Lake City. It moved to Park City in 1981 and became part of the Sundance Institute in 1985. It was officially renamed the Sundance Film Festival in 1991. The Sundance Festival is now recognized internationally as a showcase for the best in new American independent film.

Buying Tickets to the Sundance Festival

Tickets for the Sundance Festival usually go on sale online in mid- to late October for the following January. It's a good idea to buy as soon as you can, because some films and events sell out very quickly. You can buy a single pass that admits you to films and other events for the entire 10 days.

Tickets to individual Sundance Festival films are only $10, not much more than your local cinema, and most are followed by a discussion with the director and/or cast members. Individual tickets go on sale in early January.

What to Expect at the Sundance Festival

Park City is the Sundance Festival hub, but they also show films in Salt Lake City, Ogden, and at the Sundance Village. Tickets to all films are sold at the main box offices.

The Sundance Festival activities and venues are concentrated in two parts of town: Main Street and Prospector Square. Convenient, free shuttles connect the two areas.

  • You may have heard that Utah has some unusual liquor laws, but you can get an alcoholic beverage as long as you are over 21 and have a valid ID.

  • Park City's January temperatures range from 12 F to 33 F. When the sun shines, it's comfortable, but temperatures drop fast after dark. Dress in layers and bring a gloves, a warm hat and a good pair of snow boots to keep your feet dry.

  • Park City's altitude varies from 6,800 to 10,000 feet. Drink lots of water, and remember that the effects of exercise and alcohol increase at high altitude. You'll also needs lots of sunscreen.

  • If you bring your pet, be sure to bring whatever you need to keep it warm, and leave it somewhere else while attending films. Leave it behind or take advantage of one of the local doggie-day-care places.

  • The Sundance Festival dress code is sometimes called "mountain chic," which basically means warm and casual.

Where to Stay for the Sundance Festival

The Sundance Festival website gives a list of official lodging providers. All are on the free transit lines, or within walking distance of the theatres and venues. Sundance Village also offers packages, events at the resort and shuttles to/from town.

If Park City is too expensive for your budget, think about staying in Salt Lake City, which is about a 45 minutes drive away. Many of the Sundance Festival films screen there.

Be a Smart Sundance Festival Film-Goer

  • If you want to see a film that's sold out, stop by one of the box offices to check for last-minute tickets. If none are available, go to the theatre and join the Wait List line. One hour before each screening, numbered Wait List cards are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and thirty minutes before screening time, any remaining tickets are sold based on card number order. Wait List tickets are cash only.

  • You can get information on TBAs (films whose names were not announced before the festival started) is available at theatres and box offices.

  • First thing every morning, pick up a copy of the Sundance Festival Daily newspaper to find out about filmmaker interviews and other activities.

Getting to Sundance Festival

Sundance Festival
Park City, UR
435-940-8900 (during the festival only)
Sundance Institute Website

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