S&S Presents Director on Kilby Block Party 3 and the Blossoming of SLC’s Music Scene


Xiangyao Tang

An artist performs at Kilby Court in Salt Lake City on Feb. 23, 2022. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Nicoline West, Arts Writer


Salt Lake City’s Kilby Court has been an essential node in Utah’s music scene for over two decades now. The beloved garage has hosted handfuls of household names, including Doja Cat and Mac Miller. S&S Presents, which owns Kilby Court, Urban Lounge and Metro Music Hall, has curated a memorable lineup for its upcoming Kilby Block Party 3 festival, set for Liberty Square on May 13 and 14. 

Kicking it Up a Notch

KBP3 is the third iteration of Kilby Court’s Block Party festival, and by far the biggest to date. Mac DeMarco is set to headline KBP3’s first night with Clairo, Mild High Club and Car Seat Headrest. Sad-girl indie frontrunner Phoebe Bridgers will take over Saturday, May 14 with Steve Lacy, Animal Collective and Alvvays.

As we continue to grow, I think more and more artists are beginning to take Salt Lake City more seriously as a great place to play with some of the best fans in the country,” said Billy Eusterman, S&S Presents Marketing Director.

Eusterman has been with S&S since 2019, handling press relations, social media and advertising. Organizing KBP3 was no small feat for the S&S Presents team. “We start planning about a year ahead of the announcement,” Eusterman said. “We are a fairly small, independent team putting it all together and it’s a ton of work. In addition to the festival, we still put on over 1,000 shows per year at various venues around SLC.” 

KBP3 is the first time the festival will span two days. This is also the first time it will be held at Liberty Square. “We are able to have more artists playing on bigger and better stages, more food, drink and vendor options,” Eusterman said of KBP3’s upgrades.

A Tradition in the Making

The festival originated in 2019, first headlined by Death Cab for Cutie. “Initially, KBP was created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kilby Court, but we had so much fun with it that we knew we had to make in an annual event,” Eusterman said. “Since then, it’s evolved from a celebration of Kilby Court itself, to a celebration of everything that Kilby Court represents: building community, discovering new music, spending time with friends, creating art and the love we have for the city.” 

S&S enlisted Young the Giant to headline KBP2 in 2021. Like Death Cab for Cutie, the band performed at Kilby Court in their earlier years. Bridgers, who has also graced Kilby Court before, will be continuing the trend of veteran headliners for 2022. “Venues like Kilby Court are part of the process for many artists,” Eusterman said. “You don’t typically start out playing festivals or selling out amphitheaters, so having veterans return to play tribute to venues like Kilby is a reminder of what it’s all about and the process.”

Staying true to Kilby’s community-driven ethos, both festival days will include sets from local artists. “Every artist out there was once a local artist somewhere. They’re the lifeblood of any music scene,” Eusterman said. 

Surfing the Waves of Shutdown

Public zeal for live music has slowly but surely returned after 2020’s industry shut down. Two-day GA passes sold out the day they dropped. “We knew we put together something special from the very beginning, something that Salt Lake had never seen before, but the reaction that people had, and the speed that they came in, I don’t think anyone expected that,” Eusterman said. 

Venues of all sizes suffered from COVID-19 gathering restrictions. Small, independent venues like Kilby Court took the hardest financial hits. Around America, many relied on their local communities and SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grants to stay afloat. “The last few years have been the hardest we’ve ever experienced,” Eusterman said. “Not just for venues, but for the artists, patrons, staff and community. We are made up of all of the above so we’re as excited as everyone else is.”

KBP2 was supposed to happen in 2020, but was postponed for an entire year due to COVID-19. “Like everyone else, we are taking it one day at a time,” said Eusterman. “We have protocols in place to provide an environment that is as safe as possible.” Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for festival entrance. 

KPB3 exemplifies the resilience of the Salt Lake City music scene and people like Eusterman who work hard to keep its gears turning. This work has clearly paid off for the S&S Presents team as KBP3 has been met with nothing but excitement. 


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