The Philipsburg Summer Concert

The Philipsburg Rotary’s annual charity concert is a one or two-day festival that combines all the beauty of Western Montana in a single celebration. The music starts at Noon at Winninghoff Park’s outdoor terraced amphitheater, which has been lauded to have the best outdoor acoustics in the state of Montana. The 2015 event was the first Aber Day Reunion Concert since the original series of events in the 70s. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015—The Aber Day Kegger reprised its celebrated union of charity and revelry for the first time in 36 years. The Aber Day Reunion Concert featured Mission Mountain Wood Band alongside Wylie and The Wild West and Shane Clouse and Stomping Ground. The Philipsburg Rotary Club hosted the event in Philipsburg’s outdoor amphitheater in partnership with the University of Montana Alumni Association and Missoula Liquid Assets Corporation.

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The Aber Day Reunion Concert was held in place of Philipsburg’s annual Philipsburg Summer Concert. The non-profit Rotary teamed up with the Missoula Liquid Assets Corporation (MLAC, LLC), the original organizers of the Kegger, and the University of Montana Alumni Association for the 2015 benefit—to raise money for the Philipsburg Community Library and other community projects.

It’s was a project close to the hearts of the former organizers, since the Aber Day Kegger was originally conceived as a way to raise money for the UM Library to stop it from losing its accreditation. MLAC Chairman Bob McCue said, “We’ve had a lot of people ask to do an Aber Day Kegger, but we didn’t want to do it for a profit motive. Raising money for the Rotary and a small town library is a good fit and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

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Philipsburg’s Outdoor Amphitheater also follows in the same tradition of the original Kegger, a large terraced hillside with excellent acoustics and plenty of room for dancing. Attendees bring their own blankets, lawn chairs and umbrellas for the event, lasting from noon to five PM.

Philipsburg was named “the Best Place to Live in the Past” by Men’s Journal, so it is a perfect place for Kegger attendees to dance down memory lane.

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Left: A band performs at an early 70s Aber Day Kegger. Right: Rob Quist of Mission Mountain Wood Band performs at the Philipsburg Summer Concert in 2011.

The Philipsburg Concert: 2014

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Here are 10 interesting things about the 2014 Philipsburg Concert, Auction and Brewfest.

1. It is a two-day event! The last four years, it has only been on a Saturday or a Sunday. Thanks to your comments in last year’s concert survey, we have expanded it to two days from Noon to 5PM on August 16 and 17th. Stick around and enjoy all Philipsburg has to offer.

2. Listen to five bands. This is more than we’ve ever had before. 406 and The Tomcats perform on Saturday, while Three Eared Dog, Sally Newsome and The Cold Hard Cash Show perform on Sunday. The music starts at 12 PM with the next bands performing approximately two hours after the last band starts. Saturday’s auction will take place between performances.

3. The silent and live auction on Saturday will feature over 100 items. These will include gift certificates, collectibles and sports gear in the community clubhouse during the silent auction and larger items, like float trips, ski passes, travel and a covered wagon in our live auction. If you are interested in one of these items, but you can’t show up, email us with the contact form to arrange a bid by phone or email. All proceeds support charity projects, such as food for needy families, scholarships, community parks and decorations, a community center, blood drives, highway cleanup and much much more. The Philipsburg Rotary Club built the Winninghoff Park outdoor amphitheater and NHL-sized hockey rink with help from the community and donors.

4. It’s a Brewfest! We love beer and we think you do too. We are proud to feature our local brewery, The Philipsburg Brewing Company. They opened their doors on the day of the Philipsburg Summer Concert two years ago. They just garnered several awards at the Glacier Brewfest, including prizes for Best Brewery, People’s Choice, Best Fruit Beer, Best IPA. This Brewfest will also feature 12 other beers to please everyone’s tastebuds.

5. Eat at our improved food court. Thanks to your survey responses. We will have at least five food carts and options, instead of two. This means you get to eat more local food and wait times are likely to be faster. You can also go into town and eat at one of our local restaurants.

6. Enjoy free parking on Broadway street. The Winninghoff Park Amphitheater is only one block away from Broadway, Philipsburg’s main street. This makes our festival one of the most accessible in the state.

7. Our outdoor amphitheater may have the best acoustics in the state. Thanks to the stage design and the terraced hillside, there isn’t a bad seat in the house. The music reaches all the way to the top of the amphitheater. There is also dance space at the bottom for those who want to cut a rug. With space for more than 3,000 people, you won’t be pushing and clamoring for a good seat. You will be able to find an excellent spot to spend the days.

8. The Philipsburg Summer Festival is for all ages. Families and children love the event. There is plenty of grass to run around in, and our local volunteer fire department often shows up to give them a blast of cool water from the hose. In addition to music and dancing, they can visit the Sweet Palace and mine sapphires from one of our local sapphire mining businesses.

9. Admission is Free! Yes, that means that you can listen to five bands in the amphitheater without paying a dime. If you have a few bucks to spare, we appreciate any donations you can give to our Rotary members in the blue shirts. Plus, auction items earn us our operating money for projects during the year.

10. Camp and stay the night. Did you know there are many excellent camp grounds around Philipsburg? There are also cabins, RV parks, hotels and more. They are affordable and convenient, so we hope you’ll stick around for both days and enjoy Granite County and “The Coolest Town to Live in the Past” according to the Men’s Journal.

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