When it was first announced that Burton would move its signature snowboarding competition from Vermont to Vail Mountain’s Golden Peak beginning in 2013, the news was met with a mix of shock and excitement that reverberated around the town of Vail and the snowsports industry. Would the same slopes that fostered talents like Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin really be the right fit for a snowboarding competition? And if so, did Vail really want to be inundated with snowboarders (the horror!)? Fast forward five years, and the 36th annual Burton US Open is set to kick off Monday, March 5 through Saturday, March 10 – with a $86,000 infusion in funding from the Town of Vail – as one of the resort’s biggest winter events that annually draws hoards of locals, thirtysomething Front Rangers (who grew up idolizing the likes of US Open regulars Shaun White and Danny Davis) and curious families on spring break who quickly realize the course at Golden Peak is the place to be during their week in Vail.
Some of the best snowboarders from around the world make their way to the Vail Valley for the Burton US Open’s halfpipe and slopestyle competitions, and fresh off the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, spectators have a chance to catch a glimpse of Team USA (and a who’s who of international competitors) on our home snow. Crowd favorites to look for in the men’s halfpipe competition include Shaun White (and his main competition from PyeongChang, silver medalist Ayumu Hirano), Eagle native Jake Pates, Olympic bronze medalist Scotty James, and Team USA athlete Ben Ferguson. The ladies’ halfpipe competition boasts a similarly stocked field, with Team USA representatives from PyeongChang Kelly Clark, bronze medal winner Arielle Gold, and gold medalist Chloe Kim all dropping in for the event.
Last year's slopestyle champs, Anna Gasser of Austria (PyeongChang’s inaugural Big Air gold medalist) and Canadian Mark McMorris (fresh off an Olympic slopestyle bronze) and Team USA’s two-time slopestyle gold medalist Jamie Anderson will be back for this year’s competition, where she’s expected to battle it out with Gasser for the top podium spot. The men's field also has plenty of notable names, including the aforementioned McMorris, and the 17-year-old from Silverthorne, Red Gerard, who won Team USA’s first gold in PyeongChang for slopestyle (we're guessing his fan base will be making its way over Vail Pass, too); expect some fierce competition (and upsets!) from the Olympians that missed out on the podium in South Korea.
And while the Open is an all snowboarding event – unlike national competitions like the Dew Tour and X Games – there’s plenty of ways to fit in with the crowd even if you prefer two planks to one. How? We’ve broken down the whole week’s schedule of concerts, autograph signings, après-ski soirees and after parties so you can plan accordingly, and, of course, catch every minute of high-flying action along the way.
Can’t Miss Music Lineups
Monophonics and Dangermuffin
Wednesday, March 7, 6 p.m., Solaris Concert Stage
Need some soul in your life? Psychedelic funk masters the Monophics hit the stage at the Solaris, with electric rock four-piece Dangermuffin closing out the night.
Pigeons Playing Ping Pong
Thursday, March 8, 6 p.m., Solaris Concert Stage
Don’t miss this Baltimore-based crew’s high-energy, psychedelic funk performance that is sure to have the crowd smiling and grooving throughout the night.
Børns and Madaila
Friday, March 9, 6 p.m., Solaris Concert Stage
Michigan's Garret Borns (Børns) first hit it big with singles like “Electric Love” off his first album, and he'll joined by fellow psychadelic pop five-piece Madaila on the main stage at Solaris on Friday night.
Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Itation Sound DJ Nickel B + Tosheba
Saturday, March 10, 6 p.m., Solaris Concert Stage
Bob Marley’s youngest son Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley brings the dancehall to Solaris, with Burlington, Vermont-based Itation Sound DJ Nickel B (staples on the Reggae scene since 1998) keeping the island vibes going throughout the night.
DJ Hedspin, DeeJay Theory and DJ Cre8
Saturday, March 10, 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Dobson Ice Arena
The week goes out with a bang at Dobson Ice Arena, where a trio of world-renowned DJs play for a rocking full house well after competitions come to a close at the end of the day.
Late Night Small Venues
If you're looking for a more intimate setting to take in the week's concerts, consider catching one (or all) of Burton's shows at Bridge Street's Shakedown Bar (new to this year's event). shakedownbarvail.com
Monday, March 5, 10 p.m., Shakedown Bar
Eddie Roberts Super Jam
Tuesday, March 6, 9 p.m., Shakedown Bar
Wednesday, March 7, 10 p.m., Shakedown Bar
Après All Day: Dean Ween and Friends
Thursday, March 8, 4 p.m., Shakedown Bar
New Orleans Suspects
Thursday, March 8, 10 p.m., Shakedown Bar
Friday, March 9, 10 p.m., Shakedown Bar
Brothers Keeper with Special Guest Dean Ween
Saturday, March 10, 10 p.m., Shakedown Bar
Burton US Open Headquarters
With all the action going down at Golden Peak, neighboring Manor Vail and its onsite restaurant The Fitz are home to giveaways, après-ski parties, and plenty of athlete sightings all weekend long. manorvail.com
Après Every Day at The Fitz
12 to 10 p.m. Monday, March 5 through Saturday, March 10
If you can't miss a minute of competition, consider bellying up to the bar at The Fitz, which will be serving $6 Jack Daniel's, Stoli vodka, and Red Bull cocktails all week long. $4 Pacifico pints will also be on the menu, with raffle tickets for a snowboard giveaway at the end of the week for each draft purchased.
Jack Daniel's Virtual Reality Booth
Friday, March 9, 4 to 6 p.m.
Jack Daniel's will be setting up a virtual reality booth above the Fitz in Manor Vail, where would-be whiskey connoisseurs can get a virtual distillery tour (and sip on whiskey while they do it).
Burton Snowoard Giveaway
Saturday, March 10, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Anyone who spent the week sucking down pints of Pacifico to stack up raffle tickets has a chance at winning a custom Pacifico/Burton US Open snowboard, one of 25 made.
Extras Around Vail
From face time with Olympians to a closing night dance party at Dobson Ice Arena, and everything in between to fill in the week. events.burton.com
Wednesday, March 7
Olympic Rider Welcome
6:20pm, Solaris Concert Stage
Chill Fundraising Party
8:30 p.m., Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum
Thursday, March 8
Burton Team Autograph Session
4:30 p.m., the Burton Store at the Arrabelle, Lionshead Village
Friday, March 9
Burton Girls Ride and Après
1 p.m., Burton Girls Tent, Sponsor Village, Golden Peak
Meet the Burton Olympic Halfpipe Team
3:30 p.m., Burton Pop-Up Store, Golden Peak
Saturday, March 10
Ride with the Burton Team
12:30 p.m. Burton Pop-Up Store, Golden Peak
Burton Closing Party
9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Dobson Ice Arena