Sundance Film Festival Tips: Planning and Event Advice for Visitors

Each January, Park City, Utah, welcomes over 70,000 celebrities and film fans to the Sundance Film Festival. Hosted by the Sundance Institute, founded over 35 years ago, the event strives to promote the discovery and support new artists in the U.S. and worldwide. The festival has achieved that goal and more, becoming one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world as noted by Conde Nast Traveler and Mental Floss Magazine. To plan a successful trip, read these Sundance Film Festival tips and prepare for an unforgettable event.

Sundance Film Festival Tips: Plan, Watch and Enjoy

sundance film festival tips theaters

Photo: stemoc

Location Information

Park City is located 33 miles outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. Visitors can book flights into Salt Lake City International Airport, which serves over 90 destinations around the world. Private flights are available through Herber City Airport, only a 20-minute drive to Park City.

Once guests arrive in Park City, shuttle service and vehicle rental options are available for getting around the city. Important note: Venues do not allow on-site parking. To eliminate stress and traffic congestion, Park City Transportation offers a free shuttle for traveling between venues, providing visitors a convenient ride option.

Buy Sundance Film Festival Tickets

Festival-goers have several ticket options ranging in price and accessibility. Tickets usually pre-sale in early October, so it’s best to plan early because they sell out quickly. Ticket costs range from $75-$150 for students to Utah resident local packages to full-access passes. Sundance Circle members and Utah residents receive first pick on tickets and passes, and tickets are on sale until sold out. Get Sundance Film Festival tickets.

sundance film festival vacation rental

Lodging and Rental Accommodations

Sundance Film Festival works with over 50 area hotels and condos, all selected by Park City Municipal. However, many property management companies offer vacation rental deals, especially for last-minute bookings. Guests are encouraged to shop around for the best rates and have a large selection, including one-bedroom condos to four-bedroom homes. Most vacation rentals in Park City also offer proximity to attractions, sites and other things to do. View Park City vacation rentals and prices.

Sundance Theaters and Venues

Due to the size of the Sundance Film Festival, the event occurs at several different venues and theaters in Park City. Visitors will find headquarters at Park City Marriott where they can take the shuttle to 15 theaters showing new films and independent movies. Park City theaters include Eccles, Egyptian, Holiday Village Cinemas, The MARC and Redstone. Most, if not all, theaters do not offer parking, and all theaters are ADA accessible.

sundance film festival celebrities park city

Photo: Dora Britt

What to Watch at Sundance Film Fest

Each year the film program and events change, and the Institute releases the full program in December. Film examples include documentaries, dramas, kids, shorts and midnight showings. Other things to do at Sundance Film Festival range from panels to live music and conversations at the Music Cafe and Cinema Cafe.

Utah residents also have the opportunity to attend the Summer Film Series, which offers free movie screenings to the public. Townie Tuesdays also provides free screenings to Summit County residents with tickets available at the Park City Box Office.

In addition to film screenings, visitors attend educational workshops and labs for independent artists working in film, new media and TV/online content. Also, don’t forget to watch for celebrities and have the camera ready!

Volunteer Opportunities

The Sundance Film Festival would not operate as well without the help of over 2,000 volunteers. These people assist in all areas and receive benefits, such as joining the first audiences to see world premieres and meet attendees from all over the world. The Sundance volunteer program provides one film voucher for every four hours worked as well as flexible schedules. All volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and fill out an application.

Looking for more things to do in Park City? Read about the top Park City tours.