Tao Park City: Where Music Stars Play & Party at Sundance

Seth Browarnik
Nas performs at TAO Nightclub Sundance on Jan. 19, 2013 in New York City. 

At the Sundance Film Festival, stars can be found on the big screen, on Main Street, and in the club -- specifically one in particular. The annual Tao Park City late-night pop-up, presented by Tequila Don Julio, will celebrate it's 12th anniversary this year with a brand-new space, one that heralds a certain benchmark of success for the offshoot of the celebrity watering hole.

Tao and its original outposts (which include locations in New York City and Las Vegas, and venues Marquee, LAVO and Avenue) have become beacons for celebrities during the wee hours, and the Tao Park City pop-up, which will move from The Lift to a space called The Yard, is no exception.

"There's nowhere else to go late at night. We fill a specific void," explains co-owner Noah Tepperberg, who owns Tao Hospitality with his partners Rich Wolf, Jason Strauss and Marc Packer. "People don't want to go home at 1 a.m. They want to hang out; they want to do business. We host influential and well-connected people.” 

Tepperberg isn't kidding: Over the past 12 years, since Tao Park City has expanded from a ticketed concert series to a private event, their exclusive guest list has attracted the best of the best of Sundance, including Pharrell, Maroon 5 and 50 Cent (who all performed in the early days of the pop-up), Zoe Kravitz,  Diplo, Lil Jon and Nick and Joe Jonas. Those lucky enough to get into what is commonly referred to as "the parking garage" in the past, have been able to see intimate moments between celebrities such as Aubrey O'Day bouncing up and down on CeeLo Green's lap; Margot Robbie locking lips with Alexander Skaarsgard; and Shialene Woodley dancing on a table top. Nas, Rick Ross and Kaskade have all performed as the clock ticked past 1 a.m., and this year, clubgoers can expect Friday night DJ sets by Vice and Equal, and Saturday will be Mel Debarge and Devin Lucien. DJ Ruckus will also perform on Sunday. 

"DJ Vice is a resident at Tao. He's played every single Sundance. He's like family,” said Tepperberg, who added that guests can also look forward to some surprise performances by musicians who are on the "Grammy winner" level. 

The new space, The Yard, will be over 10,000 square feet and be able to accommodate approximately 100 more people than The Lift. The new space has been custom-built off-site and shipped in from California and Las Vegas. "We just outgrew it again," explained Tepperberg.

Sundance 2017