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Bozeman’s summer music and art festivals are back.

After a very different 2020 celebration and no major festival, Bozeman’s own Sweet Pea Festival and SLAM Festival, always held outdoors on the same weekend in August, are gearing up for a busy weekend.

“Sweet Pea has been a community tradition for 44 years and it is such a great place to gather with your neighbors, with your friends,” said Kris Olenicki, Sweet Pea’s executive director. “It’s just Bozeman, a part of the fabric of our community.”

While much more similar to the 2019 events than the spread out, small or virtual events of 2020, both festivals will look a little different this year compared to years past.

At Sweet Pea in Lindley Park, wristbands and day passes will only be available for purchase at the box office at the main gate, not at every entrance as has been the case in years past. That will not only help those entrances get people inside the festival faster, but will also mean that fewer volunteers are needed at the gates, Olenicki said.

The festival at Lindley Park is scheduled to take place Aug. 6-8, but Sweet Pea has events going all week and beyond. Tuesday’s Chalk on the Walk drew families to downtown Bozeman to add a little color to the sidewalks with chalk provided by the festival; Wednesday night’s Bite of Bozeman will have about 25 food vendors lining Main Street; and Thursday night’s Music on Main is Sweet Pea-sponsored and will be the last chance to grab three-day wristbands at the presale price.

There will also be fewer vendors than usual at Wednesday’s Bite of Bozeman event, but that will give the existing vendors and attendees a little more space.

“We want people to feel good and feel comfortable and enjoy being outside. Thankfully, that’s a good place to be,” Olenicki said. “We totally realize we’re still in a pandemic situation here.”

SLAM, or Support Local Artists and Musicians, is scheduled for Aug. 7 at three locations this year: Bogert Park, Story Mansion Park and the Emerson Lawn. All three locations will have food available, and each will have a different kind of live art or literary demonstration.

Callie Miller, the executive director of SLAM, said the three locations instead of one centralized spot are in an effort to allow audience and artists to spread out as much as possible and to follow the Gallatin City-County Health Department’s recommendation for social distancing.

“We’re trying to follow their recommendations while still easing our toe back into public events,” she said.

Lots of SLAM’s artists this year are from the Gallatin County region, as opposed to further-flung edges of the state, Miller said. In total, there will be more than 45 artists spread out at the three locations that will comprise the free festival this year.

“SLAM is a good opportunity to talk to the artists about their creative process. You have an opportunity to learn more about everything that’s being created,” she said. “This is a really great opportunity to develop relationships with local artists.”

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Callie Miller's title. Miller is the executive director of SLAM festival. 

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at or at (406) 582-2651.

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