The moment you walked through the gates this past weekend, you soon realized this particular festival was going to be unique, and it was. Walking the grounds of Grandoozy on the freshly cut Overland Park grass, Denverites could choose from a plethora of activities to engage in while the smells of tasty treats from local food trucks and curators wafted through the air. There were Colorado-based companies and artists in every element of the festival: food, drink, shopping, art, non-profits, and even onstage.
It was a pleasure to just sit back and observe the surroundings at times. There were couples, there were old friends reconnecting, and there were new friends conversing. Many of the festival-goers we spoke to lived in or around Denver, but some traveled to meet up with Colorado friends for the fest. It was clear that this community held a unique vibe, though it is one that is just beginning. Friends were laughing with each other and parents were dancing with their children. Grandoozy had something for everyone, whether you came for the music, the experiences, or just to chill. With Grandoozy’s relaxing vibes and Denver-focused curation, this festival was a serious Colorado hit.
Whether we were watching Bishop Briggs smiling as she ran onstage, a couple dancing together during the Florence and the Machine set, or a group of friends grabbing a beer together at the “Arts & Crafts” tent, Grandoozy brought Denver’s people together. Across the field, concertgoers were throwing frisbees with a beer in hand; others relaxed in the festival’s ample shade. People were content and were just living and the overall energy of the fest was calm, genuine, and pure. Of course there were moments of explosive energy, like during Kendrick Lamar’s headlining set or The Chainsmokers’ wild pyrotechnics. But overall, Grandoozy became its own little oasis for the weekend in a choose-your-own adventure sort of way. There was an immense amount of beauty in enjoying the entirety of the concert experience while witnessing other people savor in this atmosphere just as much as we did. Grandoozy has fostered a very cultivated Denver community, unrivaled and alluring for the Mile High audience.
Messages of friendship and acceptance were abound onstage throughout the festival as well, like when Mavis Staples quoted the The Staple Singers during her set saying, “Reach Out. Touch a Hand. Make a Friend” or when Florence Welch of Florence & the Machine paused her set to tell the audience to hold each other’s hands or to hug the person next to them. Stevie Wonder even concluded the festival with, “Let’s make love great again.” These were the core tenets of Grandoozy, and shining moments throughout the festival. All of the artists conveyed a strong message of unity in these divisive and difficult times
Overall, this is a festival living up to its namesake. It was grand, and it was a doozy. Its size and magnitude for a Colorado music festival are unparalleled and huge milestone for the community. Though it may be corporate owned, Grandoozy did a wonderful job of including local partners, vendors, and musicians in their fest, which is one reason so many felt right at home. Here at BolderBeat, we’re very thankful to have attended the first-ever Grandoozy and look forward to many years of doozyin’ to come.
Read more of our Grandoozy festival coverage here.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. Header photo per FilmMagic.com.