Same Same But Different Music Festival Returns for a Second Year to Perris Beach, CA

By: Benjamin Tillis

After a successful inaugural year of the Southern California music festival, Same Same But Different (SSBD), we are excited to see that the two-day arts and music event is returning for a second year. Taking place September 20 and 21 at Perris Beach, CA, which IS 90 minutes from both Los Angeles and San Diego, SSBD just released its funk and jam focused musical lineup, and now we simply cannot wait to attend.

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The weekend’s headliners are Baauer and Beats Antique, and they will be joined by Turkauz, Exmag, Cofresi, Megan Hamilton, and CAPYAC. Beats Antique is a favorite on the list, an electronic trio that incorporates sounds from all over the world with a focus on Middle Eastern beats. David Satori, who plays guitar among many other instruments for Beats Antique, also performed at last year’s Same Same But Different as part of his other musical project, Dirtwire.

There are other names from last year’s lineup that are returning this year, and we’re not sad about it! Those names include, CAPYAC, an LA-based funk band that plays to a beat of its own, Fashion Jackson, a San Diego-based garage pop group who gained our fandom last year when they played their rock-heavy but humorous song “Gossamer,” and MDRN HSTRY, another group out of San Diego that plays surf rock.

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With just one band or artist playing on one of two stages at a time, SSBD is unique in that you can truly see every artist if you want to. And the crowd is very small, so you never have a bad seat or feel too crowded. On top of that, Same Same takes place on a beautiful beach under the California sun. What else can you ask for from a music festival?

We are very excited about this year’s festival and are already counting down the days! For more information, visit the fest’s website.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

3 Lasting Takeaways from Lightning in a Bottle 2019

By: Benjamin Tillis

On Monday, May 13, over 15,000 attendees of Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) music and arts festival departed their five day home of Buena Vista Lake outside of Los Angeles to return to their regular lives. But not everything is simply back to normal. If other festival goers had a similar experience to what my camping group and I had, which I’m sure they did, then they not only returned home with countless great memories, but also a new vibrant energy and attitude on life.

LIB glow up energy. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

LIB glow up energy. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

I was lucky enough to attend the festival as part of a 20-person camping group, many of whom I had never met before. But by the end of the weekend, and really by day two, there was a distinct and strong bond between everyone, and it’s no fluke.

It’s because if you were to remove from LIB the great music, the learning workshops and yoga, the delicious food, and the parties, you would still be left with something special: thousands of people coming together around art, creativity, mindfulness, compassion, and fun! The festival creates a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that makes meeting new people and building on current relationships easy and natural.

Campsite times. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Campsite times. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

And of course, the music and other activities are why we’re all there in the first place. It’s what we create these amazing experiences around. Most importantly, I believe it’s the following three aspects that make LIB the amazing festival that it is, and allowed me to become so close to, and have such an incredible time with, the group I attended the festival with.

Dance dance. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Dance dance. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

1. The Music and Dancing - Lightning in a Bottle curates an incredibly diverse musical lineup. It opens you up to different music tastes and styles, and introduces you to types of music you would never listen to. In addition to that, no stage is ever packed with people, and the crowd is so welcoming that you feel zero pressure or judgement when you dance. More so than any other festival I’ve attended, people are moving to the music however they see fit. Dance is a way for us to interact and communicate with each other in a purely physical sense. It lets us feel things and play with one another. Through dance, one can create a unique bond with a total stranger, or get to know a close friend in a different way than usual. By cultivating a space that welcomes all sorts of dance and movement, LIB made it easy for us to go out of our comfort zones and get down!

Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

2. The Workshops and Art - During the daytime, Lightning in a Bottle hosts countless speakers and workshops on an endless amount of topics. Researches and teachers who are leaders in their respective fields of research share ideas and thoughts that you’ll have never heard before. In addition to that, there are amazing art installations throughout the festival. One notable one was a duo who deconstructed a piano and turned it into a new musical instrument that resembled a harp. You could go inside of it and have others strum the strings, creating a really cool experience for the person inside the instrument.

Typically, the time we spend with our friends is purely social. Being able to learn new ideas with each other and experience artistic creativity can be a new experience that helps you learn more about one another.

Lakeside at LIB. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Lakeside at LIB. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

3. Camping and Nature - Buena Vista Lake is beautiful. The festival grounds have green grass and there's a gorgeous lake and pretty sandy beaches. And when you’re camping with a large group, you’re there as a team! Different people contribute differently to the group, and everyone is valued. Essentially, you are surviving as one unit, and that will naturally bring people closer. We cooked breakfast for each other in the morning, cooled down and washed off in the lake, and prepped for the evening activities with fun pre-games. It felt like we were all part of one tribe. All of this said, LIB is something that could absolutely be enjoyed solo. I spent most of my Sunday roaming the festival alone and I made new friends quickly. In fact, it could open one up to make new connections more than someone who’s already surrounded by a crew of friends.

I understand now why festivals like Lightning in a Bottle are referred to as “transformative”. I feel like I’ve gone through noticeable growth and have a better understanding of myself and my old and new friends. Truth be told, I’ve been on a complete high ever since the festival, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Don’t miss out on the incredible time next year, and stay tuned for news on early bird tickets here!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Lightning in a Bottle Is One Transformative Experience You Shouldn't Miss

By: Benjamin Tillis

Lightning in a Bottle (LIB), Southern California’s hidden gem of a “transformative” music festival, took place last weekend from May 8-12 at Buena Vista Lake, a few hours north of Los Angeles. This year was the first time LIB took place at this venue and not on Memorial Day Weekend, which led to attendees being wary about what to expect. But it is safe to say the festival was a huge success. Lightning in a Bottle continues to be one of the best music festivals out there and something that truly everyone should experience, and here’s why:

The Music

If you look at Lightning in a Bottle’s lineups, you will definitely see names you know and love. This year, those names included Disclosure, Big Gigantic, Santigold, Flying Lotus, and Toro Y Moi. But more than other festivals, LIB curates music that is so diverse and exciting to listen to- and watch.

Flying Lotus. Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

Flying Lotus. Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

The festival is made up of 7 main stages. Some of the most popular are Lightning Stage and Thunder Stage, where most headliners play. But then there’s Woogie, a bass-lover’s paradise. There are people who come to the festival with full intentions to be at Woogie for the entire festival. And on the other end of the spectrum is my personal favorite, Grand Artique. Grand Artique is the brainchild of a thrift shop in San Diego and has become a staple at LIB. It is so much more than a stage for music. Grand Artique creates a setting that takes you back to the early 1900s and has a distinct “Western” feel. They host one-of-a-kind jam bands and this year that included Ozomatli and WC Thornbush & The Great American Show, as well as talent shows and interactive theater and games.

As opposed to other music festivals where hype is built around certain artists, it seems like discovering new music is what is really encouraged at Lightning in a Bottle. It is safe to say that my three favorite acts were ones I hadn’t heard of and didn’t plan to see. The group that stole the show out of nowhere for me was My Baby. Closing out the night until 4:00AM at Grand Artique, this trio hailing from The Netherlands got the whole crowd going wild. They brought a new energy to psychedelic rock, and people were dancing like crazy.

Clozee and Hellmana. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Clozee and Hellmana. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Other great acts were Clozee, the French DJ who spins incredibly exotic music. Clozee played alongside Hellamana, a fire eating group of acrobatic dancers.

Elohim. Photo Credit: JLB

Elohim. Photo Credit: JLB

Also very fun to watch was, Elohim, an electro-pop DJ and singer who relates to her fans by getting real about mental illness with her lyrics, while also singing incredibly upbeat songs with hooks like “I got love f*ck your money,” “I just wanna go where love is alive,” and “Don’t half love me, love me all the way.” It’s notable that these three best performers (in my opinion) are all females or projects led by a female. The festival does a great job of diversifying their lineup in regards to gender, where artists are from, and genres of music.

The Workshops

During the day you can roam around the festival grounds finding endless music and entertainment. But if you want to go a different route, there are plenty of workshops and classes taking place. This is what truly makes LIB the transformative festival that it is. There are 11 “Arts and Culture” tents/stages that host amazing experiences like a Cacao Ceremony, meditations, and classes on things like painting, keto diets, hula-hooping, and the list goes on. On top of this, there were two tents hosting yoga throughout the weekend.

Vibes. Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

Vibes. Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

One of the most impactful and unique workshops I experienced was Psychedelic Breath & Meditation, lead by Anne Marie Kramer. Just through breathing exercises and partnered activities, a group of around 100 people who hadn’t known each other before became very connected and vulnerable together. It was something I had never experienced before, and it set me up for an incredible last day of the festival.

These countless workshops allow one to really grow over the weekend at LIB. They’re a great way to meet like-minded people or really put yourself out there to learn about something new. These are highly recommended for those who attend next year’s Lightning in a Bottle!

The Atmosphere

The past several years of Lightning in a Bottle took place at Lake San Antonio, about halfway between San Francisco and LA. The grounds had rolling hills that really made you feel disconnected and free from the real world. Many long-time LIB attendees feared the new grounds would take away from this feeling. But this year, we learned it’s not the venue that gives LIB its special vibes, but the people and artists. For five days straight, LIBers roamed the grounds with smiles on their faces and positive attitudes. People came to share a new experience with new people. It was easy to open up, meet new people, dance how you want, and roam freely without any judgement.

Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

Photo Credit: Jess Bernstein

On top of that, although it lacked the typical hills of LIB, the new venue was beautiful. There’s a giant lake with plenty of beachy shoreline with breathtaking hills in the distance and green grass on the grounds. During the hot, sunny days, you could go to the lake and party with new friends. Or you could go to the stages and dance alongside people who couldn’t be happier to be there.

Even when it rained the first night, everyone was there working as a team, providing shelter to those who needed it, while many didn’t let the weather get to them and just kept dancing in the mud and wetness. It was a site to see!

Photo Credit: JLB.

Photo Credit: JLB.

Days after leaving the festival I still feel like I am on cloud nine. LIB allows you to get to know yourself and others better than you could imagine. It gives you a better sense of self. And a stronger connection to those around you.

Lightning in a Bottle truly is a transformative experience filled with amazing art and people. I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind event, LIB is for you. Look out for details on LIB 2020 at https://lightninginabottle.org.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.


KAABOO Del Mar's Music Lineup Perfectly Combines New and Old

By: Benjamin Tillis

We may be in the thick of spring, but who isn’t counting down the days until summer and summer festival season? One we’re most excited for is the return of KAABOO Del Mar in sunny San Diego. This three day festival prides itself on providing a premium experience compared to other festivals because it focuses on “comfort, hospitality, and good times.” It’s true. The camp grounds are clean, roomy, and filled with friendly faces who are happy to be there.

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Aside from music, KAABOO features delicious food served by trendy restaurants in the area, and they invite world famous chefs to lead workshops for festival goers. Additionally, you can see some of today’s top comics, as they host a full comedy lineup. This year’s laughs lineup includes Pete Holmes, Bert Kreischer, Bob Saget, Wayne Brady, and Tig Notaro.

But we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t the music lineup that has us most excited, especially because of how unique it is compared to other festivals this year. KAABOO’s list of artists provides an incredibly eclectic mix of up-and-coming artists while also booking headliners who have been at the top of their genre for decades.

Bert Kreischer.

Bert Kreischer.

First, let’s start with the classic names. Some of the biggest headliners this year are Dave Matthews Band, Mumford & Sons, Duran Duran, Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg, Wu-Tang Clan, The Bangles, Boyz II Men, REO Speedwagon, and Silversun Pickups. That list alone is packed with musical legends, some of whom haven’t played live in years. It will be a real treat to see these artists underneath the Southern California sun.

Duran Duran.

Duran Duran.

Additionally, KAABOO always has a great eye for fresh artists who are doing something new and exciting. Performers this year include Con Brio, Griz Folk, Cash Cash, Cheat Codes, and Keuning. These musicians are relatively new to the game, with the exception of Keuning, the lead guitarist of The Killers who has recently begun his own solo career.

Overall, we cannot wait to see what KAABOO has in store for us. Learn more about the festival here.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Denver's Underground Music Showcase Announced Their Entire Lineup Today

Denver’s favorite music event of the summer is back for 2019! Get all of the details:

Who: The Underground Music Showcase (UMS), Denver’s largest and most iconic music festival, just announced the full 2019 lineup and will once again bring an array of acclaimed national and local artists, creatively curated stages, and host endless surprises across the three-day showcase.

From Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28, the 19th annual Underground Music Showcase will return to the historic and hip Broadway corridor just south of downtown Denver.

What:  The just announced 2019 UMS lineup, with performances by more than 200 artists, includes national headliners Honne, Chicano Batman, Black Mountain, Tuxedo, Earthgang, and Still Woozy.

Supporting artists include Empress Of, Yves Tumor, DRAMA, Sophie Meiers, LEIKELI47, Y La Bamba, Gardens & Villa, William Elliott Whitmore, Miya Folick, Tessa Violet, Haviah Mighty, Liza Anne, Spooky Mansion, Greyhounds, Dressy Bessy, DBUK, SWSH, Kainalu, Jackie Mendoza, Clavvs, Rapperchicks, Rich Jones, Divino Niño, Parallelephants, Deezie Brown, Garrett T Capps and more and more than 200 acts from across Colorado. View the full lineup here.

When: Friday, July 26 – Sunday, July 28

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“UMS is a strong representation of all types of music. This year’s lineup of national and local bands was strategically designed to showcase the volume of musically talented individuals Denver has grown while also inviting some national acts to crash the party. Denver’s music scene is growing and shaping into something special, something worth putting Denver on the map as a nationally recognized ‘music city.’ We have put our heart and soul into ensuring UMS helps grow that positive image for all Denver artists while keeping the soul of this underground music community alive.”

— TOBIAS KRAUSE, EVENT DIRECTOR OF UNDERGROUND MUSIC SHOWCASE

Photo Credit:   Nikki Rae Photography

Photo Credit: Nikki Rae Photography

Where: The Underground Music Showcase takes place in a multitude of venues along Broadway, in Denver, Colorado. More details on specific stages and locations will be announced closer to the festival.

Three-day weekend tickets are now available for $50. The three-day weekend tickets include general admission access to all musical performances and all stages, all weekend long. To purchase tickets, please visit: https://www.undergroundmusicshowcase.com/tickets.

Why: Denver is on its way to becoming a globally recognized music city with locally organized festivals like UMS leading the shift towards more immersive, live music events. UMS is the perfect representation of the vastness of incredibly talented artists from in and around the Denver metro area, showcasing the city’s growing music scene.

Two Parts purchased UMS from The Denver Post Community Foundation in January 2018. Since taking over the festival, Two Parts has worked to expand the number of outdoor stages and experiences and to continue building on the success of the past 18 years.

Grab your presales here!

Complete Your Next Festival Look with an Easy Ink Semi-Permanent Tattoo

Just in time for festival season, Easy Ink has created a revolutionary series of semi-permanent tattoos. Made of 100% natural ingredients, Easy Ink’s collection features large and small temporary tattoo options, along with a freehand ink kit, so festival attendees can create their own designs on the go.

Easy Ink’s “Solitude” design.

Easy Ink’s “Solitude” design.

At BolderBeat, our team tried four designs, ranging in size from small to large. Each application was pretty easy. Every Easy Ink piece comes with an instruction booklet and the proper application “tools” including an alcohol pad, a patch remover liquid, an adhesive remover, and a soap towelette. The whole process is 12-steps but is far less complicated than the number makes it sound. Our Easy Ink tattoo sets also came with directions to store the designs in the freezer prior to application to ensure they remained intact before use. Easy Ink’s designs can last up to a few weeks depending on how well you take care of your design during and after application. Our team’s full tattoo time varied between 1-2 weeks.

Easy Ink’s Rosales.

Easy Ink’s Rosales.

Easy Ink’s designs are a fun way to accessorize your next festival or concert getup, or to test out a design or tattoo placement prior to inking yourself permanently. The brand features everything from tiny, delicate designs like the Rosales to larger statement pieces like the Maori.

Take your festival look to the next level this summer without the permanence, cost, or hassle of real ink. A single tattoo from Easy Ink ranges in price from $14 to $23, so snag your next tat here today!

Lightning in a Bottle Releases Incredible Lineup, Offers Much More Than Just Music

By: Benjamin Tillis

Now taking place in Buena Vista Lake in central California, two hours north of Los Angeles, Lightning in a Bottle will host 20,000 attendees from May 8th-13th this year, instead of its typical Memorial Day Weekend dates.

After festival creator DoLab announced a new date, location, and capacity for their “transformative festival,” LIB fans were anxious to see the Phase 1 lineup released February 15th. It is safe to say people were pleased.

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The biggest names on Lightning in a Bottle’s Phase 1 lineup for its Lightning, Woogie, and Thunder stages include Disclosure, who went silent after releasing their last full album, 2015’s Caracal, along with Big Gigantic, Santigold, Lane 8, G Jones, and Polish Ambassador.

This year the festival also seems to appeal to a more indie jazz vibe with musicians like Toro y Moi, Khruangbin, and a much anticipated “3D” set from Flying Lotus topping the lineup.

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There are still two stage lineups that have yet to be announced, Pagoda and The Grand Artique, which bring one of a kind musicians and theatrical acts you won’t see at any other festival.

DoLab does a great job year after year of bringing in unique and up and coming artists, but they also curate a festival with so much more than music. With a focus on sustainability, social cohesion, personal health, and creative expression, there is so much to experience at Lightning in a Bottle, including yoga classes, sound baths, and creative workshops. It truly creates its own culture that encourages you to express yourself however you feel.

For more information on the festival and for tickets, check out LIB’s website.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

How We Found a Lakeside Musical Paradise at the Inaugural Same Same But Different Festival

By: Benjamin Tillis

Allocating your festival budget just got a little more difficult for Southern Californians, as Same Same But Different Festival proved to be yet another music and camping focused experience you do not want to miss. SSBD took place last weekend at Lake Perris and it was truly a perfect time and place to spend a couple of days outside, meeting fun people and listening to great music.

Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Starting with the setting, Lake Perris is 90-minutes east of both San Diego and Los Angeles. The campgrounds are covered with green grass, shady trees, and a large beach leading up to a gigantic lake. It’s a place festival goers could be found doing yoga on paddleboards, making friends in the sand, or partying at the “Coconut Club,” a dance party that began around noon and went until sunrise each night.

The amenities were perfect at SSBD. Even for General Admission campers, there were plenty of indoor restrooms, outdoor showers, canopies, and grills to make the most of your camping experience. Though the temperature went above 90 degrees during the day, it was bearable with the lake and the fact that it cooled down to below 60 degrees each evening.

Boombox. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Boombox. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Because this was the festival’s inaugural year, it was no surprise that crowds were small, but this wasn’t a bad thing. Saturday early evening sets like The Routine and The Family Crest saw intimate crowds of around 100 people. But the actual festival grounds weren’t too spread out, so you could find another 200 people hanging around nearby or getting a bite to eat while still listening and moving to the music. Anyone near the stage though was having a blast. Most were barefoot and frollicking around in the grass. It was clear that this was an open space focused on music, dancing, and community.

Lettuce. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Lettuce. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Attendees on Saturday seemed most excited for Lettuce, which saw the largest crowd of the weekend. Their set was no let down, as people went absolutely crazy during the fan favorite “Do It Like You Do.” Later in the night was the funky, pink-boa-wearing duo Boombox, as well as Late Night Radio, an impressive and entertaining DJ whose past experience includes playing drums for Pretty Lights.

Sunday was yet another great day of shows, but it was clear that those who had to work Monday scrambled out a little early. This only added to the personal feeling of this festival though. The combination of the small community and the fact that only one show played at a time meant that you were bound to find all of your new friends dancing in one place.

Sunday’s music began with San Diego’s Fashion Jackson, a garage punk group that was unique and entertaining. The group ended their set with their song “Gossamer.” They invited their friends on stage, jumping around to keep the energy high. It felt like an Odd Future show and was exhilarating to watch for those in the crowd.

The festival closing bands all had something unique to bring to Same Same But Different. These acts included one-of-a-kind CAPYAC; Dirtwire, who must have played over 20 different instruments throughout the course of the show; Moon Hooch, who kept everyone moving with their funky horns; The Floozies, an endless dance party that included an interesting cover of Kanye West’s “Runaway”; and Colorado-based LYFTD, who closed out the festival sampling the catchy horns in the Outkast song “Spottieottiedopaliscious.”

After the shows, the artists weren’t afraid to mingle with attendees. You could find David Satori of Dirtwire and Beats Antique taking pictures with fans during The Floozies’ set, and the gentlemen of LYFTD were enjoying themselves at the festival’s late night dance parties after their show.

Through The Roots. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Through The Roots. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

Overall, Same Same But Different was a huge success. Logistically it was well organized, the music was great, and this festival attracted interesting and fun people. There is no doubt the festival will be significantly larger after attendees spread the word of the incredible time they had.

Do not miss out! Keep your eye out for SSBD!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Why Rock'n'Roll Won at This Year's KAABOO Del Mar Festival

KAABOO Del Mar. Photo per Alive Coverage.

KAABOO Del Mar. Photo per Alive Coverage.

This past weekend, KAABOO Del Mar Festival returned for its fourth year of bringing Southern California music fans together to celebrate and dance to musicians of all genres. Katy Perry brought the pop, Wiz Khalifa and Post Malone brought the hip hop, and Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power brought the funk. But even with these star-studded artists, it was evident that rock’n’roll stole the show this year to make the point that while your streaming service might disagree with us, rock’n’roll is alive and well.

Friday, the first day of the festival, Jimmy Eat World took the stage and set the precedent that although there were a handful of bands performing at the festival that haven’t seen a huge hit in the last decade or so, it does not mean they’re no longer making great music and giving one-of-a-kind live shows. Of course Jimmy Eat World stirred up plenty of energy in the crowd when they played classics like “Sweetness” and “The Middle,” but the group still received plenty of positive reception when they played their 2018 release “Love Never,” a song that seems to captivate everything people love about the band while still providing something new and never-before-heard.

Later on in the day, Calabasas, California band Incubus began their late afternoon set with zero apologies. Lead singer Brandon Boyd opened with arguably two of Incubus’ most rambunctious songs: “Anna Molly” and “Megalomaniac.” The energy stayed constant thereafter. For a group that has released only 40-minutes of new music in the past six years, it was surprising that the younger attendees of the festival were jumping and singing as if it was their favorite band growing up. It goes to show that these rock legends have created songs that remain memorable in the collective consciousness of American rock music.

Foo Fighters. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Foo Fighters. Photo per Alive Coverage.

To close out Friday night, Nirvana-alum-turned-Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl embodied rock’n’roll throughout the band’s set. It wasn’t just the classics he was playing that proved his incredible reign as a rock lord- originals like “Learn To Fly” and covers like Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust” were heard- but the sheer confidence and appearance that he was hardly trying, yet epicly succeeding in firing the crowd up really amped things up. At one point, teasing at his legendary status, Grohl yelled to the crowd, “We have 35 minutes left to play 116 songs!” At another point in the band’s set, a train loudly passed by, distracting the band and fans. Seizing the moment, the band played a one minute blues-sounding song just for kicks. It was just another example that proved these performers are professionals, and are still as lively and fun as ever.

Saturday was another rock-filled festival day, and this time with more of a focus on rock that is currently popular. Early in the day, Austin groove rock band Mamafesta brought a completely new style to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. With a hint of funk and plenty of jam band qualities in their sound, this melodic four piece group is one to definitely watch out for in the near future if you’re not already!

Imagine Dragons. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Imagine Dragons. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Closing out the second night were international stars Imagine Dragons. It seemed that the band played hit after hit for a full 90-minute set. Not only was the music good, but lead singer Dan Reynolds was simply inspiring. Speaking out about mental illness and suicide prevention, he acted as a true leader to the younger fans in the crowd. After his words of wisdom, once again the group got the crowd jumping with the epic number “Believer.

Sunday closed out with, you guessed it, even more rock, this time both new and old. Many fans stayed at the “MGM Resorts Grandview” stage from 3:00PM to festival close to see bands like The All American Rejects, Alice In Chains, and Robert Plant.

The All American Rejects did a great job of not taking themselves too seriously. Although the band played fan favorites like “Gives You Hell” and “It Ends Tonight,” they joked between songs that while they may not getting much radio play now, in the early 2000s, it was “hard to escape our music if you walked in a TJ Maxx.” Still, the group gave it their all and played new songs that they were clearly proud to perform.

Following All American Rejects was Alice In Chains, a band that had a larger crowd considering the KAABOO attendees were a bit older than other festivals. Alice In Chains did not disappoint, and it is safe to say that their hit song “Rooster” had the loudest-singing crowd of the festival.

Robert Plant. Photo per Alive Coverage.

Robert Plant. Photo per Alive Coverage.

As exhibited by a large number of KAABOOers walking around sporting Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant shirts, it was clear that Plant was the most anticipated act of Sunday, even while competing with Katy Perry during the headlining time slot. It was no surprise that Plant payed homage to Led Zeppelin by opening up with the tracks “Good Times, Bad Times” and “Lemon Song.” His 13-song setlist was filled with impressive guitar solos and a little headbanging. Closing with an artist from the iconic Led Zeppelin was the nail in the coffin that rock stole the show this year at KAABOO, and a sign that this genre will hopefully continue thriving at this festival!

Dates for 2019’s KAABOO have already been announced for the weekend of September 13th-15th. Get your early bird tickets and festival passes here! 

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Same Same But Different Festival Bringing New Vibes to Lake Perris This Weekend

By: Benjamin Tillis

As this year’s music festival season comes to a close, Southern California is graced with yet another music filled weekend. Same Same But Different, taking place 90-minutes east of Los Angeles and San Diego at Lake Perris this weekend September 22nd and 23rd, boasts much more than just music. They’ve got “camping, hiking, yoga, swimming, and interactive art” planned for the weekend as well.

With headliners Lettuce, The Floozies, and Boombox, the festival is bound to attract more free spirited and dance-loving festival goers, which should make for a fun and open experience. Other musical artists include Dirtwire, a country/dance fusion group that includes members from Beats Antique, and LYFTD, the Colorado-based electro-funk group. And although the music ends at 2:00AM both Saturday and Sunday, the dancing will go all night, with a late night dance party beginning right after the fest’s final headliner sets.

The visual artists whose work will be featured throughout the festival include Hannah Rowan and Krystal Dyer. Yoga and mindfulness workshops will also be taught by leaders in the community.

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It will be very interesting to see how having a lake in the middle of the grounds shapes the festival. It is very likely that most of the attendees will be taking it easy on the beach or in the water during the performers that they may not know as well, making this festival a great combination of a party and a relaxing vacation.

Bolder Beat can’t wait to attend this festival this weekend to get the inside scoop on what Same Same But Different Festival has to offer, and we are confident it will not disappoint. Tickets still available here.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Five Experiences We Can't Wait to Try at Grandoozy

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Yes the music’s gonna be rad, but if you’re anything like us, you want to know what other exciting experiences you can check out at Denver’s Grandoozy this weekend. When you’re not sweltering for your favorite set, the three day festival (which still has weekend and day passes available here) has given you plenty of options to beat the heat with food, booze, art, yoga, and more! Check out some of what we’re stoked on:

Festival Food

When a festival as big as Grandoozy plants itself in your backyard, you tend to worry if you’ll be forced to eat shitty pizza while your friends nom funnel cakes for three days, but that time in life is over my friends. Grandoozy has partnered with a ton of local and national culinary artists to provide you with a seriously (lip)smacking buffet of deliciousness. Wondering who will be there for your taste buds? The mouthwatering includes: Adobo, ash Kara, Bar Dough, Barbed Wire Reef, Biju’s Little Curry Shop, Brider Rotisserie & Kitchen, Carbon + Habit Doughnut Dispensary, Comal Heritage Food Incubator, Generous Coffee, Highland Tap Burgers, Hippie Dips, Illegal Pete’s, Mac N’ Noodles, Maine Shack, Morin, OG Burgers, Peak Pops, Rocky Mountain Slices, Señor Bear, Snooze: an AM Eatery, Sol Tribe, Steuben’s, STK Denver, Stoney’s Bar & Grill, Sugarfire Smoke House, Sunshine Bowls, Super Heady Tacos, Sweet Cow Ice Cream, Torchy’s Tacos, and Ba Nom a Nom.

Flight School

Get ready to take off at Grandoozy’s craft cocktail Flight School.” Denver’s Chad Michael George, named one of Food & Wine’s Best Mixologists in 2016, will be on hand all weekend to serve you Smoky Spirits, Rhums of the World, an Agave Tour, and a Colorado Whiskey Flight. Each flight will consist of a series of different spirit tastings and four signature cocktails will be available too. Your thirst is calling.

Backyard Chats

If you’re looking for something a little more intimate and mind-stimulating, Grandoozy’s “Backyard Chats” in the 80’s Ski Lodge area of the fest will soothe your soul. Take a break in the shade and listen to discussions on topics around passion for the outdoors and business as activism. Panelists will include Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Blieler, environmental activists Amy Roberts and Alexander Boian, and Pro Slopestyle skier Bobby Brown. There will be a number of DJs on deck to keep the sounds flowing between panels too, making this a fun spot to learn and hang.

Yoga with a Beat

Three days without your regular hiking trails Coloradans? Can you make it in the name of good music? Though your trek to the grounds may be a workout in itself due to the festival’s zero parking policy, if that’s not hittin’ your fitness itch, there’s more. At “The Break Room,” yoga instructors from Sunny Trails Presents and Corepower Yoga will lead flow classes. After each practice, the space will turn into an all-day dance destination with artists from Weird Touch, Soul Clap and Eli Escobar to Jon Hopkins and Kim Ann Foxman. Sounds like this is where you need to be if you wanna keep it movin’ folks.

Art, Art Everywhere

Denver’s been crushing the art scene as of late, and Grandoozy will be showcasing more of those creative Mile High forces this weekend. Yes there will be live mural painting. Yes there will be crazy stage installations. Yes there will be artwork all over the grounds for you to peruse, some of it interactive. But best of all, the local artists involved in Grandoozy include Hollis + Lana, Dinkc, Detour, Anthony Garcia and Extra Vitamins among others. We love seeing local talent in all areas of this fest, and the art world is no exception. Keep your eyes peeled!

There’s still time to cop your last-minute tickets for Grandoozy. Click here to see your options and we’ll catch you on the course.

Sin Fronteras: Folks Fest Raises Voices in Solidarity

By: Riley Ann

Music from across the globe took the stage at the 2018 Folks Fest, including acts from the Saharan Desert, Canada, and the tasty melting pot of American folk music. Despite the lyrics being sung in various languages, spanning English, French, Spanish, and Tamashek, one message rang clear: strength in togetherness.

Las Cafeteras.

Las Cafeteras.

The East L.A.-based band Las Cafeteras took the stage by storm on Friday with their Afro-Mexican dance party. Vibrant choreography and hip-shaking rhythms amplified their Spanish and English lyrics advocating for social justice. Band members shared the spotlight trading off lead vocals, and they gave shoutouts to various causes, including Black Lives Matter, indigenous people’s rights, and more. They also performed a new rendition of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” by blending Spanish phrases, new melodies, and a mariachi groove into the familiar tune as a modern commentary. You can see their live performance on KEXP and read the lyrics on their website.

Representatives of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Boulder County joined Las Cafeteras onstage to recognize their contributions as artists to social justice issues. The chamber invited Las Cafeteras to Colorado on the band’s previous tour and thanked the band for the work they do through music as well as educational programs throughout the country.

Later that night, Los Lobos, another East L.A. band lit up the stage with their unique blend of traditional Latin American styles with rock, Tex-Mex, country, zydeco, R&B, blues, and soul. The group made waves in music history by bringing Latin American folk music back to top charts in the late 80s, revitalizing Ritchie Valens’ take on the traditional tune “La Bamba,” along with several other hit songs. While Valens was an early trailblazer in the Chicano Rock movement, Los Lobos carried the torch and kept the movement steady via mainstream radio airplay decades later. With their popularity, multiple Grammy Awards, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they’ve made their mark not just within the Chicano Rock movement, but also with deep ties in the ever-colorful tapestry of American folk music.

Heather Mae.

Heather Mae.

Saturday morning opened with Heather Mae, the artist who won last year’s Folks Fest songwriter competition. She moved the crowd with musical confessions about mental illness, overcoming oppression, and body image evidenced in her song “I Am Enough.” As an advocate for body positivity, LGBTQIA rights, people of color, and more, she thanked the festival organizers for curating such a diverse lineup throughout the weekend, saying, “They are trying to elevate marginalized voices, and that includes women. Thank you.” She concluded her set by inviting a chorus of performers to join her on stage for her power anthem “Stand Up.”

When Darrell Scott took the stage Saturday afternoon, he performed a song that he said was written by his friend Marcus Hummon. The narrative showed the life of a Honduran girl named Rosanna who escaped the physical and sexual abuse of the underground sex trafficking industry, bore a daughter, was profiled and arrested by police, was deported by I.C.E. back to Honduras, and nearly died in the desert trying to reunite with her daughter. Her true story is documented here, and you can hear Hummon’s album version here. The song left the crowd frozen and teary-eyed for Rosanna, the representation of people targeted by strict immigration policies and facing not just unfair, but impossible playing fields.

Saturday evening closed with the Indigo Girls. Despite heavy rains concluding their set early, they shared many of their signature songs, including “It’s Alright,” which is one of many that uses music as a vehicle for social change. The Indigo Girls served as one of the first bands to not only be public advocates for the LGBTQIA community, but also to be publicly out. Beloved by the crowd, the duo was joined by the sea of smiling faces singing along in the rain.

Bonnie Paine.

Bonnie Paine.

Bonnie Paine opened Sunday with the help of the “Cottonwood Choir” and instrumentalists featuring many familiar faces from the Front Range, including other members of Elephant Revival. The ensemble inspired the crowd to sing along with spirituals originating from slaves’ field songs about overcoming oppression.

That evening, Tinariwen quickly became a crowd favorite. The band’s fascinating blend of African stylings with American blues idioms created a strikingly unique sound. Furthermore, the band’s formation in refugee camps and resilience despite the backdrop of warfare, strife, and revolution speaks through the music even if listeners don’t know Tamashek. Over several decades, band members have survived against the odds and continue writing songs fighting for human rights and equality. They’ve even been called “Music’s True Rebels” by NPR. You can read more about the band’s background here.

Tinariwen.

Tinariwen.

Once again, Planet Bluegrass curated a powerful festival, giving festivarians an opportunity to see household names, like Regina Spektor, the Indigo Girls, and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) alongside the acts you didn’t know you wanted to see. Stay tuned at the Planet Bluegrass website for their lineup of next year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Rockygrass, and Folks Fest.

View the full photo gallery from this event here.

-Riley

Find out more about Riley on her blog.

All photos provided to BolderBeat by the artist. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

From the Eats to the Tunes, Here's Why We Can't Wait for Grandoozy

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Colorado will finally be home to a new music festival this September. The concert promoter, Superfly will debut their first festival, Grandoozy at the Overland Park golf course September 14th-16th. Being the co-creators of other major festivals such as Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, Superfly is not new to creating a memorable experience for concertgoers.

During the fest, we can look forward to over fifty acts, all of which will cater to different tastes in music. Big-name headliners include Kendrick Lamar, Florence + the Machine, and Stevie Wonder. While at the fest, you can spend your Sunday rocking out with St. Vincent, and if you were unable to snag tickets to see The Chainsmokers’ sold out show at Red Rocks in 2016, Grandoozy is your chance to see them in an outdoor setting with a great view of the Rocky Mountains. This is the first time Kendrick Lamar will be back in Denver since last July, and the first time since he won his historic Pulitzer Prize for his record DAMN. His performance is going to be a definite Denver must-see.

The weekend will also be the ultimate Denver music festival experience, from the music to the food. Between performances, make sure to grab a bite or a few before the next act! The entire festival will pay homage to all things local, from the beer you drink to the food you order. The vendors list will spotlight local favorites like Snooze: an AM Eatery (Adam Schlegel), Justin Cucci (Linger, Root Down, Vital Root, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, and El Five), Carrie Baird (executive chef at Bar Dough and participant on Season 15 of Top Chef Denver), Jen Jasinski (executive chef/owner of Larimer Square’s Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Stoic & Genuine, Ultreia), and Tommy Lee (chef and owner of Uncle and Hop Alley). You just might find your new favorite dish or meet the chef from your current favorite restaurant!
    
After you have finished your food from our local vendors and feel like dancing between acts,  head over to the Break-Room. It will be Grandoozy’s taste of a disco club right in the middle of the Mile High City. The Break-Room will be a dance lounge to satisfy all music tastes, from ambient to electronic. The lineup features various local DJs who are both up-and-coming, as well as popular within the industry. Some of the local acts will include Sunsquabi, Head for the Hills, The Drunken Hearts, AMZY, and Black Pumas.

Ultimately, this will be a showcase of our beautiful city, spotlight our local food vendors, celebrate our local talent, and it will put Denver on the map for big-name music festivals in the future. This is not the festival to miss, so grab your friends and buy your tickets before they sell out!

Grandoozy pricing starts at $99 for general admission single-day tickets, $224.50 for general admission three-day tickets, $249.50 for VIP single-day tickets, and $674.50 for VIP three-day tickets. They can be purchased online here.To get you pumped for our first major festival, make sure you follow Grandoozy on Spotify, and add their playlists! We’ll see you at the Park!

-Taylor

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

#SheShreds: Rockygrass Celebrates Breaking Through the "Grass Ceiling"

By: Riley Ann

In light of of the #MeToo movement and “The Future is Female” shirts, this year’s Rockygrass certainly took some cues from the times. In addition to the staples of the Planet Bluegrass stages (including Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, Peter Rowan, and more), a spotlight shone brightly on the women who have become pillars of the “who’s who of bluegrass.”

The First Ladies of Bluegrass. 

The First Ladies of Bluegrass. 

 

One of the crowd favorites of the weekend was the Friday set featuring Alison Brown, Becky Buller, Sierra Hull, Missy Raines, and Molly Tuttle, each the first woman to earn International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards on their instruments. They’ve been dubbed “The First Ladies of Bluegrass” for this achievement.

In the set, Sierra Hull acknowledged Alison Brown, who was the first woman to ever earn an IBMA nearly three decades ago in 1991, which happened to be the same year Hull was born. Brown also earned the Distinguished Achievement Award in 2015, which IBMA states is the “highest honor IBMA bestows outside of induction into the Hall of Fame, recognizing forerunners and ambassadors for bluegrass music.” Hull, who is 26, shared that when she was a little girl, she loved Brown’s album Fair Weather and still does, saying, “It’s such an honor to share the stage with Alison- and all of these incredible trailblazing ladies!” The set oscillated from sweet harmonies to rip-roaring bluegrass breakdowns, and between tunes the musicians gave frequent props to each other for what they’ve contributed to the modern history of bluegrass, like in regards to Missy Raines, who has earned an IBMA for Instrumental Performer of the Year on bass seven times. “We like to say that in bluegrass, Missy reigns!” they said.

The weekend featured a variety of women outstanding in their field, including Della Mae, an all-female band that earned a Grammy nomination for “Best Bluegrass Album” for their record I Built This Heart in 2015. During their set on Saturday, Celia Woodsmith, current frontwoman for the band, also gave a shout-out to the “First Women of Bluegrass,” noting the two consecutive days of all-female bands in the lineup. She hollered, “Rockygrass, you’re doin’ somethin’ right!” and the crowd roared.

Sunday’s spotlight included the Lyons Bluegrass Collective, featuring local powerhouses KC Groves (of Uncle Earl), Bonnie Sims (of Bonnie & the Clydes), Natalie Padilla (of Masontown), and Sarah Cole (of Follow the Fox), among others, male and female.

These women were not celebrated because they are women; they are celebrated because they’re good, and despite the odds. While bluegrass music grew from the roots of Black music (even the banjo is actually an African instrument that’s been morphed through industrialization), it has been culturally appropriated by white men who have kept a patriarchal stronghold on it for generations, causing a great deal of sexism, racism, and classism within the genre. I discussed some of this in last year’s coverage of Rockygrass, “The Changing Face of Bluegrass,” and more in-depth information about the history of the banjo and bluegrass music is available via two great documentaries: The Librarian and the Banjo and Bela Fleck’s Throw Down Your Heart.

Although you’ll have to wait until next summer for the next Rockygrass, Folks Fest at Planet Bluegrass is still to come and includes Regina Spektor, Indigo Girls, Los Lobos, Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco), and more. You can learn more about Folks Fest at the Planet Bluegrass website here.

See our full gallery from the fest here

-Riley

Find out more about Riley on her blog.

All photos provided to BolderBeat by the artist. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Premiere: King Eddie's Single "Making Flippy Floppy" Is the First Track Out from Moon Magnet's Upcoming UMS Cassette Release

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This week, Moon Magnet Studios are releasing their Moon Magnet Composition Volume 4. Dropping this Friday July 27th before UMS, the record will be streamable on iTunes and Spotify but will also have a special cassette release. The tape will feature songs by Retrofette, Rubedo, Dandu, King Eddie, Venus Cruz, members of Esmé Patterson, Mini Mansions, JJUUJJUU, Sound of Ceres/Candy Claws, Ancient Elk, and OptycNerd. Today, we’re premiering a single from the record, King Eddie’s “Making Flippy Floppy,” a Talking Heads cover that the band also has a video for below. You can see King Eddie and more Moon Magnet artists at our UMS day party MoonSpoon this Saturday, July 28th from 12PM-4PM at Irish Rover. We sat down with King Eddie’s frontman Jay Mars and Moon Magnet Studios’ Reed Fox to learn more about the track and the cassette release:

Reed, what inspired Moon Magnet Studios to put together this record for the UMS?

Reed Fox: The UMS is a special time of the year- the best weekend of the year when all the Moon Magneteers come out to play. Every UMS we record a song. In 2013, we taped as many mylar space blankets together as we could and did an absurdist parade around Broadway one night of the UMS. Another year Riley Geare from Unknown Mortal Orchestra was hanging out at Moon Magnet and I recorded him playing drums on a song. That session morphed into what became the title track off of déCollage’s last album, Magnetize. One year we recorded an hour long acapella album of nonstop ambient vocal loops with members of Sunboy and Ancient Elk called Camp Forever Friends. In 2015 Cody Coffey, Megan Crooks, Ryan Schlichtman, and Derrick Bozich recorded a song called “Beautiful Mess.” The songs are always directly about the magic of UMS and on this one, Cody sings a play on words about UMS and “Ur a Beautiful Mess.” It’s finally getting released on this compilation! We wanted to do something special and include a bunch of our friends who are playing UMS on one comp. Laura Goldhamer ran a collective called Long Spoon and released a compilation in 2008 featuring Paper Bird, Ian Cooke, Kitty Crimes, and Griff from Inner Oceans. It had a huge impact on my group of friends and that was the impetus for starting Moon Magnet and releasing compilations in the first place.

What does a Moon Magnet collaboration look like with the artists featured? Do they connect with you or vice versa? Do you work with each artist on their songs? What does a relationship with Moon Magnet look like for a release like this?

Reed Fox: The collaborations are always different. Sometimes it’s a band hiring me to record their album, EP, or single. Sometimes it’s a singer songwriter with lyrics and a melody who asks me to create all of the music and drums. Sometimes it’s a bunch of friends hanging out and we hit record and it ends up becoming totally mind blowing. Everything at Moon Magnet is hyper-collaborative and it’s fun to get as many artists involved as possible. Here’s a Spotify playlist of most of the songs released on the label; there’s another with the 36 albums recorded in the studio with a link to stream on Spotify too. Neil Lyons and I run the licensing branch of Moon Magnet together. There’s currently 1,000 songs in our library and we synch them in film, television, and audio-visual works. It’s easy to submit your song or find the right song for your video on our site.

Jay- tell us a bit about your cover of “Making Flippy Floppy” from the compilation. Who did you work with for it and where was it recorded?

Jay Mars: I love covers that have little to no resemblance to the original. We screened the movie Stop Making Sense at my job at The Alamo Drafthouse and I was inspired by the raw energy of their performance and wanted to really make it our own. I started a mentorship at the University of Denver several months ago and this was the first track I produced under the guru-ship of Michael Schulze, the director of the music production program. I was listening to a lot of Bowie's Blackstar album and I think the production and performance is really influenced by that record- the drums more than anything; they're kind of dark and slippery. It's been truly amazing working with such a talented producer and mentor. Not just his fluency with the technology, but his willingness to suggest ideas and challenge your assumptions. I think that's what makes a great producer- the vision and ability to make connections and create moments in the music where you didn't see the opportunity. Kevin Netz (Yonbre) created all these crazy atonal textures on a Moog synthesizer that throw the entire track into orbit before it comes back into the chorus. I recorded the drums with Linton Wright at the Lamont School of Music and I tracked the vocals, synth bass, and guitars at Moon Magnet.

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Who did the album artwork for the compilation? It’s so cool!

Reed Fox: Jacqueline Sophia Cordova did. Jacqueline can you talk about your work on this record?

Jacqueline Sophia Cordova: The Ancient.Future featured in this work is more than just my avatar and moniker, it is a philosophy and a way of life. It is shaped by the coalescing of ancient wisdom, magic, and mythologies with modern/future science and technology. It exists as a singular point in a non-linear understanding of space/time as the Eternal Now. Understanding existence as multidimensional, I see and experience past and future, and all dualistic concepts as happening simultaneously within a single event. My creative work is, ultimately, channeled work. I express through many mediums including visual art, costume and fashion, poetry, performance, ceremony, music, and dance. The collective journey toward understanding consciousness and reality is a defining theme in my work. Aesthetically, my work is compiled of imagery and information I receive through dreams, intuitive landscape, mystical experiences, ancient mythology and symbolism, modern science, future technology, the quantum realm, and artificial intelligence. Ancient.Future is deeply intimate work. I am continuously baffled and mesmerized by mere embodiment and what it means to be here; a merging of energy and matter into form. I often create literal self portraits, using myself as a subject, but all my work is an expression of my life journey, a sort of commentary to parallel my human experience.

Reed Fox: Jacqueline currently has work up at the 925 Gallery in the CVA in Denver until mid-August, as well as a show scheduled at Dateline in December. She also has work in the current issue of Suspect Press. See her artwork on all the Moon Magnet Compilations and all of déCollage’s releases except for their first album. You can connect with Jacqueline on Instagram, Facebook, and view her online gallery her site.

Thanks Reed, Jay, & Jacqueline. Take a listen to King Eddie’s song above and make sure to see all of your favorite Moon Magneteers at the BolderBeat Presents MoonSpoon Day Party this Saturday during The Underground Music Showcase! You can also catch King Eddie’s solo UMS set at 3 KIngs Tavern on Sunday at 8PM!

The Top 10 Must-See Artists at Chicago’s Pitchfork Music Festival 2018

Beyond the headliners, there are a number of awesome acts scheduled for this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival. Here are our must-sees:

Pitchfork.

Pitchfork.

Kweku Collins

Kweku Collins is from a suburb just north of Chicago, but has been lumped in with the rest of the Chicago artists on the scene. Collins’ music is a unique blend of self-produced beats over his own lyrics, which float somewhere between rapping and droned-out singing. He performed a wild set at Lollapalooza last year, and is sure to bring that same energy to the Pitchfork stage.

Ravyn Lenae

Pitchfork is notable for bringing a collective of artists together at this festival, but something they’re especially good at is tailoring the talent to represent not only the diversity of the industry, but also the Chicago acts who are hustling to the top. Ravyn Lenae is one of these special acts, along with Saba, Noname, Chicago transplant Smino, and northern suburban Kweku Collins. Ravyn Lenae recently released an EP with one of The Internet’s members, Steve Lacy, and went on tour as an opener for Sza, both have which have skyrocketed Lenae’s career this year. Lenae has migrated from a local Chicago favorite to a worldwide obsession. Still, she hones in on her city’s spirit and is sure to have a truly magical set.

Smino

Smino is a St. Louis native, but moved to Chicago to pursue his career as a rapper. He slept on studio floors while working non-stop and was eventually welcomed into Chicago’s tight knit music scene. Along with Ravyn Lenae, Smino was on tour with Sza, helping boost his tunes up the charts as well. His punchy lyrics and riffs of deliverance set him apart, so his set is sure to smash.

Syd

Syd is the breakout star hailing from two of Los Angeles’ most notable artist groups, The Internet and Odd Future. She worked with The Internet’s album Ego Death, which was nominated for a Grammy and has helped shape the sounds of many of LA’s influential artists. Since her debut album, Fin, Syd has been receiving nothing but accolades for her sultry blend of current hip-hop production with a voice that harks back to 90s R&B pop. Syd is a hallmark artist of our generation and an openly gay female who started off in two all-male rap groups and hustled her way into the world’s most competitive music scene.

Listen to our must-see artists on our Pitchfork playlist:

Saba

Saba is one of Chicago’s most special artists, and is the performer you should count yourself lucky to catch this year. At only 23 years young, Saba not only writes some of the most powerful lyrics you’ll listen to, he has also started a foundation and scholarship in the name of his recent friend John Walt. He’s an artist that not only puts on for his city, but he puts on for people. He dropped his second album prior to touring this year called CARE FOR ME, which is a migration from his previous sound but retains his incredible ability for raw storytelling (listen to “LIFE” for a reference on this ability).

Blood Orange

Dev Hynes, better known by his stage name Blood Orange, brought his ethereal sound to Pitchfork a few years ago and we’re more than excited to see his name on the lineup again. His 2016 album, Freetown Sound, combined a blend of sounds in and outside of music to create a textured landscape unlike any other. He claims he sat in Washington Square Park in New York City to write most of this record. It was there where he caught and recorded a lot of the extra sounds you hear throughout this album, such as a saxophone being played in the distance. The integration of these environmental sounds creates a mysterious, diary-like experience for the listener. You won’t want to miss catching these vibes in the late afternoon sun on Saturday.

Big Thief

Brooklyn indie rock band Big Thief are bringing their synth-tinged guitars and rock-influenced siren-like vocals to Pitchfork’s fest. Their songs are a nice mix of slow, dreamy tunes and more aggressive rock beats. This sonic mix has landed them on a tour with Conor Oberst (frontman of Bright Eyes, one of indie rock’s most legendary acts), as well as an NPR tiny desk concert.

Julie Byrne

Being compared to the likes of Joni Mitchell takes a special person, and Julie Byrne is evidently one of the rare ones. Leaving home at 18, she stumbled into music to quench her own happiness and has since established a name for herself. Living a wandering lifestyle prior to her recognition has molded her music into a soft and observant sound, which will sound beautiful outdoors at Pitchfork.

Joshua Abrams

Joshua Abrams will be bringing some much needed jazz to Pitchfork, a genre too often underrepresented especially at festivals. An early member of the group The Roots, Abrams has built up his career in Chicago’s strong jazz scene. His set will be a unique vibe on Friday, and will set the weekend off perfectly for any music enthusiast.

The War on Drugs

Indie rock veterans The War on Drugs recently won a 2017 Grammy for “Best Rock Album.” They tell fantastic stories in their lyrics while also making some thought-provoking statements, simultaneously rocking into immense guitar tangents that take listeners to another dimension, and Adam Granduciel’s voice has a hauntingly beautiful tone guaranteed to give a listener chills.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

BolderBeat Presenting Boulder Music Festival to Benefit RAICES

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BolderBeat is excited to announce that we are presenting a mini-festival to benefit RAICES this August. Featuring Colorado bands Augustus, Native Station, Ben Hanna Band, Whiskey Autumn, and The Beeves, along with Chicago’s ChinaRose, the full day of music is slated for Saturday, August 18th from 2PM-10PM at Boulder’s Twisted Pine Brewing.

Said festival organizer Jim Herlihy, “Separating children from their families is unconscionable and I wanted to do something about it. The long answer is that this is an event in a string of events that has left me feeling angry and helpless over the last couple years. I spend a lot of energy moving our music career forward and not enough time helping people in need. I genuinely love these bands that we got for this bill and I wanted to shine a light on this side of the Boulder scene and use it to help this cause. Bringing great musicians together to raise money for an urgent cause- I don't know if it gets much better than that.”

Tickets for day are just $6, and all proceeds from the Benevolence Benefit will be donated to RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, which is a non-profit serving immigrant children, families, and refugees in Central and South Texas. Come out for the cause and get event details here.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you details on each of the band’s on our lineup, so stay tuned!

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Your Ultimate Fest Guide to Pitchfork 2018: Pop-Ups, After-Parties, & Everything In Between

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Chicago’s annual summertime PItchfork Music Festival is set to occur the weekend of July 20th. The acts range in broad strokes, from headlining artists Fleet Foxes, who have reigned the indie rock scene since 2006, to Chicago’s most developing talent like Saba and Ravyn Lenae. In our next article, we’ll give you the rundown on some of the top acts we don’t think you should miss, but for now we’re going to focus on the extra fun that surrounds the 45+ performances.

Pitchfork is smaller in scope when compared to other festivals, but they do not fall short of extra activities to partake in. On the festival grounds will be local food and drink vendors, where you can probably spot one of the performing artists roaming about with their friends. Nearby, the CHIRP Record Fair will be hosting local record stores and independent dealers to bring you an immense vinyl-browsing experience. Attendees will have the ability to walk through the aisles and pick out records for purchase or to simply sit and listen to the rubber in the moment. The record fair will also host an artist signing table.

The Flatstock Poster Fair at Pitchfork will be showcasing and selling the printed works of poster artists from the around the country. Tucked in-between the record and poster fairs is the Renegade Craft Corner, a cool pop-up which will be displaying and selling the works of modern craft and design artists. Works range from jewelry to clothing to iPhone cases or kitchen accessories. You never know what unique gift you may find here! Also on the grounds is Book Fort, which is on the basketball court. Here, a curated lineup of readers will perform works by themselves and other authors.

The fun does not end outside of Pitchfork’s festival grounds. Circuit des Yeux will be playing prior to the festival July 19th at the Empty Bottle. And then there are the after-parties! Some late-night shows we suggest are Open Mike Eagle and Fess Grandiose at Lincoln Hall on Friday night, Kweku Collins and fellow label signee Ajani Jones at Schubas on Saturday night and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with Cool Maritime at Constellation. Here’s the full list of additional aftershows you can catch!  

Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated over the weekend. Our best advice for getting to the fest is to take the Metra line to avoid traffic, as it drops you off right in front of the gates. Tickets for Pitchfork are still available here!

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat. 

The Top 10 Things to Do at Your Final Warped Tour

By: Nathan Sheppard

In it's last year as a touring festival, there is much to do at your last Van's Warped Tour.

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10. Download the Official Warped Tour App

Having the official WT app will keep you up to date on any news or announcements before and at the festival. The app also answers some of the most common questions that people have, from what you can bring to where you can meet your favorite bands. And most importantly, it lets you know which artists are playing at your Warped Tour date. Download it ASAP, and get yourself a portable power pack while you’re at it! You don’t want a dead phone right before that selfie with Mayday Parade.

9. Be Prepared

Warped Tour happens during the hottest time of the summer, so it's important to take care of yourself. This means staying hydrated! There are water stations on the fest grounds, so all you need to bring is a clear empty water bottle and you're golden. Make sure to check the weather before you head out too so you can have the sunscreen on hand. A bro tank sunburn never did anybody no good.

8. Make Friends

Warped Tour is basically a giant party full of people that like the same kinds of music as you do. It’s a place where you are free to express yourself and go a little bit wild without the fear of being judged. So branch out of your comfort zone and talk to someone new while you’re enjoying the festival! Your phone will still be there when the conversation is over.

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7. Check Out the Non-Profits

There are a wide variety of nonprofits traveling with the tour who do amazing work for their communities. From The American Red Cross to To Write Love On Her Arms, there is sure to be a non-profit that interests you. And who knows! Maybe you’ll end up volunteering with them after your Warped experience. Bonus: If you bring either three canned goods, a used cell phone, or a $5 cash donation for Feed Our Children NOW, you can get express entry to the fest. Check out the full list of non-profits here.  

6. Take a TEI Class

The Entertainment Institute (TEI) provides 40-minute backstage workshops with your favorite Warped Tour artists. Workshops can range from drum lessons to insights about the music industry. It’s a great way to see a different side of your favorite musicians and ask them all those burning questions you’ve had. Class sizes are limited, so get a ticket early! You can see which workshops are available here.

5. Get One Piece of Memorabilia

This is the last year of Warped Tour as we know it, which means its your last chance to snag some Warped Tour memorabilia. The first opportunities to grab yours are with the 2018 compilation CD and the collectible 3D souvenir tickets; on the day of your fest there will also be one or two merch tents with official Warped merchandise to peruse. Different organizations and record companies will be giving away free items as well, so keep an eye out!

4. Meet & Greets

Who doesn’t love meet & greets?! Every band will have their own merch tents set up throughout the festival day with a scheduled stop by time. This is a great way to meet some of your favorite band members and get something autographed or grab an infamous selfie.

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3. Discover At Least One New Band

Warped Tour is known for having a number of big name bands, but they also support many lesser known bands as well. Some bills even include local acts playing just your city’s fest. So while your waiting for your favorites on the main stage, make sure to check out the smaller stages like owly.fm Stage and Full Sail Stage. You might just find your new favorite band!

2. See Every Single One of Your Favorites

The final year of Warped is full of some of alt rock’s favorite bands, from icons like electronic duo 3OH!3 to Motionless In White for the metalheads so try and see as many of your favorites as possible! After all- THIS. IS. IT. Make sure you get to the fest early to find out set times on the classic inflatable board or snag a $2 paper schedule.

1. Have A BLAST

This is the last time we’ll be able to experience Warped Tour as we’ve known it for the past 25 years. Whether it is revamped somehow or changed to something completely different is yet to be seen, so it’s time to enjoy what’s left while we have the chance. Take it all in and experience all that Warped has to offer you. And as always, practice safe moshing and crowd surfing and take care of one another. Though it’s the end of an era, it could be the start of your relationship with a new friend or a new favorite band. Here’s to you Warped Tour!

-Nathan

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.


Colorado Music Festivals 2018: Your Official Guide To Fest Season

Festival season is the biggest time of the year for the music world. So here at BolderBeat, we’ll be updating this feature with every Colorado festival announcement that comes our way. Stay as on the pulse as we are:

May Play Music Festival May 11th

Downtown Greeley is hosting their fourth annual May Play fest with artists like The Burroughs, Brent Cowles, Slow Caves, Silver & Gold, and Post Paradise on the bill. There are a ton of other great local artists to check out, so swoop details and tickets here.

Spread The Word Music Festival May 11th-13th

Taking place at Denver’s Fox Street Compound, Spread The Word features a mix of local and national artists with styles including rock, jam, funk, reggae, hip-hop, folk/grass, electronic and fusion. Headliners of this year's fest include Jeff Austin Band (formerly of Yonder Mountain String Band), Everyone Orchestra (conducted by Matt Butler), A-Mac & The Height, and Bass Physics. Full lineup here.

303 Music Festival May 17th

Hosted by Ru Johnson at Denver's The Church, 303 Magazine is bringing you one awesome night of local music. Trev Rich, CITRA, Eldren, and The Other Black are just some of the bands on the lineup. Full details and tickets here

Five Points Jazz Festival May 19th

This FREE annual festival is back this year in Denver's Five Points neighborhood and will feature artists like Jakarta, The King Stan Band, Impulse, The Hendersons, Patrick McDevitt Nation, and more. You can bounce between venues or just walk around and take in all the good sounds. Full lineup and details here.

Mountain Games June 7th-10th

GoPro is putting on a festival in Vail with headliners like Chris Robinson Brotherhood, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Bonfire Dub, and The Wood Brothers. The weekend will also feature a slew of athletic events, including competitions for your dog, a silent disco, and art exhibits. You can grab tickets to Mountain Games here.

Greeley Blues Jam June 8th-9th

The Greeley Blues Jam keeps the blues scene alive and this year, their lineup includes The Devon Allman Project, Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters, and Danielle Nicole. This is one weekend you’ll enjoy being blue. Full lineup on their website.

Taste of Fort Collins June 8th-10th

The 22nd annual Taste of Fort Collins headliners include William Michael Morgan, Eddie Money, Everlast, and Judah & the Lion. Tickets are only $5-$10 and the fest is hosted at Civic Center Park in Old Towne. Grab more info on their website.

Country Jam June 14th-17th

Grand Junction will host Country Jam’s 27th annual four-day fest this year. Florida Georgia Line, Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert, Brett Eldredge, and Big & Rich top the headliners list of the 30+ artists that will play to your boot kickin’ desire. Surrounded by the red rocks of GJ, this festival annually hosts some of the biggest names in country music. More info at this link.

Sonic Bloom Festival June 14th-17th

If you like electronic music, there’s no better place to be than Colorado’s Sonic Bloom Festival. Happening at Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country, the weekend will feature performances from Shpongle, Keys N Krates, Nightmares On Wax, Liquid Stranger, EOTO and a huge array of other beatmasters. The festival will also feature yogis and movement leaders, as well as interpretive artists. And did we mention the visuals? Full lineup here.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival June 15th-18th

Telluride Bluegrass Festival celebrates its 45th year this summer! Tedeschi Trucks Band, Greensky Bluegrass, and Leftover Salmon top the fest’s 2018 list. We can tell you from past experience that this fest is magical and we’ve even met some our favorite musicians at (where else?) the Port-a-Potties. More info and tickets here.

Cover Rock Festival June 22nd-23rd

Looking for tunes from tribute bands? This festival is all about it. Hosted in Avon, Cover Rock Festival will feature tributes to artists like Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, The Doors, the late Tom Petty (RIP!!), and others. More info and tickets here.

Westword Music Showcase June 23rd

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host their annual summer celebration this year. With Galantis, Bonobo, The Front Bottoms, Joywave, and a ton of local artists, this will be one to clink a summer beer to and enjoy. More info and tickets on their website.

Van’s Warped Tour July 1st

Warped Tour recently announced that 2018 will be the last year for the traveling festival. Though much has changed since what was arguably Warped Tour’s heyday (moshing is now frowned upon), we’re still sad to see it go. Give these bands a proper send-off- locals 30H!3 are top-billed with acts like All Time Low, Asking Alexandria, and more. Tickets here.

Colorado Rocky Mountain Old Time Music Association (CROMA) July 11th-15th

CROMA's annual Parrish Ranch festival features a great old-time music lineup, workshops, nightly dances, open jams, classes for kids, open stage times, and couples dance workshops. The festival manages to keep old traditions alive while also bringing a modern twist to some elements. Artists at this year's fest will include Bryant and Brown, The Onlies, Betse & Clarke, The Barn Owls, Patt and Possum, Caroline Oakley, Chris Kemiet, and Larry Edelman. Get full details and tickets here.

The Ride Festival July 14th-15th

The String Cheese Incident, Sheryl Crow, and Grace Potter will headline The Ride Festival this year, another Telluride fest that is sure to get you groovin’. Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Big Something, and others will keep your summer-chill vibes in check at this one. Full lineup here.

Global Dance Festival July 20th-21st

If you’re ready to dance, Global’s got a crazy mix of electronic and hip-hop artists like Deadmau5, Gucci Mane, Future, and Machine Gun Kelly topping their list. The event is at Sports Authority Field this year and you can snag tickets here.

The Underground Music Showcase July 27th-29th

One of our absolute favorite weekends of the summer is Denver’s The UMS due to its focus on local artists, and all the fun that comes along with wandering around the South Broadway venues hosting the three-day event. In news this year, Two Parts has taken over the event. This year's lineup is stellar with headliners like Alvvays, BJ the Chicago Kid, Classixx, Deerhunter, Digable Planets and over 100 local artists who we absolutely adore. Tickets and full details here

Rockygrass Festival July 27th-29th

Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass. That’s what Rockygrass in Lyons is all about! Last year, the festival showed us the changing face of the genre. This year, Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, David Grisman and Peter Rowan, and Hot Rize are already confirmed for this pickin’ celebration, so get your tickets now. More info and tickets at this link.

ARISE Music Festival August 3rd-5th

Colorado’s ARISE is back for its sixth year at Loveland’s Sunrise Ranch, and features seven stages of live music, yoga, workshops, theme camps, art galleries & installations, a children’s village, speakers, and films! Some of the top billed artists for 2017 include Slightly Stoopid, Thievery Corporation, and Trevor Hall. Get more details here.

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest August 10th-12th

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in the historic downtown of Fort Collins. Bohemian Nights headliners this year include The Motet, Blondie, and The Decemberists. The festival also hosts a number of local bands on their stages- get the full schedule and details for the weekend here.

Local Jam Grand Junction August 10th-12th

Known for its "creativity, passion, dedication, style,  [and] massive talent," Grand Junction's three-day festival Local Jam is a celebration of Western Slope bands ranging from metal to bluegrass. Stray Grass, Jack + Jill, Suckafish, Tim + Richard, and others have been announced for the year. Full details and lineup here.

Mountain Town Music Festival August 17th-18th

Back for its fifth year, Keystone’s Mountain Town Music Festival features a mix of rock and grass bands like Ages & Ages, Mipso, Strange Americans, and Shovels & Rope. The fest is a celebration of “all things Colorado” so you can expect some good brews along with the shows. More info and tickets here.

Velorama Colorado August 17th-19th

Following the Colorado Classic bicycle race, Velorama is returning to Denver’s RiNo Neighborhood for its second year this summer. Cold War Kids, Matt & Kim, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and The Kills are the bands announced so far, and you don’t have to bike in the race to partake in the party. Plus local acts Brent Cowles, Wildermiss, and Slow Caves are on the bill! More about this new fest here.

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival August 17th-19th

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival showcased artists who brought current politics into their tunes last year, bringing people together in solidarity. Along with its songwriting workshops, the Lyons, CO fest created an awesome artistic community that managed to showcase great national acts too. Indigo Girls, Jeff Tweedy, and Los Lobos have been announced for this year’s fest. Tickets here.

Compound Sound Festival August 24th-26th

Boogie Groove Entertainment is producing this year's first annual Compound Sound. What started as friends performing at a private ranch in 2009 has officially launched into a major music festival. Along with headliners like Cycles, Lucid Vision, Tnertle, and Spectacle, the fest will also have food trucks and vendors, yoga and flow workshops, a healing village and "many more shenanigans." Details and tickets here

Four Corners Folk Festival August 31st-September 2nd

Pagosa Springs 23rd annual Four Corners Folks Fest is ready for a campout with bands like Nahko And Medicine For The People, Amy Helm, We Banjo 3, and Jon Stickley Trio. The weekend will also feature jam camps for kids and adults, and lots of tasty local vendors. See more for yourself and grab camping info and tickets here.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass August 31st-September 2nd

Lionel Richie, Jack Johnson, Zac Brown Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Fitz and the Tantrums, Gary Clark Jr., Bahamas, and The Record Company are the big acts at Jazz Aspen’s Labor Day event this year. JAS has a smaller June event too, which will feature Lizz Wright, Leslie Odom Jr., Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Josh Kagler and Harmonistic Praise Crusade, and Georgia On My Mind: A Tribute To Ray Charles. Details on both events here.

Seven Peaks Music Festival August 31st-September 2nd

Dierks Bentley is throwing a three-day music festival in Chaffee County this year with headliners like Miranda Lambert, Brothers Osborne, Elle King, Lanco, Del McCoury, Sam Bush and The Cadillac Three. The new fest is a real treat for country lovers and the scenery of Buena Vista sure won't hurt! Get details and tickets here.

Denver Jazz Festival September 14th-16th

With a mix of local and international jazz acts, Denver Jazz Festival promises over 600 dancers and listeners for their three-day fest. Hal Smith's Swing Central, Jonathan Doyle Swingtet, Red Hot Rhythm Rocket, and many others are on the lineup. Check out news and get tickets here.

Grandoozy September 14th-16th

Superfly, the geniuses behind Bonnaroo, are bringing Grandoozy to Denver this year! In what could possibly be the biggest festival production the state has seen, headliners have already been announced and include Kendrick Lamar, Florence + The Machine, and Stevie Wonder. Sturgill Simpson, Miguel, and St. Vincent have also made the list; Denver-based acts Tennis, Dragondeer, Gasoline Lollipops, and Flaural will perform as well. This fest is our most highly anticipated of 2018 so don’t snoozy- Tier 1 tickets are already sold-out so grab your passes here.

Telluride Blues & Brews September 14th-16th

As regular festivalgoers of Blues & Brews say, “It's not the altitude that'll take your breath away. It's the views.” That, and of course, the music. This year, Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Govt Mule, Booker T’s Stax Revue, JJ Grey & Mofro, and Anders Osborne will headline. Early bird tickets are already sold-out, so grab passes while you can here.

Festivals of The Past

Wondering what happened to some of your other favorite Colorado festivals? Project Pabst dissipated into the PBR-fueled mountain air with no Denver announcement this year (but Superfly who put it on is the force behind Grandoozy). Bass Center is now in Virginia after the fest was first moved from Colorado to New Jersey last year; Divide Music Festival, who were rumored to return this year, has now been postponed until 2019 stating, “greater forces are working against us;” Groove Festival’s web presence is still replaced by this Japanese site making us still question everything; Mad Decent Block Party appears to have officially gone off the radar; Riot Fest has again only listed its Chicago date in 2018 after the fest cancelled its Denver show last year; and Vertex (which we freakin’ loved) appears to be a distant dream after it was cancelled in 2017.

Make sure to keep up with our festival coverage all summer on BolderBeat’s dedicated fest page!

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.