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.

At A Time When Music Festivals Are Starting To Feel The Same, LA's Air + Style Is Doing It Different

By: Benjamin Tillis

In a time when music festivals can all feel the same, Air + Style in Los Angeles was a refreshing change of pace aimed at pleasing the sport and music loving state of California. With an incredibly diverse lineup and the unique opportunity to watch professional athletes flaunt their tricks, the two day festival did not disappoint. There may have been snow on the ground, and even the rare case of rain on the first night, but the acts and competitors kept the crowd hot!

Air + Style brought the heat... and the snow.

Air + Style brought the heat... and the snow.

Highlights of the first day were no doubt EDM superstars Cashmere Cat and Zedd. Norwegian DJ Cashmere Cat thrives on radio’s top voices, including Selena Gomez’s and Ariana Grande’s, both of whom could be heard at his set. The most surprising song had to be his take on Panic At The Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, which got the whole crowd excited. Never before had it been so cool to sing at the top of your lungs to the chorus of that song. Zedd finished off his show with currently popular “The Middle”, which concluded with an epic fireworks show with the backdrop of the beautiful downtown LA skyline.

Tinashe.

Tinashe.

It would be difficult to find another festival showcasing the great musicians who performed on the second day of Air + Style. The four-piece jazz/hip hop group BadBadNotGood played a phenomenal set that no doubt revolved around their impressive drummer, Alexander Sowinski. Directly following BBNG’s set, Tinashe took the stage. Although she played the smaller of the two stages at Exposition Park, located beside University of Southern California’s campus, her performance was that of a stadium tour. Incredibly rehearsed, she showed off her dancing skills with her backup dancers and hit every note beautifully. She closed her set with “Faded Love,” her new song that features Future and is quickly climbing the charts.

Spotted: Shaun White. 

Spotted: Shaun White. 

In the middle of all of this, it was a difficult decision as whether to watch the skateboard or snowboarding competitions. Popping into the skatepark, the winner of the Best Trick Competition the first day was Alex Sorgente. Heimana Reynolds took home the first place trophy for the skateboard Best Trick competition the second night. He was joined on the podium by Tom Schaaf and 14-year-old CJ Collins. These awards were presented by snowboard legend Shaun White, who at the 2018 Winter Olympics broke the record for the highest score in men’s snowboarding halfpipe. Needless to say, fans were very excited to see him in such an intimate setting.

The skating competitions kept us on edge.

The skating competitions kept us on edge.

To continue the high energy of the festival, Griz played an ever upbeat set on night two. The DJ recently announced that he’ll be pursuing a rap and spoken word project instead of EDM, and he proved this by beginning his set rapping over his own beats. After a couple songs of this, he transformed back into what his fans know and love, belting out groovy tunes through his saxophone. Closing out the night was French pop band, Phoenix, who absolutely owned the stage. The crowd was happy to close out the night with their hit song “1901.”

Pheonix singing to the crowd. 

Pheonix singing to the crowd. 

The mutual love for high adrenaline sports and live performance created an instant bond that brought the crowd at Air + Style together, and it was apparent at every show and event. To add to that, it seemed like the musicians were inspired by the athletes. Every set seemed to be the artists showcasing the best of their best; every trick was an athlete proving their insane capabilities. It was an impressive sight to see and something you do not want to miss out on if Air + Style comes to your city.

Learn more about Air + Style 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.

Coachella Announces 2017 Lineup

Coachella’s 2017 lineup was announced this morning for both weekends of the Indio, California desert festival via Coachella’s Twitter page. Weekend One runs Friday, April 14- Sunday, April 16; Weekend Two runs Friday, April 21- Sunday, April 23.

Headliners include Radiohead, Beyonce, and Kendrick Lamar. Other honorable mentions include Father John Misty, Big Gigantic, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Bon Iver, Future, The Head & The Heart, Four Tet, Thundercat, Lorde, Justice, New Order, Toots & The Maytals, Real Estate, and King Sunny Ade.

Mysteriously missing is rumored Frank Ocean, but maybe that’s to be expected...

Coachella passes go on sale tomorrow, Wednesday, January 4 at 11AM Pacific.

See the full lineup below:

Nelly Getting Hot In Herre at Cervantes' Denver This Thursday

By: Sierra Voss

Looking to take a walk down memory lane this week? Then here’s one you don’t want to miss: Nelly is making an unexpected stop at Cervantes’ in Denver this Thursday, October 27th.

Nelly.

Nelly.

Nelly embarked on his well known hip-hop career back in 2000 with his debut album Country Grammar. The title track of the album became a top ten hit on the charts, and the release soon made its way to #1 on the Billboard 200. Some Nelly classic hits included "Hot in Herre", "Dilemma" (featuring Kelly Rowland), "Work It" (featuring Justin Timberlake), "Air Force Ones" (featuring Murphy Lee and St. Lunatics), "Pimp Juice", and "#1". And if you’re a millennial, please don’t pretend like you don’t know every. single. one.

Watch Nelly’s “Hot in Herre” below because you know you want to:

Following Country Grammar, Nelly went on to record six more albums, started two clothing companies (Vokal and Apple Bottoms), and has starred in numerous movies and TV shows. His last known setlist this year at the State Fair of Texas included songs “E.I.”, “Ride Wit Me”, “Dilemma”, “Hot in Herre” and “Just a Dream”. I can’t help getting a bit excited thinking of all the high school memories this concert is going to trigger for me.

Nelly needs to hear you at Cervantes' this week. 

Nelly needs to hear you at Cervantes' this week. 

Nelly’s most recent album, M.O., was released in 2013 and features guest appearances by Nicki Minaj, Pharrell, Future, T.I., 2 Chainz, Florida Georgia Line, and Daley. Some say this now forty-one-year-old rapper is a hip-hop legend. This Thursday is going to be quite the intimate night at Cervantes’ with Nelly, and the perfect kickoff to your Halloweekend. Tickets here.

-Sierra

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

Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti On the Come Up

By: Annie Kane

Rising hip-hop artists Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert were greeted by a crowd so hyped, it seems as if they are already legends.

Lil Uzi Vert.

Lil Uzi Vert.

Cervantes’ Masterpiece was filled to the brim with eager hip-hop heads this week, and fans brought their A-game: brand labels shined up nicely in the front row, from Supreme, to Vans, Nike, Adidas and, of course, Bape. The crowd was there for a bumpin’ lineup: J-Krupt, Tony Neek$, Playboi Carti, and headliner Lil Uzi Vert. (Read more about these artists in our Cervantes’ pre-event coverage here.) And they knew it.

Playboi Carti.

Playboi Carti.

Security guards had to push the barricades against the raging crowd to keep people out of the VIP area… and this was just for the opening DJ of the night. As the warm-up acts wrapped up their sets, the crowd grew anxious, and everyone started chanting “Carti!” over and over again. When Playboi Carti finally emerged from the depths of backstage, I could literally see a wave ripple through the crowd as people from the very back pushed to the front.

Carti’s style is raw; he avoids heavy vocal editing in his work. As such, his live performance barely wavered from how it sounds on his recorded tracks, whether he was transitioning from the traditional MC style of blurting into the mic or straight vibing to his own beats. Carti’s voice oscillates between the lazy-like style coined by Future, to that almost nasal pronunciation Vince Staples has. He kept the energy high as well, which culminated at one point when he literally flew into the crowd.

Not long after Carti’s set, Lil Uzi Vert ran onstage holding his girlfriend Brittany’s hand, both of them adorned in colorful Supreme sunglasses. Uzi’s personality is so strong, not only by way of appearance (fully clad in Vlone accented by black Yeezy 750 Boosts), and his recognizable voice, but most by his energy. If you didn’t know who Lil Uzi Vert was prior to this show, you found out the second he stepped out into the spotlight. His quick lyrics were broken with heavy “Yeah!”s, while sweat trickled down his back, shining from the insane dance moves he jumped into while spitting full 16s. His energy is unlike any other hip-hop artist I’ve seen.

The show ended with Lil Uzi Vert’s bringing out Carti for a joint performance of “Left Right”, the song for which their current tour is named.  A security guard brought out an entire case of water bottles and the two artists proceeded to drench the crowd, with people begging to be soaked. It was wild.

Cervantes’ brought such an infectious hip-hop lineup to Denver this week, which has me curious for their summer show lineup. Make sure to keep up with them here, and catch a show there soon!

-Annie

Connect with me on twitter and instagram.

All photos per the author; embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited.