Rock Out To Our 2017 Underground Music Showcase Playlist

By: Hannah Oreskovich

With Denver’s Underground Music Showcase just a couple of weeks away, our very own tastemaker Sierra Voss has created a sweet summer playlist full of tunes from tons of artists on this year’s lineup.

Denver darling (and headliner) Esmé Patterson opens our playlist, followed by fellow headliners Benjamin Booker, Zola Jesus, and Red Fang. There are a ton of Colorado favorites to bop your heads to after that-  déCollage, Dirty Few, Dragondeer,  CITRA, The Velveteers,  Slow Caves, Television Generation, and Whiskey Autumn- are just some of the artists you’ll find on our UMS playlist!

So get ready to pop a cold one at Irish Rover, headbang at Hi-Dive, and dance with us up and down South Broadway at the 2017 UMS! Get your festival passes here!

Listen to our 'Underground Music Showcase 2017' Playlist:

Make sure to follow us on Spotify to check out more of our playlists, and if you’re an artist looking to submit your song for playlist consideration, roll to our contact page and do it!


Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Colorado Music Festivals 2017: Your Official Guide To All The Goodness

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Festival season is arguably the best time of year in music. 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.

FoCoMX- April 28th-29th

Fort Collins' premiere music festival has announced its lineup, which features hundreds of Colorado artists. Some of our favorites include Antonio Lopez, The Alcapones, BANDITS, Bethel Steele, Danielle Ate The Sandwich, Edison, Foxfeather, Gasoline Lollipops, and The Velveteers. Full lineup here

Spread The Word Music Festival- May 5th-8th

Taking place at several Denver and Boulder venues, 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 Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Euforquestra, A-Mac and the Hight, & Analog Sun. Full lineup on our announcement link.

Denver’s Project Pabst- May 20th

“Project Pabst was a wild success,” contributor Zach Dahmen wrote in retrospect of the 2016 festival that took over Denver’s Larimer Street last year. This year, the PBR-fueled lineup includes Ice Cube, Phantogram, Danny Brown, Kurt Vile, STRFKR, No Name, & more. We’re pumped for this. Details here

Greeley Blues Jam- June 9th-10th

The Greeley Blues Jam seeks to keep the blues alive, and this year, they’re doing just that with a lineup including Walter Trout, Samantha Fish, Honey Island Swamp Band, and Colorado favorite The Burroughs. This is one weekend you’ll enjoy being blue. Full lineup on their website.

Taste of Fort Collins- June 9th-11th

The 21st annual Taste of Fort Collins includes headliners St. Lucia, Gin Blossoms, Plain White T's, & Waterloo Revival this year. Tickets are only $5-$10 and the fest is hosted at Civic Center Park in Old Towne. Get out and get down! More info on their website.

Country Jam- June 15th-18th

Grand Junction will host Country Jam’s 26th annual four-day fest this year. Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, and Thomas Rhett 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, and clearly this year is no different. More info at this link.

Sonic Bloom Festival- June 15th-18th

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 Gigantic Cheese Biscuits, The Polish Ambassador, The Floozies, and a huge array of electronic 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 44th year this summer. Jason Mraz, Norah Jones, Dierks Bentley with The Travelin' McCourys, and Brandi Carlile top the fest’s 2017 list. We can tell you from experience that last year was magical and we even met some our favorite musicians at (where else?) the Port-a-Potties. More info and tickets here.

Van’s Warped Tour- June 25th

Believe it or not, we attended this event back in 2015 after not having been since high school. Yes. Though much has changed since what was arguably Warped Tour’s heyday (moshing is now frowned upon), this is a fest that still has a cult following and still makes its way around the US. Attila, Bowling for Soup, CKY, & Futuristic top this year's bill- grab the full listing here.

Westword Music Showcase- June 25th

Denver’s alt weekly newspaper will host more than 100 live acts at their annual summer celebration this year. With Shakey Graves, The Revivalists, Cut Copy, Bob Moses, COIN, Arizona, and a long list of local acts, this will be one to clink a summer beer to and enjoy. Don’t miss out on Westword’s fantastic Friday night. Local artists should be announced soon; voting is open. More info on their website.

Central Rockies Old-Time Music Association (CROMA) Festival-

July 5th-9th

CROMA's 2017 festival at Parrish Ranch features a great old-time music lineup, workshops, nightly dances, open jams, classes for kids, open stage times, and couples dance workshops. Artists at this year's fest will include Eddie Bond and the New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters, The Ozark Highballers, Jesse Milnes and Emily Miller, and The Musky Dimes and Lansford and McAlister. Get full details and tickets here

The Ride Festival- July 8th-9th

Beck will headline The Ride Festival this year, another Telluride fest that is sure to get you groovin’. Ben Harper, Kaleo, The John Butler Trio, and Colorado favorite Rose Hill Drive will all keep your summer-chill vibes in check at this one. Full lineup here.

The Underground Music Showcase- July 27th-30th

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. Benjamin Booker, Red Fang, & Esme Patterson are headlining this year, but we're more stoked on this massive list of local artists (a crazy amount of which we've covered in the last year). Get tickets here. More deets on our announcement link.

Rockygrass Festival- July 28th-30th

Bluegrass, bluegrass, and more bluegrass. That’s what Rockygrass in Lyons is all about! Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, The Del McCoury Band, and The Infamous Stringdusters are already confirmed for this year’s pickin’ celebration, so get your tickets now. More artists at this link.

ARISE Music Festival- August 4th-6th

Colorado’s ARISE is back for its fifth 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 Atmosphere, Tipper, and Ani Difranco. Get more details at our announcement link.

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest- August 11th-13th

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is a FREE, recurring, three-day music festival held every August in the historic downtown of Fort Collins. CAKE has been announced as one of the headliners with more TBA- keep up with the full lineup here.

Velorama Colorado- August 11th-13th

Following the Colorado Classic bicycle race, Colorado’s newest festival Velorama will take place in Denver’s RiNo Neighborhood this summer. Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, The New Pornographers, Saint Motel, and La Santa Cecilia are the bands announced so far, and you don’t have to bike in the race to partake in the party! Tickets for this new fest here.

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival- August 18th-20th

Last year, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival proved to be much more than a music festival. Bringing together local artists for songwriting workshops and more, the Lyons, CO fest created an awesome artistic community that still managed to showcase great national acts too. Gregory Alan Isakov, Lake Street Dive, and Rhiannon Giddens have already been announced for this year’s fest; full schedule and list of acts here.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass- September 1st-3rd

We don’t know how Maroon 5 is jazz, but they are headlining the JAS Labor Day Weekend festival this year. Colorado favorite Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats, Lake Street Dive, and Keith Urban will also have performances at the Snowmass event. JAS has a smaller June event too, which will feature John Batiste & Stay Human, Michael McDonald, and Earth Wind & Fire. Details on both events here.

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival 


Telluride Blues & Brews Fest has Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, TajMo at the top of their bill this year. You can get your grand brew tasting on for three days with these artists and more, plus there is a lot of availability in ticket options, so you can schedule your own fest experience. Get more info here

Festivals of The Past

We'll miss you Vertex.

We'll miss you Vertex.

Wondering what happened to some of your other favorite Colorado festivals? Bass Center moved to New Jersey this year, Divide Music Festival has been postponed until 2018, Groove Festival’s web presence has been replaced by this Japanese site making us question everything, Mad Decent Block Party went to India (yes really), Riot Fest Denver will not return due to Sean McKeough's death, and Vertex (which we freakin’ loved) was sadly cancelled, but we’re praying it comes back to life with full zombie mayhem next year. Fingers crossed fellow festheads.

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


Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

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

Our Opening Adventures at The UMS Started Indie & Ended Rock'n'Roll

By: Mirna Tufekcic

The first full night of The UMS started indie and rocked hard into this morning.

Getting to Illegal Pete’s on South Broadway shortly before 8 o’clock to catch an opening band was easy. So was parking, which I don’t expect, as the full swing of the weekend at Denver’s The UMS was approaching. Thursday evening at the fest had a gentle start. You gotta pace yourself kids.

Teacup Gorilla. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

Teacup Gorilla. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

I started the night with Teacup Gorilla. Their tunes perked my ears with interest as I noticed their lyrics. While some words were sung, most were told, as if the vocalists were reading a poem. That’s what Teacup Gorilla is all about: indie, seven-minute songs with lots of space and soothing sounds, and words that keep you thinking. If you’re into the darker, heavier indie thing, this is one local act to keep your eye on. Definitely click here to learn more about the Denver four-piece.

The Milk Blossoms. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

The Milk Blossoms. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

If you still want indie, but you’re looking for a bit brighter sound, then keep an ear out for The Milk Blossoms. This trio is totally adorbs. I saw them at Gary Lee’s Motor Club, and the ladies of the band have impressive vocal skills. Plus, one of the girls can beatbox, making her obviously cool. And if her beatboxing wasn’t enough, she also rocked a flashing hamburger watch:

“It’s hamburger time!” she excitedly told the crowd. Word.

Between the beatboxing, beautiful voices, a ukulele, and keys resembling early Bright Eyes, you’re sure to be sucked into The Milk Blossoms’ tunes. I was definitely left wanting more... and wondering wtf a milk blossom is? Check out their website.

The Gin Doctors. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

The Gin Doctors. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Next, I made a pitstop at Skylark Lounge, where I heard Gin Doctors, a 90s cover band that doesn’t discriminate. What I mean by that is that the group played an Ace of Base song and followed it with a Foo Fighters tune. These dudes were fun, and great for those blurry nights in a bar where everyone’s singing along, getting drunk, and being merry. And of course, they’ve got the nostalgic thing happening. Check it.

Alright Alright. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

Alright Alright. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

The bow that wrapped up my Thursday at The UMS happened at the Hi-Dive. Definitely one of my favorite dive bars around, I caught the very tail end of Blake Brown & The American Dust Choir. I didn’t get to hear much of the band’s set, but what I did hear tickled my heartstrings. I have a feeling they were breaking hearts at the Hi-Dive far longer than what I witnessed. I may have missed out on something good. Timing- it’s a b*tch.  

Strange Americans. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

Strange Americans. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

The following act at the Hi-Dive was Strange Americans. Oh, rock’n’roll, how I love thee. The minute this band started their set, I tuned in. They shredded their set, Americana-style and closed with their song “Hogwash” (which should be a hit by now) from their 2012 album A Royal Battle. Their energy was captivating, and left me nodding in approval and smiling out of pure satisfaction. I then had the chance to ask these fine fellas a couple of questions at the end of their set, and they want you to know they’re a not-too-serious but hard-working-blue-collar-rock’n’roll-band that’s doing their thing and bringing each other closer together in the process. I can totally dig that. These guys are heading on a Midwest tour starting tomorrow in Minneapolis. Get ‘em while they’re hot!

Strange Americans. Photo Credit:   Sierra Voss

Strange Americans. Photo Credit: Sierra Voss

Closing the evening at the Hi-Dive were Bad Licks. You know that psychedelic sound from the days of Kennedy and Nixon that hypnotizes? That’s these guys. Plus total rock’n’roll, so raw you can barely touch it and so Americana, an American flag simply appears in your periphery like a phantom. Bad Licks sound good.

That’s it for night one! I gotta say, I’m so proud to live in a city with all this awesome local music and talent. The ground is fertile, and I’m standing alongside its seeds. So are you. See you at The UMS this weekend you crazy music lovers!


All photos per Sierra Voss for BolderBeat. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.