Mile High Music Festival not happening

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In case you've noticed that the Mile High Music Festival hasn't announced its lineup yet for this year and you've wondered why -- first of all, congratulations on being astute, but secondly, the lineup hasn't been revealed because, well, there is no lineup this year. There is no festival. After three years, Mile High is reportedly going on hiatus. An official announcement from organizers is expected later this morning, but early reports appear to indicate that the decision was prompted by financial considerations.

Despite attracting throngs since its inception in 2008, the talent for the annual festival hasn't turned the regional gathering into a destination event on par with Coachella, Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza. The announcement follows a similar decision last year in which AEG opted not to host Rothbury, its annual festival in Rothbury, Michigan, now the home of the upcoming Electric Forest Festival, which is slated to be headlined by The String Cheese Incident, Tiesto, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, among others.

Photos: 100 Most Memorable People of Mile High Music Festival 2010

If parts of that lineup rings familiar, it's for good reason. Several of those acts, including Bassnectar, Pretty Lights and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are headlining the freshly minted Snowball Festival, due to kick off in the Vail Valley this weekend.

Photos: Best of Mile High Music Festival 2010

More and more, Festivals are becoming a tougher sell in Colorado. There doesn't seem to be a compelling reason as to why, other than perhaps an inherent niche factor. Dyed-in-the-wool franchises such as the Vans Warped Tour and the burgeoning Heavenfest have proven to be perennially successful, but that's most likely because they're geared to appeal to a very specific audience.

Photos: Mile High Music Festival 2009, Day 1

On the other hand, though, by that logic, the meticulously curated Monolith festival should still be an ongoing concern, but it's not. Last year, it went the way of the once popular LoDo Music Festival. Our best guess as to why Monolith stalled -- despite its progressive lineups -- is that indie-centric audiences are just not as substantial here as they are in other parts of the country such as Washington, whose Sasquatch Festival sold out in record time.

Photos: Mile High Music Festival 2009, Day 2

Perhaps the answer, if the Mile High Music Festival is to return next year, is a melding of the original mold with a lineup similar to Monolith and Electric Forest Festival, which appeals to a broad cross section of fans from the mainstream to the underground, from electronic to jam bands, from metal to hip-hop. Sound eclectic? Well, as you've no doubt noticed, so are the tastes of music fans in the Centennial state. There simply is no one-size-fits-all template.


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17 comments
Acceleratorsounds
Acceleratorsounds

Have no fear, for a large one day festival will replace the branding of the Mile High Music Fest in Denver this August. If you understand the relationships between Mr. Morris/ AEG Live Rocky Mountains, with Coran Chapshaw and his music empire of Red Light Management and Dave Matthews Band; then it makes perfect sense that Denver will host one of their four DMB Caravan Festival days at Dicks this summer. Denver is a strong market for DMB. DMB has made over a half of a billion touring in the last 15 years. Considering that DMB cut their teeth so too speak in Colorado, I feel that this will happen this summer, and perhaps the first of many more "caravans" to come.

http://www.dmbcaravan.com/

Juli
Juli

I'm from Florida, and I'd make the trip out there for Mile High if they could get the location right. I love Colorado and the lineup always gets my attention. But, if I wanted to sit all day in a hot, shadeless park without camping and pay $8 a beer as I melt away, I'd sit right here in a Florida parking lot. Colorado and Denver have so much to offer a festival. It could be the Rocky's Bonnaroo.. which, I might add, gets people from all up and down the eastern side of the country driving to it to stay for the weekend. Find a better spot that makes you feel like you're at a real festival. Turn it into a weekend instead of just a day. Make it something that stands out and the people would come.

Bretford
Bretford

Are people really complaining about the location of the Mile High Music Festival? It's not even 20 mins from downtown. I went to Bonnaroo 3 times and my first year I sat in 10 hours of traffic 2 miles from the entrance, that festival still packs in 80k and isn't near anyone or anything. If, as a city, we're too lazy to drive the extra few mins to Commerce City we really don't deserve a festival. I went to All Points West too, which was in Jersey City, NJ, a true armpit of America and people still made it to that even though it wasn't easy for one person that went since it was in the middle of Liberty State Park and the mass transit options, while existent weren't exactly great. Plus, most major festivals don't have camping so that shouldn't be an excuse, though I would like to try to camp on the fake grass at DSG. It did lack a cool vibe though, that was seriously lacking. It would have helped the vibe if more people went likely.

Chefmcar
Chefmcar

gee icant figure it outNO camping, no shade, concrete everywhere and to top it all off the grounds are conveniently located on the same property as the police station. And why does this festy suck so bad? I agree with post earlier DMB can go play there- I would rather shoot myself in the ear than hang out with all those fans.

DMB deserves Commerce City
DMB deserves Commerce City

How long until AEG figures out that the venue is THE problem.

Lets count the ways. Too far from city. Lack of public transportation. No camping. Overpriced tickets. Overpriced food and drink.

What's not to love?

Has anyone from AEG ever attended Telluride Bluegrass or Rockygrass? Send some staffers to figure out how to run a music festival. Better yet, let the folks from Planet Bluegrass run your festival.

On the bright side, the rumor is this summer, AEG will be bringing Dave Matthews Band's festival to Commerce City for a weekend of fraternity clowns puking on each other. Good times.

Plurcolorado
Plurcolorado

All i can say is I'm glad i got in free on Cypress Hill's guest list. Great set and slightly stoopid topped off a great cypress hill set. Nas and Marley we're sick as well:)

Beth
Beth

I agree with the comments below. Either move it to a more central location or allow camping near the festival grounds.

yep
yep

Colorado has the makings for a really, really awesome summer music festival. The problem, as discussed below, is that one-day festivals need to be easy to get to. No one should be partying and driving, but public transportation outside of the immediate city limits in Denver...sucks.

I'm optimistic that the new polices about summer use of ski resort land that are coming down the pipeline from the Forest Service will make it possible to have a proper summer festival where you can either camp or stay for the weekend inexpensively.

Crimson Ghost
Crimson Ghost

Location, location, location. MHMF had a terrible location.

Jay
Jay

Huge bummer!!! Why Chuck Why???

Skipper14
Skipper14

A problem with both the Mile High and Monolith festivals was the location. Both are well outside the city center and the nexus of public transit, so both were a bit difficult to get to if you didn't want to drive (and for an all-day festival, driving probably not a great idea) ... Hold it in Civic Center Park or City Park and they would be successful (I know City Park was the MH fest's first choice, but they were thwarted by the zoo)

Joe Tone
Joe Tone

Not enough Band of Horses, I guess.

Joe Tone
Joe Tone

I am no longer the editor of The Pitch. Contact editor Scott Wilson (scott.wilson@pitch.com) for Pitch-related matters. You can reach me at joeptone@gmail.com.

colorado academy
colorado academy

Mile High Music festival will NEVER be successful until it has camping and a location by a river, mountains, and shade trees. Commerce City soccer fields? $8 beers, $7 hot dogs, no shade anywhere... c'mon, what were you thinking?

CircleLimit
CircleLimit

+1 to what Beth mentioned. Look, we love live music here in Colorado and we like to "have a good time" while being responsible. Central location or camping with decent accommodations like a Phish festival would help a lot.Speaking of which, Phish might take over the MHMF site this year and they'll do it right. Stay tuned.

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