The complete Denver music fan field guide

all illustrations by Noah Van Sciver

Denver is known for its various species of beer geeks, outdoor enthusiasts and sports fans. More and more, it's becoming known for its music, and the varied climate of the scene cultivates a diverse cluster of fans, from metalheads to hippies to Juggalos. Here we have the complete Denver music fan field guide. Keep reading, and you'll find colorful illustrations and descriptions of the most common fans in the Mile High City. Consider this a cheat sheet for astute people-watchers to help identify the fans that inhabit our fine city. This edition is new and improved, with brand-new illustrations and descriptions of seven more types of fans, from hip-hop purists and jaded DIY dudes to Fraydians and folk guy, all alphabetized for ease of navigating.

See also:
- The twelve types of Denver musicians
- A field guide to the ten biggest concert buzzkills
- Noah Van Sciver draws Ryan Adams at the Temple Buell

Noah Van Sciver


Backpackers are similar to hipsters, but exclusive to the hip-hop world. Backpackers avoid anything viewed as mainstream like the plague. They could have a favorite artist while he's underground, but as soon as he gets on the radio, that artist becomes part of "the problem." Backpackers are especially fond of under-appreciated, usually "conscious" rappers like Aesop Rock, the Roots, Eyedea, Sage Francis, Talib Kweli, Slug and Immortal Technique. They also have an unhealthy love of MF Doom.


Burners identify with burning events, where a few days (or weeks) of dance music and art exhibitions culminate in the flame-filled demolition of a wooden structure or art edifice. Burners often have money from ventures outside of their cultural identity, which can be put toward things that might enhance the self-expression of the burner experience. They often refer to Burning Man as "the pilgrimage." These folks want to celebrate art, music and beauty in the middle of the desert, and feel the need to "burn" their conventional self on occasion.


Crust punks travel in packs, and many disregard traditional social norms as a rejection of the government and/or a traditional lifestyle, and in turn, they drift around, sometimes with multiple dogs, clad in black clothing, patches, lackluster personal hygiene, in a group of three or more. You can often find them at DIY shows, events and venues. Many crusties are vegetarian or vegan.

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Will Hayden
Will Hayden

I wish I could remember what it was like to be a music fan instead of a musician...

Chuck Shannon
Chuck Shannon

Cannon speaks the truth, get someone to write your articles that actually knows what they are talking about

Chuck Shannon
Chuck Shannon

Wow Westword you really fucked that one up. Ravers don't flock to see STS9

Nonnac Navillus
Nonnac Navillus

I think it is incredibly inaccurate to say that STS9 is one of the main focus of ravers donning neon american apparel and frequenting global dub. this is an unfair representation of an incredibly complex band with a sound "ravers" could not hope to truly understand. the ravers you speak of reside at skrillex, pretty lights, and other EDM acts. Sound tribe is mostly instrumental and if anything an influence on these button pushers


Can't your stories be read on one page?  Having to click through 17 pages is quite annoying, I don't need a full screen image of each type christ.

Eddie Garza
Eddie Garza

you have not been to a tribe show have you?


"An unhealthy love of MF Doom" Guilty as charged, haha.

dave.herrera moderator editor

@Harry Hey, Harry, we hear ya, buddy. Reload for revised version. Not on one page, but not as much clicking as previously. Thanks for stopping by.

Mantonat topcommenter

@Harry Do you complain about having to turn the page of a book or magazine?

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