The ten best summer music festivals in Colorado

Categories: Best Concerts

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Jon Solomon
A Colorado summer can be short, but there are plenty of ways to make it sweet, especially if you pack it with as many festivals, road trips and patios as possible. We've picked out ten music festivals sure to give you the flavor of the state's musical offerings -- everything from the EDM of Global Dance to the jam bands of Mammoth Fest. If you want truly homegrown talent, head to our own Westword Music Showcase on June 21 (featuring over 140 Colorado bands) or the Underground Music Showcase the month after that.

You can find plenty more advice for ways to spend the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day in this year's Westword Summer Guide, which is in this week's issue of the newspaper.

Snowmass Mammoth Fest
June 13-15
Snowmass Town Park, Snowmass
Free-$225

Expect your mandolin-carrying and bearded friends to depart Denver en masse in June for Mammoth Fest, because a few of their hippie idols will be playing -- nay, jamming! -- in Snowmass. Leftover Salmon, Chris Robinson (of Black Crowes and YouTube ranting fame), Les Claypool (of Primus and almost-played-for-Metallica fame) and a few others are on the bill.

Greeley Blues Jam Festival
June 14
Island Grove Arena, Greeley
$25-$30

Who knew that Greeley knew how to get down? Folks like Tab Benoit, apparently. Benoit, one of the co-headliners of the Greeley Blues Jam Festival, is a Louisiana legend known for traditional, "swamp blues"-type music. He's joined by fellow Louisianan Marcia Ball, a fixture on New Orleans's blues scene, and the Phantom Blues Band, whose time spent as Taj Mahal's backing band speaks to its prowess.

Westword Music Showcase
June 21
Multiple Golden Triangle locations
$35-$75

The Westword Music Showcase brings headliners 2 Chainz and Diplo to its twentieth installment. Both are capable party-starters -- the former has more than one song that your grandma in Littleton will hear the crowd shouting along with. But the main stage, which also features Cherub, Man Man and King Khan and the Shrines, is just one very small part of the festival. It's still mostly a celebration of Colorado music, and more than 140 local bands will play sixteen stages in the Golden Triangle neighborhood. Among them are fearless hip-hop band Wheelchair Sports Camp, garage-rock instigators Thee Dang Dangs and nationally renowned cellist and songwriter Ian Cooke.



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33 comments
The Ride Festival
The Ride Festival

Thanks, Denver Westword. We think you'd be hard pressed to find a lineup like ours that includes everyone from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to Thievery Corporation to Spoon in a location as beautiful as Telluride.

Coya Gordon
Coya Gordon

Let's keep this a secret.... go ahead naysayers.......

Alex Turner
Alex Turner

How in the fuck is Riot Fest not listed?

Jayson Degroot
Jayson Degroot

Denver has a great music venue. Houston has NO rock at all. No good stations. No good concerts.

Penny Parker
Penny Parker

Telluride Blues and Brews. I took this picture of Willie. Loved it.

Cara McCleer
Cara McCleer

the only one on that list im going to is Groove Music & Arts Festival at Shadows Ranch in Georgetown, CO on July 18-20 buuuut other CO festys I'm def going to that should be on there are SONIC BLOOM 2014 • June 19-22 • South Park, CO and ARISE Music Festival

Cort Edmonds
Cort Edmonds

Which ones we hittin up Blake Rockel Cara McCleer ya boys got weekends off

TheAntiM
TheAntiM

I know it's been said many times, many ways... Riot Fest.

Jon Wirtz
Jon Wirtz

No Clear Creek RapidGrass Music Festival?

Ossama Hussein
Ossama Hussein

Riotfest is tight but I love hip hop too, bring rock the bells back please!

David N. Muñoz
David N. Muñoz

How is the Telluride Bluegrass festival not on this list and some "music festival" in Greeley is? Another Westword fail.

Blake Rockel
Blake Rockel

How is Sonic Bloom and ARISE not on here?

Jenny Graser
Jenny Graser

Justin Hazelwood Lauren Nekol Danny Kennedy

foodie
foodie

Um, Telluride Bluegrass Festival????  Rockygrass? 

Margie Midge
Margie Midge

Westword, you can't dress up plugs for your own shitty events as an "article"! That is not how this whole journalism thing works...

Tyler Huston
Tyler Huston

bogus list…where is telluride bluegrass festival?

Angie Millichamp
Angie Millichamp

Brandon Houston checkity check it out. a LOT of these sound fun

Colin Connors
Colin Connors

Isn't it a bit bias to have the "west word music showcase" in the list? Yes it's a great festival just seems a little one sided...

Mike Knopping
Mike Knopping

Guys, I love ya. But there is no mention of SONIC BLOOM, ARISE Music Festival ☆ Aug 8, 9, 10 - 2014, South Park Music Festival or Riot Fest 2014 Music Festival! Really droppin the ball here. :/

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