Chive Fest Kept Calm at City Park

Categories: Concert Reviews

Brandon Marshall. Full slideshow
Deep in City Park on Saturday, past the father and son playing catch and the picnicking family, in a fenced off area, was a sea of "Keep Calm and Chive On" shirts and neon green. It was the first Chive Fest, and after several hours of music and revelry, a few minutes of near total silence descended. That's because, on the roof a building right near the event, a couple was getting married, and the festival's organizers promised them the party wouldn't interrupt the nuptials.

See also: Chive Fest Could Set the Tone for Future Events in Denver Parks

Stopping an entire festival to please a bride and groom demonstrates the sensitivity and care Chive Fest took in order to hold a rare admission-based event in City Park, something that was both difficult and expensive. But any concerns of rowdy-festival goers destroying the park or disrupting the surrounding neighborhood Saturday afternoon proved unfounded. You could barely hear the music from the edge of the park, there were no more cars lining the streets of the neighborhood than normal and unless you happened to bike pass the fences or come across a Chiver in a bright green shirt, you would have no idea Chive Fest, contained in an area no larger than a couple of baseball fields, was happening.

"We tried to accommodate as much as possible," says Dave Welch, director of Chive Nation. "Chive Live has been so on point with protocol. We want to make sure that the people who are complaining aren't complaining anymore."

Brandon Marshall

And he may just get that wish. If you took away the big music stages and merchandise tents, the groups of people playing frisbee or laying and enjoying a beer would have appeared right in place in a park on a summer Saturday.

"We saw some videos from the previous Chive Fests and it looked like fun," said one attendee, Nick, who came with a friend and was lounging under a tree with a beer. "It's cool to see how nice and friendly people are."

Nick and his friend had wanted to come with a big group of friends, but the $70 ticket price thwarted that plan, and possibly their desire to attend again next year. "I think it's a rip-off for sure," he says. "It's pretty comparable to Cultivate Festival but that was free."

Brandon Marshall

A couple that was enjoying a picnic outside the festival had planned on going in to check it out, but the day-of ticket prices were keeping them outside for the moment. "Is it really 77 dollars? That's crazy," one of them said.

While the price tag was high, for both attendees and Chive Live, which jumped through some expensive hoops to make the festival happen, it seemed it was worth it, especially to be able to prove a festival can happen in a city park without causing mayhem. "That's the cool thing, that they could pull it off," says Carly McGraw, an attendee and follower of Chive. "It's a great location."

"I know they are using this as a test to see if they can have more festivals in parks," Nick said. "[Denver] is such a music hub, there should be more events like this."

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Location Info


City Park

17th Ave. and York St., Denver, CO

Category: General

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Jason Justice
Jason Justice

If you dig bands that glorify racism, sexism, and homophobia, then I guess it was a successful festival. Rock on white hipsters!

Sara Violette
Sara Violette

We live on St. Paul and I must say that I would take the Chive Fest any day over City Park Jazz every Sunday. There is no parking, people litter on the sidewalks, and have even parked in our spot in the alley! Yes- the spot that is marked PRIVATE DRIVE. There was plenty of street parking Saturday and quite honestly I really had no idea anything was going on in the park until I our friends reminded us it was Chive Fest. Yesterday I went for a walk through the park and did not see one piece of trash or litter. I don't understand what all the fuss was about. The music was no louder than it is on Sundays form the jazz. Job well done Chive Fest.


The place to be that day was South Broadway anyways. Walking my dog in my neighborhood I strolled up on Summergrind, a punk rock fest at The Gothic that day/night. Bands playing outside, the mohawk factor was extreme and punk rock is alive and well in 2014, just a great sight to see.

Chanel Vigil
Chanel Vigil

I'm a driver,,I had a few people complain about the water situation, ,and the hours** to wait for food,,,sounds like they need to plan for the weather a little better,,,and food trucks,,,they weren't impressed. ....Glad I didn't spend the money to go.

Sarah Nava
Sarah Nava

Cannabis friendly events along with alcohol events? I'm down!!! :/


Chive's demographic is dudebro douche, hipsters detest it.

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