25 Things We Learned at Riot Fest 2014

Categories: Music Festivals

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Eric Gruneisen
Live music always offers some kind of release, but Riot Fest appeared to be a particularly welcome respite for many fans. Tom Murphy


It's been almost two decades since I first saw Mineral, and the time hasn't hurt its sound. It hasn't helped it, either. Mineral's brand of whiny emo and shameless Sunny Day emulation was boring then, and it's boring now. Oakland L. Childers

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Meet the Byers Kids Who Got a Free Pass to Riot Fest

Categories: Music Festivals

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Oakland L. Childers
Some unlikely VIPs rolled into the back gate of Riot Fest on Friday, driven in a chartered bus from their high school in Byers, Colorado. In addition to the easy entrance and free ride, the young music fans, all teenagers, got free passes to the entire weekend-long festival courtesy of Riot Fest itself.

Why? Put simply, for being from Byers, the small Colorado town that was originally slated to host Riot Fest, before permitting issues forced the festival to find a new location. the Originally disappointed that getting to see so many world-class bands was snatched away from them, the pack of young fans wound up with a trip to Denver and a free ride on the Riot Fest express.

See also: A Day in the Life of a Riot Fest Carny

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Was Riot Fest Worth a Drive Across Kansas?

Categories: Music Festivals

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Aaron Thackeray
Would you travel from the past?
It's one thing to brave I-25 traffic to get to Riot Fest, or even to make the hour-long drive from the Byers (the original site of the festival), but a lot of people made a real trip out of this year's festival.

Walking around the parking lots at Sports Authority Field it was easy to spot out-of-state tags. They were everywhere, mostly from places where good entertainment isn't as readily available as it is in Denver.

See also: A Day in the Life of a Riot Fest Carny

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A Day in the Life of a Riot Fest Carny

Categories: Music Festivals

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Eric Gruneisen
Robert in his office.
At noon on Saturday, Riot Fest officially begins for the day, and fans come streaming through the gates. Inside, carny Robert sits at his booth with his back to the entering crowd, enjoying a breakfast of pierogi and cigarettes. His feet up on a stool next to him, his plate under the trigger of a water gun, Robert looks utterly relaxed-- just a man having breakfast on his front porch.

Robert's booth, Balloon A-Rama, is just one piece of Riot Fest's sideshow. It fits in with the Ferris wheel and tilt-a-whirl, the funnel cakes and freak show. All day long it will provide a place for stoned teenagers and drunk moms to take a break from the music and enjoy some carnival fun straight from childhood.

See also: The Rides of Riot Fest, Ranked

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Overheard at Riot Fest 2014

Categories: Music Festivals

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Aaron Thackeray
The Descendants
Maybe it's the punk rock origins of Riot Fest that brought out the funny and the ridiculous in various performers and attendees at Riot Fest. It was mostly the usual self-deprecating and/or sarcastic commentary one expects out of musicians but there were a handful of gems both inspired and just funny. Here are a few of our favorites.

See also: Meet the Youngest Punk Rock Fans at Riot Fest


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Meet the Youngest Punk Rock Fans at Riot Fest

Categories: Music Festivals

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Oakland L. Childers
Jeff Gard and Andrew Gard

"Punk rockers are nice," says Owen Clark, who, at five years old, is one of the younger attendees at Riot Fest in Denver. His mother, Tyanne Clark, says she wrestled with the decision to bring Owen and his brother, two-year-old Noah, from Colorado Springs to see the festival.

"It was fifty-fifty at first, but they really like music," says Clark. "They've been super good though, and everyone's been super nice."

See also: The Rides of Riot Fest, Ranked


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Neil Young, Devo And More Will Be Covered at My Favorite Bands Festival

Categories: Music Festivals

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Peter, Paul & Gary
While Colin Bricker, owner of Mighty Fine Productions, is one of the area's best sound engineers, he's also played in the cover band Peter, Paul & Gary since he and some buddies formed the band they were in high school in Greeley. Over the years, some of the band members moved away, he still wanted to an excuse to have the band to play once a year. So that was one of the reasons Bricker and Damon Smith started My Favorite Bands Festival six years ago in downtown Greeley, where musicians pay tribute to their favorite bands. This year's fest will include bands playing the music of the Violent Femmes, ZZ Top, Neil Young, Devo, James Taylor, U2 and Peter, Paul & Gary will play the Gross Pointe Blank soundtrack.

See also: I lived through this: My life in a Hole cover band

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The Nine Types of People You'll See at Riot Fest

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Aaron Thackeray
Riot Fest isn't just for the punks anymore. This festival, coming to Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High this weekend, is bringing an eclectic, loud lineup, and there will surely be a diverse crowd roaming the Byers-themed parking lot. To help you prepare, and maybe even dress, we've rounded up the nine types of people you'll see at Riot Fest. Please note that this is all based purely on our experience at Riot Fest Toronto, our assessment of the lineup and our random whims.

See also: The Five Best Reunited Bands Playing Riot Fest

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The 2014 Goldrush Music Festival Schedule

Categories: Music Festivals

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Courtesy of Sub Pop
clipping. plays Larimer Lounge on Sunday night.
Goldrush Music Festival has always featured a meticulous lineup of local and national artists working with unusual sounds and approaches. This year is the biggest in the four-year history of Goldrush, with headliner Wolf Eyes joining a slew of other exceptional noisemakers on three stages at Larimer Lounge and the Meadowlark this Saturday and Sunday. The full schedule is out now and is listed below.

See also: Wolf Eyes' John Olson Talks About the Importance of Music Communities

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Etsy Has a New Way to Sneak Pot Into Music Festivals

Categories: Music Festivals

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Megan Arseneaux
Arseneaux shows off how to smoke out of her handmade Secret Smoker Bracelet.

Even though recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado, you can't smoke it in public, and most private operations still ban its use. So how are you going to sneak your drugs into music festivals while wearing as little clothing as possible? Is there really a good way to do it without sticking something up your butt?

Enter the Secret Smoker Bracelet, a colorful hemp-braided wrist accessory that unscrews to reveal a nickel bowl and wooden-bead mouthpiece. It complements the Secret Smoker Headpiece, a headband that camouflages your intentions with three festival-friendly fabric flowers.

By Amanda Lewis

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