Things You Won't See at Any Music Festival Outside Planet Bluegrass

Categories: Music Festivals

Photo by Lewis Cooper. More photos here.
Planet Bluegrass is nothing if not durable. That durability became a widely-disseminated story as the ranch and music festival operation in Lyons rebuilt when a historic flood utterly wrecked it last September

But this weekend's Rocky Mountain Folks Festival proved another kind of resilience, one that relates not to backhoes but to a line of people standing at the box office at midnight, swapping stories of Folks Festivals past.

Planet Bluegrass, like many similarly minded organizations and bands, has earned enough loyalty to have developed a culture rich with specific traditions. Of its three major events (it also operates Telluride Bluegrass and RockyGrass), Folks is the youngest (this was its 24th installment) and least demonstrative of those traditions. Still, there were plenty of oddities for a first time Festivarian:

See also: Nine Months After Colorado's Worst Flood, the Musicians of Lyons Are Ready For a Comeback

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Wolf Eyes Will Play Goldrush Music Festival: Here's the Full Lineup

Categories: Music Festivals

Boy band Wolf Eyes anchors Goldrush Music Festival's most ambitious lineup to date.
Goldrush Music Festival returns for its fourth installment on September 13 and 14 at the Larimer Lounge and Meadowlark. As we told you last week, the initial lineup announcement was greeted with the largest response in the ambitious young festival's history. It's a safe bet that trajectory will continue with today's announcement of the full lineup, which includes legendary Detroit noise band Wolf Eyes, Black Dice member Eric Copeland and plenty more out-of-towners alongside a meticulous collection of Denver's powerful musical fringe.

Pre-sale two day passes are on sale now for $25 (single day tickets are $13). You can see the full lineup below.

See also: Goldrush Music Festival Is off to the Best Start of Its Four-Year History

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The twelve best music festivals in Colorado this fall

Eric Gruneisen. Full slideshow here

July may be over and school may be just around the corner, but festival season in Colorado is nowhere near ready to come to a close. Here are twelve upcoming festivals that offer a taste of everything from blues to metal, local to international bands, mountains and microbrews to cities and skateboards.

See also: Chive Fest hopes to be among City Park's first major music festivals, despite concerns

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Goldrush Festival is off to the best start of its four-year history

Categories: Music Festivals

Tom Murphy
Breakfastes at Goldrush 2012
The Goldrush Music Festival in Denver is returning for it's fourth year of underground music from around the country -- this time the festival will take place at the Larimer Lounge and the Meadowlark Bar. Goldrush announced the first half of the lineup last week, and sold out pre-sale tickets in one day, faster than it ever had before.

Crawford Philleo, one of the festival's founders, says the presale response was so encouraging that they are debating adding more early bird tickets, though that is still just an idea. "We've released maybe about half of what we really have planned," Philleo says. "I think people are just going to get more and more excited."

See also: Goldrush Festival co-founder Crawford Philleo on how this year's festival will be different

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Thirteen of the best bands we saw at UMS this year

Categories: Music Festivals

Aaron Thackeray


It would be easy to drift off into a dream world listening to Hollow Talk at low volume, but that's not really an issue. The Denver-based shoegaze/psych band features members of Endpoint, Guilt and Good Riddance, bands known less for their subtlety and nuance than for their bombast and message. Hollow Talk melds the two styles seamlessly, at once relaxing and impossible to ignore. --Oakland L. Childers

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Meet the volunteers who make UMS work

Categories: Music Festivals

Aaron Thackeray
There was a lot going on all the time at this year's Underground Music Showcase (UMS). Bands were setting up and breaking down to keep to the festival's tight schedule, fans clogged the sidewalks for blocks on both sides of the street, and food trucks and other purveyors of trinkets and pot paraphernalia hocked their wares outside nearly every venue.

Among the throng were always one of two serious looking people, obviously not among any of the aforementioned groups. Clad in hard-to-miss green t-shirts, they manned the doors, checking IDs and event credentials and generally helping make the whole thing move along.

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The eleven must-see sets at this weekend's Underground Music Showcase

Categories: Music Festivals

From the Aww Shucks tape cover
High Plains Honky plays Sunday night at Gary Lee's.
The Underground Music Showcase is underway. Last night's kickoff of the 400+ band festival featured standout sets from the likes of Jux County and Homebody. But there's plenty more to see and hear. We've picked out eleven of the sets we're most excited about.

See also: Denver musicians talk about the local bands that inspire them

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The engineering report that helped convince Arapahoe County to deny Riot Fest's permit

Categories: Music Festivals

Aaron Thackeray
Riot Fest will not return to May Farms outside Byers this year after Arapahoe County Commissioners denied special-use permit applications from both the festival and the farm. The denial came just two months before the music festival and carnival was set to bring Wu-Tang Clan, Slayer, Primus and more to the town forty miles east of Denver -- Riot Fest will go on with the same schedule at a new location: the parking lot outside Sports Authority Field in downtown Denver.

The two main factors that led to the decision were comments collected in a public hearing earlier this month and a traffic impact report commissioned by the County's Engineering Division. May Farms and Riot Fest proposed improvements in traffic flow and parking for this year, but the report suggests that more would be needed.

"While these changes will mitigate some of the queues accessing the event, it is likely that there will still be extensive queues unless vehicle arrival time is spaced out over several hours," the report concludes. It suggests additional changes to roads, signage and traffic redirection, among other things to help accommodate an estimated crowd of over 17,000 people, which is roughly 17 times the population of Byers.

See also: Riot Fest announces new location and issues a statement: "Simply, we were duped"

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Riot Fest announces new location and issues a statement: "Simply, we were duped"

Categories: Music Festivals

Aaron Thackeray
A fan at Riot Fest last year in Byers
After being denied special-use permits required by Arapahoe County, Riot Fest has moved its 2014 festival from May Farms outside Byers to Sports Authority Field at Mile High in downtown Denver. The dates (September 19 to 21) and schedule (see below) are unchanged. Previously purchased tickets will be honored as-is, and camping refunds will be issued starting today. Riot Fest will also offer free parking.

In addition to announcing the new location, the festival has issued a lengthy statement on the entire ordeal, including a letter from founder Mike Petryshyn. In it, he passionately expresses his connection with the family who owns May Farms and his anger at the County's decision. "And we all know if we were named Good Ole Country Riot Fest, we would have never been in this situation," it ends. You can read the whole thing below.

See also: Riot Fest denied a permit by Arapahoe County to host festival in Byers

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Trout Steak Revival is Colorado's next great bluegrass band

Emerald O'Brien
Trout Steak Revival plays the free stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival during the band competition semi-finals. They competed against nine other bands from around the country to win the title of Best Band.
There is no trout at Trout Steak Revival's band practice, but there are five musicians and a manager full of bratwurst and salad in a back yard in east Denver.

"You can only eat so much trout," banjo player Travis McNamara jokes.

Fiddle player Bevin Foley hosts her bandmates on Thursdays for food and practice when they each make the trek into Denver from their Front Range homes. On this particular Thursday, they sit around the table in her small back yard. A faded wooden sign proclaiming "Trout Steak Revival" leans against the fence in the corner. Except for gigs and the occasional Sunday practice, Thursday band practice is one of the only chances they have to all get together while juggling their own day jobs and living in different towns.

See also: Eleven things that make the Telluride Bluegrass Festival magical

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