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Why Steamboat's Massive MusicFest Feels Like a Vacation for Artists and Fans Alike

Categories: Music Festivals

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Courtesy of the O's.
The secret is to just keep drinking.
Editor:The O's are an Americana band comprising Taylor Young and John Pedigo. Like many of the other 50 artists on the Steamboat Springs MusicFest lineup (and many of its 6,000 attendees), they are from Texas. They will be documenting their first experience at the festival for Westword. There will be snow and beer and local fauna and (ahem) flora and possibly even music.

Days Four and Five: Residuals, Recovery and Returning Home

Reflecting on last week requires strong mental fortitude. Elation and exhaustion have melded our memories. How can we describe this experience? Music Fest is all about piling beers atop beers that are piled on slices of cold pizza. Follow that up with more beer and vodka. It's like eating Cici's: Sure it's delicious, until the cornucopia of debauchery causes you to wake up the next day with gout. This is not the healthy-living retreat that is readily available at any resort in Colorado. Out here in Steamboat for MusicFest, you play all day, hang out all night, and hope the hairs of the dogs get you through another morning spell. So we dredge from moment to moment hoping that we're heading closer to our goal: Festival Epiphany.

See also: The Secrets of the Musician's Heaven on the Seventh Floor at MusicFest

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The Secrets of the Musician's Heaven on the Seventh Floor at MusicFest

Categories: Music Festivals

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Courtesy of the Steamboat Grand Hotel
The unlikely birthplace of many-a Texas music collaboration.
Editor:The O's are an Americana band comprising Taylor Young and John Pedigo. Like many of the other 50 artists on the Steamboat Springs MusicFest lineup (and many of its 6,000 attendees), they are from Texas. They will be documenting their first experience at the festival for Westword. There will be snow and beer and local fauna and (ahem) flora and possibly even music.

Day Three: Floor Seven Exposed!

The mysterious seventh floor has opened it's righteous arms for The O's, and we've learned the true essence of Steamboat.

See also: Welcome to "Texas Week" in Steamboat Springs

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Welcome to "Texas Week" in Steamboat Springs: The O's Report From MusicFest

Categories: Music Festivals

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Todd Purifoy
MusicFest brings 6,000 people to Steamboat Springs for a week each year.
Editor:The O's are an Americana band comprising Taylor Young and John Pedigo. Like many of the other 50 artists on the Steamboat Springs MusicFest lineup (and many of its 6,000 attendees), they are from Texas. They will be documenting their first experience at the festival for Westword. There will be snow and beer and local fauna and (ahem) flora and possibly even music.

We've spent years touring the states and overseas, and never have we heard more about a festival from the red dirt world than the one that goes down every January in Steamboat, Colorado. For some time now (thirty freakin' years), all the die-hard red dirt enthusiasts go on about is how incredible the Steamboat MusicFest experience is. When we ask specifics, though, the answers are resoundingly vague: "It's so awesome!" or "It's my favorite 'thang' all year."

"Duuuude, you gotta go."

See also: How a Texas Ski Trip Turned Into One of Colorado's Biggest Music Festivals

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The 2015 Communikey Lineup Features Legendary Experimental Musicians

Categories: Music Festivals

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Stephen Cardinale
Communikey Festival 2014
Communikey Festival: 8th Edition has released its initial line-up. Scheduled to run Thursday, April 16th through Sunday, April 19th in Boulder, the Communikey Festival has consistently brought in some of the most innovative international and local experimental music and visual artists throughout its run. The programming of events, workshops, installations and speakers is guided by a mission statement every year, and Communikey 2015 will be informed by, according to the festival's press release, a "dive into the deepest recesses of the self and explore our innerspace."

See also: The Best Shows in the First Six Years of Legendary Experimental Music Festival Communikey

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How a Texas Ski Trip Turned Into One of Colorado's Biggest Music Festivals

Categories: Music Festivals

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Todd Purifoy, Richard Clark, and Carl Dunn for MusicFest
A performance during 2014's MusicFest in Steamboat Springs.
If there are any deals to be had in downhill skiing, they're clearly in bulk purchasing. John Dickson was still a college student in southern Texas when he saw an ad in the local paper for a ski trip to Colorado: Bring at least sixteen people, the ad promised, and your lift tickets will be free.

That was in the mid-'80s, and Dickson knew he wouldn't have trouble finding a crowd to accompany him to Colorado. He regularly hosted concerts at his house, passing around a hat for beer money while musicians jammed in the garage.

See also: Why Bands Love to Play in the Mountains

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Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2015 Lineup Includes Ry Cooder, Kacey Musgraves and More

Categories: Music Festivals

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Benko Photos
THIS IS A REAL PLACE, SOMEHOW.
The 42nd Telluride Bluegrass Festival will take place from June 18 to 21, 2015. As they often do, four day passes sold out before the lineup was even announced (it took ten minutes for fans from all 50 states and several foreign countries to snatch them all up). You can still buy single-day tickets for Thursday and Sunday, however, and camping passes are available.

Today, all those trusting souls learn what exactly they bought tickets to see. We suspect they won't be disappointed. Headlining next year's festival will be Ry Cooder, Sharon White & Ricky Skaggs. Many more big names from the world of bluegrass music (and slightly beyond) join them -- see the full list below.

See also: Telluride Bluegrass Festival's Longtime MC Reflects on Colorado's Most Storied Music Fest

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Three-Day Loudwire Music Festival Coming to Grand Junction with Headliner Linkin Park

Categories: Music Festivals

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Aaron Thackeray
Linkin Park at Fiddler's Green earlier this year.
The Loudwire Music Festival, named for the rock site of the same name, will launch next June in Grand Junction. Linkin Park will headline, and promoter Townsquare Media, which also owns Loudwire, promises a lineup featuring "all genres of rock -- hard, classic, alternative, metal and indie."

See also: 25 Music Festival Lessons

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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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