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Where It’s At

Published on: May 20th, 2011

Illustration by Haley Sir

Summertime in the Rockies means sweet Olathe corn roasting on a grill, lazy back porch evenings drenched in honey-gold sunsets and music festivals more ubiquitous across the Front Range than wild fires. And while anyone can pick a decent ear of corn, selecting which festivals deserve your preciously guarded time and hard-earned money can be a more daunting task. So I’ve done it for you. Here are the top music festivals of the summer for your planning needs.

Taste of Louisville
Where: 800 Main St., Louisville
When: June 4
Why: Enjoy a half marathon, followed by a collection of Louisville’s best restaurants.

People’s Fair

Where: Civic Center Park, Denver
When: June 4-5
Why: Experience dozens of the best local music acts for free. Plus: meat on a stick.

Louisville Downtown Street Faire
Where: Historic Downtown Louisville
When: Friday evenings, June 10–Aug. 12
Why: You live near a place like Louisville exactly for this reason: A classic small town Friday night gathering with food, lots of neighbors and live music.

Aspen Music Festival
Where: Several venues across Aspen
When: June 19–Aug. 17
Why: There isn’t a more respected
classical music series in the country.

Rhythm on the Rails
Where: Whistle Stop Park, Niwot
When: 6pm, Thursdays, June 9–Aug. 18
Why: Hazel Miller, Lionel Young and Rebecca Folsom are slated for this family friendly series.

Where: South Broadway, Denver
When: July 21-24
Why: The UMS (Underground Music Showcase) has grown into the biggest non-corporate music event since the first years of SXSW. With 325 acts across three days, get introduced to killer music you’ve never heard.


Where: Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons
When: July 29-31
Why: This year’s lineup may be one of the best in the history of Colorado’s longest running bluegrass fest: Del McCoury, Peter Rowan and an Open Road reunion.

Telluride Jazz Fest
Where: Telluride
When: Aug. 5–7
Why: Telluride Bluegrass gets all of the press, but the jazz fest presents a more diverse lineup across a wider spectrum of sounds.

Arvada Harvest Festival
Where: Grandview Avenue, Arvada
When: Sept. 9–11
Why: Say goodbye to summer with one of the longest-running (86 years) historic festivals in the state. And there’s a parade.

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