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Hidden Gem: Ned’s The Caribou Room brings a state of the art music experience to BoCo


Nestled in the mountains about 30 minutes from Boulder lies an eco-friendly concert hall with incredible acoustics. Locals know and love it, but, like a hidden local vista, it is still not as well known in the larger community. The Caribou Room concert venue and event center boasts state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, and it mainly draws in the mountain crowd from Nederland and the surrounding towns.

Adam Perry is a local drummer who has played with groups including Gasoline Lollipops, which had its first-ever headlining show at The Caribou Room in September 2016. He credits this show with putting Gasoline Lollipops on the map and elevating them from playing gigs at dive bars to filling up the Fox, Bluebird, and even playing at Red Rocks, Perry said.

The Caribou Room has a professional kitchen, two full-service bars, and a full balcony with seating. The venue is zero-waste and solar powered. Photo by Zoe Jennings

“Caribou Room has such a state-of-the-art sound — and just the vibe and the green room and the balcony — it’s so cool,” Perry said. “That night had a huge effect on our momentum and jumping from playing at Waterloo in Louisville every Tuesday night for many years to headlining the Fox and the Boulder Theater.”

The Caribou Room has a clean and updated green room for musicians and has its own version of the famous tunnel in Red Rocks where everyone who plays at the venue can sign their name and draw their logo. Their walls are adorned with such names as Joan Osborne, Tim O’Brien, Roosevelt Collier, The California Honeydrops, and Jerry Douglas.

The right atmosphere breeds creativity and sparks inspirational performances. “The venue is nicer than most places: The sound and the green room and the food and the set up is this really cool converted warehouse vibe that you might find in like New York City or San Francisco, which is funny to have up in Ned,” Perry said. “Peter, who owns it, loves music, and I think he understands if you want a band to play well, you have to treat them well and have a space that they really like.”

Gasoline Lollipops play a New Year’s Eve show at The Caribou Room. Photo courtesy of Lisa Siciliano of Dog Daze Photo

Perry, now with Rolling Harvest, and Gasoline Lollipops returned to The Caribou Room this New Year’s Eve to play a show and couldn’t help but feel nostalgic about how much the group had grown in their fan base since their first show at The Caribou Room years before, Perry said.

“That was a really special night,” Perry said. “That was a family affair. It felt like we had come full circle.”

For Perry, The Caribou is a special place to enjoy shows as an audience member when he’s not playing. He fondly remembers enjoying a Joan Osborne show with his partner on one of their first dates.

The Caribou Room hosts events and concerts for the deadheads and jam band enthusiasts. The venue has hosted live webcasts of shows such as Dead and Company and a Madison Square Garden Phish show along with Talking Heads, Phish, Jerry Garcia Band, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, and Grateful Dead tribute band shows.

The Caribou Room doubles as a restaurant and bar, even open for take-out and dining on show nights. Those attending shows have the option of buying floor or balcony tickets and access to the VIP lounge, with early entrance to watch sound check, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, craft beers, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Although The Caribou Room doesn’t put on as many shows as other venues in the area, it boasts a unique mountain town crowd of devoted music lovers coming from Ned and the surrounding mountain towns. For those looking for a positive vibe filled with music lovers, the 30-minute trip up the canyon might just be worth it.

“The Caribou Room is like this hidden gem that a lot of people in Boulder don’t know about,” Perry said. “It’s like a Nederland thing, but it’s as nice as venues around its size like the Bluebird and the Fox. There’s a local vibe that’s like everybody from Ned and Jamestown and Ward. If you go there more than once, you’re going to be a part of the mountain town scene and everybody will know you, and that’s really special. I wish more people in Boulder and Denver and Fort Collins knew about The Caribou Room because I feel like they don’t, and they should.”


Zoe Jennings
She really knows how to pick those high earning careers. As both a journalist and a preschool teacher, selling out is a worse fate than being broke for Zoe Jennings. Author of ‘The Word on the Yard: Stories from D.O.C. #166054,’ a humanizing look at life in prison, she hopes to become a writing instructor for students earning their degrees while incarcerated. Zoe enjoys music and the outdoors in her limited free time.

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