We know you have been waiting risell winter long to get out, sit in the sun, take in some tunes and shake your hula thing. So welcome to EO’s annual festival guide. Here, we run down the best happenings across Colorado and beyond, the events you will need to circle on your calendar—everything from music to sports to beer to yoga. Plus, the EO Road Show will be stopping at many of these festivals, so be sure to stop by, grab swag and say hello.
Music & Blossom Festival
April 30-may 4 | cañon city
High school bands compete in the 77th edition of this community fête.
DON’T MISS: The Cluster Duck.
INSIDER INFO: Download the festival app.
SHAKIN’ AT THE BASIN
May 2-30 | Arapahoe Basin
This concert series runs the month of May, merging music with corn snow.
DON’T MISS: Summit County’s High Five.
INSIDER INFO: Buy a $199 spring ski pass.
Cheyenne Cañon Piñon Nut Brown ale release
May 7 | colorado springs
Come celebrate the release of Bristol’s Community Ale, which benefits the Friends of Cheyenne Cañon.
OURAY FORK FEST
May 8-9 | Ouray
Last year, a dedicated group of locals decided to resurrect the Ouray Culinary Festival. The result? A hot new happening to fill your plate.
DON’T MISS: The $25 per person restaurant crawl.
INSIDER INFO: Book at Box Canyon Lodge or Hotel Ouray for a festival bro deal.
PADDLE THE ROCKIES SUP CLASSIC AND PADDLE FESTIVAL
May-September | longmont
If you live to paddle (or even just dabble) these blowouts throughout the summer will be a splash.
DON’T MISS: The SUP yoga demos.
INSIDER INFO: The top competitors win a new Boardworks race SUP.
Brewer’s Dinner Collaboration
May 14 | colorado springs
Tasty things go down when Bristol partners with Paradox Beer Co. and Blue Star Group.
Grand Valley Beer Festival
May 15 | grand junction
Come taste suds to support student athletes at Colorado Mesa University.
DON’T MISS: Kannah Creek’s new brews.
INSIDER INFO: It’s cash only.
EAGLE OUTSIDE FESTIVAL AND firebird 40 rACE
May 15-17 | Eagle
Want a festival with some true Colorado-local cred? This hoedown celebrates a community that has gone all-in when it comes to embracing bike and outdoor-sport culture. It all kicks off around the Firebird series of races, including the inaugural 40-mile romp.
DON’T MISS: Up your game at world MTB champ Alison Dunlap’s clinics.
INSIDER INFO: Don’t miss the Bonfire Brewing Chromoly Chef Competition.
THE GOLDEN GAMES
May 15-17 | Golden
Kick off Front Range summer with races and events in kayaking (freestyle, slalom and downriver), stand-up paddleboarding, rafting and in the waters of Clear Creek and Soda Lakes.
DON’T MISS: The Sunset Paddle Classic.
INSIDER INFO: EO is sponsoring the Screaming ¼ Mile Race on May 16.
MIke the Headless Chicken
May 15-17 | fruita
Celebrate the story of Mike with races, music and running around like a…
DON’T MISS: The disc golf tournament.
INSIDER INFO: The new Trail B. Find it.
UPSLOPE GET DOWN
May 16 | Boulder
Drink up and party down with bands and brews in the parking lot.
DON’T MISS: The Thai IPA.
INSIDER INFO: Buy a spot in the VIP tent.
ELEVATION’s 3rd ANNIVERSARY
May 16 | Poncha Springs
Things will get steamy in Pagosa at this brewery’s anniversary party.
DON’T MISS: Bluegrass tunes from Trout Steak Revival.
INSIDER INFO: Hit the rooftop hot springs pool at the Overlook pre-game.
HEAD FOR THE HILLS’ PICKIN’ ON THE POUDRE
May 16 | Bellvue
Head for the Hills’ bash is the perfect way to kick off hardcore festy season.
DON’T MISS: Bonnie Paine and Daniel Rodriquez of Elephant Revival.
INSIDER INFO: Buy parking ahead of time.
CAMP OUT FOR THE CAUSE
May 21-24 | Rancho del Rio
This is the future hippies imagined—music, yoga, camping and one big, dancing community feeling the love.
DON’T MISS: Elephant Revival, Gregory Alan Isakov, Grant Farm and Fruition.
INSIDER INFO: “The Cause” means that 100-percent of profits go to American Rivers, Eagle Valley Land Trust and All Hands Volunteers.
MEADOWGRASS MUSIC FESTIVAL
May 22-24 | La Foret
This laid-back happening offers up an eclectic mix of music and funk.
DON’T MISS: Shook Twins.
INSIDER INFO: Festival proceeds help preserve La Foret open space.
Grand JUNCTION OFF-ROAD
DOWNTOWN ART AND MUSIC
May 28-31 | grand junction
This festival takes over the streets of downtown GJ and should be on far more many festy folk’s radar.
DON’T MISS: Shakey Graves, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, James McMurtry.
INSIDER INFO: All shows are free!
YAMPA RIVER FESTIVAL
May 29-3o | Steamboat Springs
This festival does more than get you out playing and competing on Colorado’s last free river (see page 14)—it raises money to help protect it.
DON’T MISS: The Crazy River Dog Contest in C-hole.
INSIDER INFO: The event kicks off with a gear swap.
May 29-31 | State Bridge
A festival with a hip lineup like this at State Bridge on the Colorado River is like an overnight camp for grown ups.
DON’T MISS: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and Kyle Hollingsworth Band featuring Michael Kang.
INSIDER INFO: No cell service here, kids.
ANIMAS RIVER DAYS
May 28–31 | Durango
The good people of Durango enjoy their river this weekend—and you can join with races, films, dogs and more.
DON’T MISS: The kayak rodeo in the country’s first whitewater park.
INSIDER INFO: A big prize has been promised in the rubber ducky race.
LYONS OUTDOOR GAMES
May 30 | Lyons
The floods of 2013 did not keep Lyons down for long. This multi-sport and music extravaganza has become one of the best gatherings in Colorado. Out-of-towners come in for the big music fests; this one pumps up the locals, and draws global athletes.
DON’T MISS: Burning Can Beer Fest.
INSIDER INFO: Champion swiller and runner? Sign up for the Beer Relay.
MOUNTAIN AIR MUSIC SERIES
June 4–25 | Ouray
Ouray’s Fellin Park hosts this month-long series of outdoor shows.
DON’T MISS: Eats from local food vendors on hand at the park.
INSIDER INFO: Head to O’Brien’s Pub & Grill for the post-concert concerts.
GOPRO MOUNTAIN GAMES
June 4-7 | Vail
The Mountain Games just continue to grow. It starts with the competition—everything from the downriver SUP race to the same cycling hill climb up Vail Pass that racers hit on the USA Pro Challenge to leaping dogs—which pulls in both pros and casual athletes. But art, films (“Valley Uprising” will be here) and concerts from bands including G. Love and Special Sauce and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe make it a cultural happening.
DON’T MISS: New events this season include a tandem SUP Cross, a two-person raft race, the Ultimate River Challenge and disc golf.
INSIDER INFO: Visit the EO tent for swag.
PAGOSA FOLK ‘N BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
June 5-7 | Pagosa Springs
If you want good music far from the scene of the Front Range, you will find it right here in the San Juans.
DON’T MISS: The rootsy lineup includes Noam Pikelny and Stuart Duncan, Solas, Red Molly, Songs of the Fall and Finnders and Youngberg.
INSIDER INFO: Slip out for Mexican and margs at Kip’s Grill.
SUMMERFEST ON THE RIO
June 5-7 | Alamosa
Held on the Rio Grande, this little festival that rocks has taken over Alamosa’s Cole Park since 2001.
DON’T MISS: Country darling Kinsey Sadler headlines the show.
INSIDER INFO: The Poker Run benefits ASU Art and Music Scholarships.
Dolores River Festival
June 6 | DOLORES
This celebration helps out the river that unites the town of Dolores.
DON’T MISS: The Pimps of Joytime.
INSIDER INFO: Hit the singletrack at nearby Phil’s World for a little escape.
June 6-7 | Meeker
The third annual palooza in this little hideaway strums up music and art.
DON’T MISS: Great American Taxi and Hog MacGundy highlight the tunes.
INSIDER INFO: Find the beer garden.
GUNNISON RIVER FESTIVAL
June 11-14 | Gunnison
Give thanks for the goodness of the Gunnison at this annual throwdown.
DON’T MISS: The hooligan comp chaos.
INSIDER INFO: Jonathan Waterman will be talking about the Colorado River on June 11 (read his EO story, page 50).
june 11-14 | boulder
Boulder takes pride in its yoga vibe, so it’s no surprise that this homegrown happening keeps growing.
DON’T MISS: Classes with talented local teachers Richard Freeman, Amy Ippoliti and Raj and Mia Seymour.
INSIDER INFO: Steph Schwartz’s kirtan on Sunday morning is open to the public.
GOLDEN MUSIC FESTIVAL
June 12-14 | Golden
Front Rangers don’t have to range too far to find an authentic little festival.
DON’T MISS: Bands play the amphitheater in Clear Creek History Park.
INSIDER INFO: Check the food truck schedule at Mountain Toad Brewery.
SNOWMASS MAMMOTH FESTIVAL
June 12-14 | Snowmass
Take cutting-edge bands. Add a chili cook off and beer tasting. Sprinkle in the camping and sublime singletrack and hiking surrounding Snowmass. The result is one hot festival just as summer gets rolling.
DON’T MISS: Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Tedeschi Trucks Band.
INSIDER INFO: Don’t miss Saturday’s beer tasting with over 25 breweries.
PALISADE BLUEGRASS AND
June 12-14 | Palisade
It’s all about atmosphere at this festival. There’s just as much excitement around Palisade—with local distillers and wineries in attendance and secret singletrack out the gate—as there is on stage.
DON’T MISS: Jackie Green, Hayes Carll and Elephant Revival.
INSIDER INFO: Think you are tough? Learn to play rugby here with folks from the local Grand Junction Team.
Denver | June 13
Denver’s LoHi neighborhood transforms into one big block party.
DON’T MISS: The Infamous Stringdusters, Kung Fu and Hot Buttered Rum.
INSIDER INFO: Hit the after party at Cervantes for more Hot Buttered Rum.
MOUNTAIN RAILS LIVE
june 13-September 12 | Alamosa
The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad carries passengers to concerts in the Fir Summit Amphitheater.
DON’T MISS: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
INSIDER INFO: If you like beer, put Rails and Ales on the calendar on June 20.
June 18-21 | Telluride
As we went to print there were still single-day tickets available for Thursday and Sunday at the big mama of all festivals. We suggest you go.
DON’T MISS: Anything. This year’s lineup includes Ry Cooder, Sharon White & Ricky Skaggs, John Butler Trio, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Trampled By Turtles, Yonder Mtn String Band, Greensky Bluegrass and Rhonda Vincent.
INSIDER INFO: Nightgrass shows in town (tickets sold separately).
LA SPORTIVA SUMMER
SOLSTICE TRAIL RUN
June 20 | Beaver Creek
These rugged trail races benefit the Vail Valley Charitable Fund.
DON’T MISS: Pig out on Moe’s BBQ and enjoy tunes in Creekside Park.
INSIDER INFO: Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category for 10k and 5k runners.
June 18-21 | Rye
The summer solstice will bring light to this whirlwind of electronic music, live painters, art installations and yoga friendly one-ness. At a new location at Humming Bird Ranch, Sonic Bloom brings enlightenment to Earth.
DON’T MISS: STS9, Shpongle, Emancipator, The Trancident, Talib Kweli, Desert Dwellers, The Sonic Bloom Orchestra.
INSIDER INFO: Stop dancing for just a bit to take a class with a plethora of excellent Colorado yogis who will be teaching here.
June 18-21 | Salida
Why not spend the longest days of the year (and Father’s Day) at America’s oldest whitewater festival. FIBArk is one massive party with a ton of paddling thrown in. Competition here ranges from the classic whitewater rodeo to downriver SUP to the Raft Guide Olympics. And land events include mountain bike races.
DON’T MISS: The Karaoke Competition. Because you want to hear paddlers belt out “Don’t Stop Believing,” right?
INSIDER INFO: The first-ever REP River Run Off combines scores from paddling events and running events.
LEADVILLE TRAIL MARATHON
AND HEAVY HALF
June 20 | Leadville
You don’t have to suffer through 100 miles to take a stab at Leadville. Try this marathon or half marathon.
DON’T MISS: Racing to new heights—13,185 feet at the top of Mosquito Pass, to be exact.
INSIDER INFO: Don’t be surprised if there’s snow on the course.
ESTES PARK MARATHON
June 20–21 | Estes Park
The heights of Estes and a backdrop of Rocky Mountain National Park make for one breath-taking run. Races include the marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k and a marathon relay.
DON’T MISS: The marathon weekend kicks off on Saturday with the Kid’s Fun Run & Family Festival.
INSIDER INFO: Check the website for training runs before the big day.
ALAMOSA PRCA ROUND-UP RODEO
June 23-28 | Alamosa
You don’t have to be in the rodeo to feel like a cowboy. This PRCA event certainly brings in some of the best in the bucking business, but it’s also a week-long celebration.
DON’T MISS: Mark Chestnut on June 28.
INSIDER INFO: Car breaking down? It’s not too late to enter the Demolition Derby.
CRESTED BUTTE BIKE WEEK
June 25-28 | Crested Butte
The World’s Oldest Mountain Bike Festival in the home of mountain biking—now that sounds like the kind of week to bring fat tire freaks to their chain stays.
DON’T MISS: The Chainless World Championship. Because carnage.
INSIDER INFO: Get to the film fest on the first day—these eight-minute shorts feature local riders.
COLORADO BREWER’S FESTIVAL
June 26-28 | Fort Collins
You like beer? These are your people, my friend.
DON’T MISS: It’s not all swilling. Enjoy the live music, too.
INSIDER INFO: The festival is free, but you will need to buy a tasting package to sample the suds. Save $5 if you purchase it ahead of time for $25.
COPPER’S GONE TO THE DOGS
June 26–27 | Copper Mountain
For a day and a half, dogs, families of dogs, competitive dogs, leisurely dogs and dog owners will do their doggy thing all over Copper. Don’t like dogs? Stay home with your cat.
DON’T MISS: Be sure to meet the avalanche rescue dogs.
INSIDER INFO: Humans are allowed in the 5k run, too.
JAZZ ASPEN SNOWMASS
June 26-July 6 | Snowmass
Jazz? Yes. But there are also a lot of big-name acts mixed in to this big-time musical showcase.
DON’T MISS: Maceo Parker
INSIDER INFO: For true jazz, hit the Jas Cafe at the Little Nell during the festival and beyond.
GRAND COUNTY BLUES SOCIETY BLUES FROM THE TOP
June 27-28 | Winter Park
This feel-good event helps support Blue Star Connection, a non profit that raises funds and collects musical instruments to give to children fighting cancer or other difficulties.
DON’T MISS: Joe Louis Walker, Deanna Bogart, Chris Cain, Ronnie Baker Brooks Big Band.
INSIDER INFO: Check out the youth stage.
PIKES PEAK HILL CLIMB / RACE TO THE CLOUDS
June 28 | Pikes Peak / Colorado Springs
Drivers flock to the 14er from all over the planet to burn rubber to the top.
DON’T MISS: Devil’s Playground offers a good view of the action.
INSIDER INFO: If you really want to be in the heat of things, you can volunteer.
ROYAL GORGE WHITEWATER FESTIVAL
June 26-27 | Canon City
The seventh edition of this growing water-based bacchanal in praise of the Arkansas River gives you a lot of opportunities to get competing in the water and on land and draws a diverse lineup of musical artists.
DON’T MISS: Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band, Mile High 101
INSIDER INFO: See the U.S. Rafting Association’s National Championship.
SALIDA ART WALK
June 26–28 | Salida
Salida Art Walk reaffirms the vibrant art scene that’s growing here in the heart of Colorado. In its 23rd year, Art Walk, boasts up to 100 venues showcasing art from 100 different Colorado artists.
DON’T MISS: Concerts by 20 local musicians on three different stages, dance numbers and theater like Shakespeare in the Park.
INSIDER INFO: Keep an eye out for the Salida Circus and the infamous Mud People who’ll be roaming the streets.
CLEAR CREEK RAPIDGRASS BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
June 26-28 | Idaho Springs
Just off I-70 this festival is sure to draw some serious crowds.
DON’T MISS: The lineup is absolutely stacked: Sam Bush, The Travelin’ McCourys, Jeff Austin Band
INSIDER INFO: The workshops are just as good as the lineup.
DENVER FLEA SUMMER EDITION
June 27–28 | Surprise Location
The Denver Flea is capitalism at its finest: endless stalls of stuff for sale with an aim “to support locally-based companies and folks who build upon Denver’s individual character no matter where they call home.”
DON’T MISS: The Flea celebrates “maker culture,” so find something beyond what you could buy at Target here.
INSIDER INFO: Got some stuff to sell? Rent a stall.
KEYSTONE’S BLUE RIBBON
June 27–28 | Keystone
Yep, bacon—as in thousands of pounds of bacon and bacon-inspired cuisine.
DON’T MISS: Colorado’s largest bacon Bloody Mary bar!
INSIDER INFO: There’s music, too.
ShowDown Town Concert Series
July 2-AUGust 13 | EAGLE
This weekly series serves up music in the park brought to you by Vail Valley Foundation, title sponsor Moe’s BBQ and partnerships with The Town of Eagle and Bonfire Brewing.
DON’T MISS: Rumor has it that the after party will be at Bonfire Brewing.
INSIDER INFO: It’s free! (Not the beer.)
July 2-5 | Aspen-Snowmass
Far more than a yoga festival, this enlightened throwdown is a community gathering that features art, music (MC Yogi, DJ Drez, Moby!), group hikes, hugs, SUP, lectures… oh, and the yoga is pretty incredible, too. World-famous teachers here include Eoin Finn, Gurmukh, Max Strom, YogaSlackers, and many more.
DON’T MISS: “The Road to Wanderlust,” the film chronicles the 45,000-mile, epic two yogis made when they learned that the car they live in is dying.
INSIDER INFO: Chill in the tea rooms.
RIDGWAY CONCERT SERIES
July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 | Ridgway
Want to just relax this summer instead of dealing with all those festy freaks? Catch the free concerts in Ridgway’s Town Park on Thursdays.
DON’T MISS: Sol Driven Train, Humming House, The Blackberry Bushes, Roxy Roca, and The Steep Canyon Rangers.
INSIDER INFO: There’s local beer on tap, as well as margs, wine and food.
July 3-4 | Crested Butte
If you are going to call a festival “One World,” it makes sense for it to be free.
DON’T MISS: Four bands will play: Eufórquestra, The Leftover Cuties, The Family Crest and The Suffers.
INSIDER INFO: Need something for the kids to do this summer? The Music Festival’s Kids’ Camp runs June 29-July 2 and features instruction from Denver’s Swallow Hill Music School.
LA SPORTIVA VAIL HILL CLIMB
July 5 | Vail
Run up the 7.5-mile climb from Vail Village to Vail Mountain’s summit, racking up 2,500 vertical feet along the way.
DON’T MISS: Coffee from Northside Coffee & Kitchen.
INSIDER INFO: Bring an old pair of shoes for the Soles for Souls raffle.
HIGH MOUNTAIN HAY FEVER
July 9-12 | Westcliffe
No pop bands posing as “bluegrass” here—this mellow fest attracts roots aficionados who care more about the music than the party-crowd mentality.
DON’T MISS: Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers, Lou Reid and Carolina, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, Darol Anger and the Furies, The Hillbenders, Eddie and Martha Adcock with Tom Gray.
INSIDER INFO: This festival does a damn bit of good, too. Last year it raised $42,000 for the Custer County Medical Center’s EMS as well as $8000 for the C.A.R.T Main Street Initiative Project for the Towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff.
COPPER MOUNTAIN MUSIC FEST
July 11 | Copper Mountain
This brand new festival is sure to get some booties shakin’. Why? you ask. Well, it’s officially presented by none other than Elevation Outdoors and sponsored by Copper Mountain and KSMT 102 the Mountain.
DON’T MISS: The lineup includes Balsam Range, Reckless Kelly, The Honey Cutters, Larry Keel
INSIDER INFO: Check this summer at ElevationOutdoors.com for more.
July 11-12 | Telluride
In it’s fourth year, this happening could become a big deal in a town known for big festivals with this year’s addition of two nights of Widespread Panic to the lineup.
DON’T MISS: Gov’t Mule, Jonny Lang, Trigger Hippy, North Mississippi Allstars, The Temperance Movement.
INSIDER INFO: Bring your bike to get back and forth from Town Park camping.
July 17-19 | Grand Targhee Resort, WY
All the great festivals are not just in Colorado. Up in Wyoming and Idaho, this big has been a big deal for a decade. It’s worth the drive.
DON’T MISS: Brandi Carlile, Taj Mahal Trio, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, Gov’t Mule, Mavis Staples, Patty Griffin, Trigger Hippy.
INSIDER INFO: Grand Teton Brewing serves up the suds.
FESTIVAL IN THE CLOUDS
July 18-19 | Alma
This little festival in Colorado’s highest incorporated municipality serves up continuous live music as well as things like gems and minerals.
DON’T MISS: Backyard Berserker dubbed as “The downtown Alma sound.” INSIDER INFO: There are quite a few campgrounds in the area.
STEAMBOAT MOVEMENT FEST
July 23-26 | Steamboat
This new happening will bring The Boat’s yoga, outdoor and music communities come together as one.
DON’T MISS: Take a class with uplifting Colorado yogis including Gina Caputo, Valerie D’Ambrosio and Outlaw Yoga’s Justin Kaliskewski.
INSIDER INFO: Look for lodging deals online at SteamboatSummer.com.
OYSTER RIDGE MUSIC FESTIVAL
July 24–26 | Kemmerer, WY
“Oyster Grass” is simply the biggest musical happening in the nation’s least populated state. Oh, and it is free! The stage hosts local talent as well as national acts and it was all the brainchild of a USFS employee who liked to pick some mean guitar.
DON’T MISS: Guthrie Brown and the Family Tree, Moors and McCumber.
INSIDER INFO: The festival is also home to the Wyoming state finger style guitar championship and the Wyoming state flat pick guitar championship. And anyone (even non-residents) can enter.
COLORADO BURGER SUMMIT
July 25 | Copper Mountain
Who has Colorado’s best burger? That question will be answered here.
DON’T MISS: Music from Eufórquestra.
INSIDER INFO: Attendees are the judges.
July 25-27 | Lyons
If you love bluegrass and can only make one festival this summer make it this one held at the classic grounds of Planet Bluegrass in Lyons.
DON’T MISS: The Infamous Stringdusters, Earls of Leicester, Sam Bush, I’m With Her (Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz & Aoife O’Donovan), Del McCoury.
INSIDER INFO: Register for the instrument contests and show off your stuff.
ENDURO WORLD SERIES
July 31-August 2 | Crested Butte / Mt. Crested Butte
The world’s best racers take the Butte.
DON’T MISS: 21,000 feet of descent.
INSIDER INFO: Bring your bike, too.
BEAT THE HEAT
July 31-August 1 | Alamosa
This BBQ, brews, and chili challenge is sure to fill your belly with goodness.
DON’T MISS: Cookers will compete in chicken, pork, ribs and brisket, along with dessert and Anything But categories, all judged by certified Kansas City BBQ Society judges.
INSIDER INFO: Got a recipe of your own? join the competition.
CRESTED BUTTE ARTS FESTIVAL
July 31-August 2 | Crested Butte
In it’s 43rd year this expansive arts festival may just give you something to ponder beyond all that singletrack.
DON’T MISS: Music from Bruce Hayes and the Gypsy Jazz Social Club.
INSIDER INFO: Want to bring something home? Head to the art auction.
KEYSTONE’S BLUEGRASS AND BEER
August 1–2 | Keystone
You have to love a fest built around “frothy flavors and hillbilly luxuries.”
DON’T MISS: Over 30 breweries and 14 bluegrass bands.
INSIDER INFO: Bring your bike for some laps on Keystone’s rocking donwhill.
TELLURIDE JAZZ FESTIVAL
JULY 31 – AUGUST 2 | Telluride
Telluride Jazz brings in acts with as much credence as Telluride Bluegrass but far less of the hoopla.
DON’T MISS: This line up has some serious cred: Ernie Watts, Maceo Parker, The M&Ms, Bill Frissel Trio, The Soul Rebels, Eufórquestra, and more.
INSIDER INFO: The Telluride Student All-Star Jazz Ensemble, made up of students from age 13 through 18, plays throughout town and opens the festival on the Town Park Main Stage.
August 2 | Denver
Beer has become religion in Colorado—enjoy dozens of breweries paying homage to the session-style beer at this summer’s Sesh Fest.
DON’T MISS: There’s also art, food, lawn games, and music.
INSIDER INFO: Session beers are lower in alcohol than most craft brews.
ROAR in the city
August 2 | colorado springs
This all-ages “Really Outrageous Adventure Race” takes place in town and it serves as a fund-raiser for our friends at Upadowna, whose mission is to provide outdoor adventures for all through empowering events.
DON’T MISS: This year’s theme is “Prehistoric Party.” We suggest you get all Neanderthal.
INSIDER INFO: Stop by the EO tent to say hi and tell us how you did in the race.
GRAND TARGHEE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
August 7-9 | Grand Targhee Resort, WY
Here’s another reason to head up to Wyoming and Idaho this summer.
DON’T MISS: It’s an eclectic lineup here, including Keller Williams Grateful Grass, The Infinite Stringdusters, Donna the Buffalo, Lake Street Drive, Greensky Bluegrass, Elephant Revival, Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas and The Earls of Leicester.
INSIDER INFO: You can sit down at the Branding Iron Grill for a meal.
CRESTONE MUSIC FESTIVAL
August 7-9 | Crestone
The vibe here certainly mirrors that of Crestone itself, where folks of all sort of backgrounds and spiritual callings all find common ground.
DON’T MISS: Lunar Fire, Robben Ford and The Young Dubliners will be the headliners.
INSIDER INFO: The weekend is quite family friendly thanks to Salida Circus, We Are The Drum Workshop, hula-hoops and beach balls and EuroBungy jump machine.
Avery Brewing’s 22nd Anniversary Party
August 8 | boulder
Avery just moved into a brand new brewery location in Gunbarrel. It’s time to celebrate.
DON’T MISS: Avery promises to dig “deep into the cellar to pull out rare and vintage beers to share.”
INSIDER INFO: Unlike the old location, there’s food on site here.
August 7-9 | Loveland
Arise typifies a new breed of festival—more than just bluegrass and hula hoops, it combines music with movement, performance, art, community and everything from yoga sessions to a creative and fun children’s village.
DON’T MISS: There are plenty of big-name bands here to dance to like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Polish Ambassador and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. But yoga is still at the heart of this happening. Take a class with Boulder favorites Jeanie Manchester or Gina Caputo.
INSIDER INFO: Sharesten will find your vibe with her Yin and Tibetan Bowls.
August 14-16 | Fort Collins
This free, three-day party features Colorado musicians topped off with Big Head Todd and the Monsters, as well as Pat Benatar and War.
DON’T MISS: An eclectic mix of local bands include The Holler!, Danielle At the Sandwich and Post Paradise.
INSIDER INFO: Be sure to stop by the EO tent and say hi.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN FOLKS FESTIVAL
August 15-17 | Lyons
Here’s another chance to hear some of the best acoustic (and electric) artists in the world and support the festival-inclined town of Lyons. The smallest of Planet Bluegrass’ big three festivals is our personal favorite thanks to its laid-back vibe and eclectic music lineup. Bring the family.
DON’T MISS: Sufjan Stevens, Gillian Welch, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin, Jason Isbel, The Waifs.
INSIDER INFO: Bring your bike and take a break with a spin on Hall Ranch.
ESTES PARK WINE FESTIVAL
AUGUST 15–16 | Estes Park
Come sample Colorado wine in the heart of downtown Estes Park.
DON’T MISS: Enjoy tastings from over 15 Colorado wineries, fresh food, local Colorado vendors and live music.
INSIDER INFO: Check out our Gem Lake hike and GPS coordinates on page 18.
MUMFORD AND SONS’ GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD STOPOVER
August 21-22 | Salida
We have always counted Salida as one of our very favorite Colorado towns. Apparently, British folk stars Mumford and Sons do, too. Their small-town tour will be here in all it’s glory.
DON’T MISS: The Flaming Lips, Dawes, Jenny Lewis, Tune-Yards, and more.
INSIDER INFO: Stop by Absolute Bikes for beta on local rides on your downtime.
August 28-30 | Nederland
If it’s in Ned, it needs to be weird, or at least alternatively expressive. Ned Fest delivers with music, art, crafts, microbrews and assorted oddness. DON’T MISS: Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon, Hard Working Americans, Gipsy Moon and March Forth!
INSIDER INFO: Stop by our friends at Salto and Tin Shed Sports for a bite or a rental bike and beta.
FOUR CORNERS FOLK FESTIVAL
SEPTEMBER 4-6 | Pagosa Springs
Meet the sister festival to FolkWest’s Pagosa Folk ‘N Bluegrass Festival. Enjoy the same core vibe and listen to rootsy performers under a 1,200-plus-person tent or kick back in the surrounding meadow.
DON’T MISS: This lineup sure to please core Colorado festival aficionados: Sara Watkins, Sarha Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan all on stage together. Eddie from Ohio. Hot Rize with Red Knuckles and The Trailblazers. The Black Lillies. The Oh Hellos. The Railsplitters. Anne and Pete Sibley.
INSIDER INFO: Beyond its festivals, FolkWest runs bluegrass camps for adults and kids, June 2–4 in Pagosa.
JAZZ ASPEN SNOWMASS
LABOR DAY FESTIVAL
September 4-6 | Snowmass
Yeah, well forget about the jazz, this festival pulls in big-gun talent.
DON’T MISS: Hozier, Jimmy Cliff, No Doubt, Lenny Kravitz,
INSIDER INFO: Bring your bike and hit the Government Trail between sets.
WEST ELK BICYCLE CLASSIC
September 6 | Gunnison to Crested Butte
The perfect way to close out the summer? Spin the scenic 134-mile, 9,300-feet-of-climbing route from Gunnison to Crested Butte along Blue Mesa, Black Canyon and Kebler Pass.
DON’T MISS: Ride with local bike god and champ racer Dave Wiens.
INSIDER INFO: There’s 29 miles of dirt, so choose the right tires
LONGS PEAK SCOTTISH IRISH HIGHLANDS FESTIVAL
September 10–13 | Estes Park
Want to revel in your Scottish and/or Irish heritage? Head to Estes this fall for the biggest blowout of Celtic fun this side of the Atlantic.
DON’T MISS: The downtown parade, bagpipes, drummers, dancers in tartan, dogs of the British Isles, strongman competitions, jousting.
INSIDER INFO: Wear your kilt, lad!
TELLURIDE BLUES AND BREWS
September 18-20 | Telluride
Save the best for last. Telluride’s other big festival is the one we wait for all summer long. Hey and who doesn’t like autumn nights, a cold craft beer and some music to make you want to cry into it… or dance.
DON’T MISS: The lineup has yet to be announced but stay tuned for it is sure to be full of big names.
INSIDER INFO: The Grand Tasting features 56 craft brewers competing to be the crowd favorite.
September 24-27 | Paonia
When the weather cools, this festival heats up the North Fork Valley.
DON’T MISS: Check the website for the lineup to be announced.
INSIDER INFO: This non profit supports the local artists and charitable causes.