ROCK OUT IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS:
THE 2013 SUMMER CONCERT SEASON IN DENVER
Summertime in Denver is all about the outdoors. Denverites spend these months doing their best to enjoy the plentiful sunshine and copious fresh air -- hiking, biking, sunbathing, and of course, enjoying a host of live music extravaganzas. The city and surrounding areas are packed with places to see a wide array of musical talents under the sun and stars.
Red Rocks Summer Concert Series
May through September
No summer in Denver is complete without at least one -- or two or five -- trips out to the awe-inspiring Red Rocks Amphitheatre, just 15 miles from downtown Denver. 70 million years in the making, the 9,450-seat venue is flanked by enormous 300-foot red sandstone rock formations and always boasts a star-studded musical schedule -- this year including Vampire Weekend, Sting and Bruno Mars. Check the website for the full schedule and tickets.
5 Points Jazz Festival
The 5 Points Jazz Festival celebrates the music, culture and history of Denver’s Historic Five Points neighborhood, with performances highlighting many of Denver’s finest jazz musicians, food and arts booths. Six stages and more than 100 performers!
Denver Day of Rock
Downtown Denver will be transformed into a massive free rock concert when 25 bands take to five stages for the fifth annual Denver Day of Rock. Fishbone, The Railbenders and What Made Milwaukee Famous are headlining, along with dozens of other great acts. The performance areas will be along the 16th Street Mall, Denver's mile-long pedestrian promenade, making it easy to roam from act to act. Food and beer booths will be set up throughout downtown for the event (which benefits Concerts For Kids, a great local charity), with free music rocking the city from 2:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Elitch Gardens Summer Concerts
June - August
Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park is not only a great, family friendly attraction with roller coasters, water slides and more -- it also offers an excellent concert series. All concerts are free with admission to the park.
Westword Music Showcase
Spread across ten stages in the Golden Triangle Museum District, the Westword Music Showcase is a favorite among locals who want to dig dozens of the latest Denver rock stars, along with some of the hippest national acts. This year's headliners on the outdoor stage include Trampled By Turtles and Dada Life.
Denver Botanic Gardens Summer Concert Series
June through August
The Denver Botanic Gardens is a lush oasis located in the heart of the Mile High City, with hundreds of rare and lovely species of plants populating the grounds. But it's also home to a stellar summer concert series. The lawns surrounding the stage are general admission -- bring a blanket or lawn chair along with a bottle of wine and a picnic dinner and enjoy the great music in an unparalleled setting. Word to the wise: virtually all Botanic Gardens concerts sell out -- so get your tickets early!
City Park Jazz
Every Sunday night, June 2 through August 4, starting at 6 p.m.
Every Sunday night in June and July, the City Park Bandstand and Pavilion turns into a swinging, open-air jazz club as music lovers of all ages congregate for City Park Jazz. Bring a blanket or folding chair -- but be prepared to spend plenty of time on your feet, too. City Park Jazz encourages dancing! Did we mention these concerts are free?
Skyline Park Summer Concert Series
June through August
As you check out the shopping and dining options on the 16th Street Mall, you may hear the sound of live music emanating from the adjacent Skyline Park. If so, you've stumbled upon the Audio Picnic, a free lunch-hour concert series held every Friday June through August around noon. It's a perfect way to enjoy a sunny summer afternoon in Downtown Denver. Check the website for a list of performers.
Live from Elway's Backyard
Cherry Creek location at 2500 E. 1st Ave., Denver, CO
Wednesdays, June through August
The "backyard" patio next to Elway's Cherry Creek location transforms into a hip and happening open-air music venue on summer Wednesdays. Great food, fun drinks and a lively crowd are all guaranteed. The backyard opens at 5 p.m. and the bands play from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. Mix, mingle and rock out!
Denver Post Underground Music Showcase (UMS)
It's a block party that rocks. Denver's very own version of Austin's South By Southwest Music Festival takes over the streets of S. Broadway for a multi-night extravaganza of the cream of Denver's underground music scene. Celebrating its eleventh anniversary this year, the UMS promises to be bigger, better and more fun than ever in 2012. Stroll from venue to venue, from stage to stage, knowing that you're catching the city's rising stars before the rest of the world hears about them.
Thursdays in July
Nothing beats a cool summer evening kicking back in Confluence Park with some great free live music as the soundtrack. Every Thursday in July at 6:30 p.m., some of the Mile High City's best musicians set up shop along the banks of the river and jam the night away.
Rock Bottom Brewery Patio Concerts
Fridays, May through August
The Rock Bottom Brewery is located right on the 16th Street Mall (between Champa and Lawrence Sts.) and offers a weekly happy hour concert series on its sunny patio. Sit back with one of the brewery's famed handcrafted ales and enjoy some great live music!
CBS4 Independence Day Eve Celebration in Civic Center Park
July 3, Civic Center Park (Broadway and Colfax), Denver The fouth annual Independence Eve Celebration will feature a free patriotic concert by The Colorado Symphony, an innovative light show on the Denver City and County Building and a stunning fireworks finale. Lawn seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis; blankets or low-rise concert/beach chairs are encouraged. Attendees are welcome to bring their own picnics; concessions will also be present on-site. Civic Center is easily accessible by light rail, bus, bicycle or the 16th Street FREE MallRide and use of public transportation is encouraged. Information on nearby Denver B-cycle bike-sharing locations is available at www.denver.bcycle.com. Parking is available at nearby surface lots and parking garages as well. More Info: www.civiccenterconservancy.org