For 10 years, CRUSH WALLS – Denver’s international urban art festival – has been bringing art to the streets of one of The Mile High City’s hippest neighborhoods, RiNo (River North) Art District. Started in 2010 as a small gathering of artists and community members, CRUSH WALLS is quickly becoming one of the largest street art festivals in the world, accumulating popular acclaim and formal accolades and making RiNo a hotspot to visit both during the festival and year-round. More than 105,000 people attended the festival in 2018; and organizers expect even higher attendance at this year’s September 2-8 festival.
CRUSH, which stands for Creative Rituals Under Social Harmony, originated to both serve the community by bringing people together over shared public art and to encourage wider acceptance of street art. During CRUSH, local, national and international artists come together to help transform the walls of RiNo, which Lonely Planet recently named one of the top 10 neighborhoods to visit in the U.S. Most of the previous year’s creations are buffed – or painted over – in preparation for a new piece; so CRUSH WALLS brings a brand new experience for visitors to RiNo every year.
Since 2010, the annual event has united the community and maintained the neighborhood’s unique cultural identity, drawing more artists, works of art and spectators each year. In 2010, there were just seven artists creating works in a small area of the RiNo neighborhood. This year, there will be 80 artists from Colorado and 16 invited national and international artists, working in tandem to transform the 30-block, open-air gallery once again.
2019 CRUSH WALLS Highlights Include:
- CRUSH’s largest-ever footprint: a 30-block open air gallery, recreated live throughout the week
- First-ever CRUSH Concert at Denver’s newest live music venue, Mission Ballroom, headlined by Natalia LaFourcade and featuring live mural painting in the venue
- NEW Street Art Guided Tours
- More women artists than ever – an estimated 40 percent of this year’s artists are women
- Mural performances, urban sculpture, artist talks, film screenings (on exterior walls), live artist battles, gallery shows, a block party and more
- NEW HQ Gallery, the CRUSH WALLS Store, will feature exclusive artwork releases, prints and festival merchandise
The murals created during CRUSH WALLS have served as a major catalyst for development in the RiNo neighborhood. After the artists have completed their work, it remains for the public to enjoy over the course of the next year. The art adorns a diverse mix of businesses including galleries, craft distilleries, breweries and wineries, boutique clothing stores, independent hotels, some of Denver’s top restaurants and more. RiNo has become a destination neighborhood, and it exemplifies Denver’s hip, urban culture.
For RiNo neighborhood information, hotel deals and a look at everything else Denver has to offer, go to the VISIT DENVER website