Might 2021 is the turning level for concert events, occasions and festivals in Colorado – Colorado Day by day
May seems to keep bringing good news for the battered arts and culture scene in Denver, which finally has enough stability to see more than a few yards (or months) ahead.
The major venue operators have been reviewing viewership on a weekly basis following relaxed state and city guidelines, with some hoping to return to full pre-COVID capacities next month. The Red Rocks Amphitheater, which will be increased from 6,300 to its typical 9,500-seat capacity on June 21, is the beacon.
Yes, there are vaccinations, changing health regulations, and other annoying issues to consider. But can we just acknowledge how beautiful this moment is? City Park Jazz is alive. Levitt Pavilion and Red Rocks are already home to thousands. Music bands and parks fill up with dance, opera and theater.
“We’re excited to see the state open up,” said Deborah Jordy, executive director of SCFD, the seven-county tax district that funds hundreds of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. “Cultural organizations in the seven counties (are) able to involve more of the community in personal events.”
Jordy and her cohorts hope to update their popular Free Days calendar soon. see the latest information at scfd.org/find-culture/free-days. Here’s a curated list of other encouraging cultural news this week, led by reopened venues and recurring (or new) events through September.
Swallow Hill Music
People’s Institution Swallow Hill Music is bringing back its own shows at its home location (71 E. Yale Ave.) this fall and is producing the previously announced “Evenings al Fresco” in Denver Botanic Gardens this summer. Also encouraging: the return of the Shady Grove Picnic Series, a well thought-out music showcase Four Mile Historic Park (715 S. Waldstrasse). The park itself is a tidy gem with Denver’s oldest building, a working farm, and one of the city’s best Independence Day celebrations. Shady Grove runs through August. After that, most of the Swallow Hill concerts return to the cozy Daniels Hall and Tuft Theater. fourmilepark.org or Swallowhillmusic.org for timetables and tickets.
The butterfly pavilion
Westminsters Butterfly pavilion – the world’s first accredited invertebrate zoo – is known for many little things, but its main attraction is Rosie the tarantula, a Chilean visitor from the Atacama Desert. Kids and their freaky parents will be able to gently pet them again from May 28th when “Rosie Returns” ticket packages with discounted admission and a Rosie plush toy are offered in the pavilion. (There’s no need to petting Rosie, though.) The Butterfly Pavilion is also extending its hours to 9 am-6pm and, although encouraged, to drop reservation requirements from May 28th. 6252 W. 104th Ave. in Westminster. Butterflies.org
Lakewood Cultural Center
Colorado Jazz Repertory Orchestra offers one of the newest and greatest examples of the hybrid live virtual concert with its performance on March 6th. Lakewood Cultural Center. The “Basie, Blues and More!” The program, directed by Art Bouton and Drew Zaremba, will be broadcast live along with a theatrical performance at 470 S. Allison Parkway in Lakewood. Visit lakewood.org/tickets for more events, including the jam-packed Sounds exciting! Series.
Silverthorne art walk
The City of Silverthornes yearly Art walk The series will return to the Blue River Trail on June 20, July 25, and August 22, from noon to 3 p.m., city officials said. As with many art walks, it’s all about local artist vendors and fun perks – in this case, live music, food, and drinks. silverthorne.org
The historical one 19th Street Bridge in Lower Downtown (on 19th and Platte Streets) is a popular spot for free concerts that mix downtown residents and visitors. It returns as an outdoor stage Summer sessions in Riverfront Park Series. The free, family-friendly, monthly events begin June 24th and last through September, with on-site dining, adult drinks, and art exhibits. Visit riverfrontparkevents.com for the unannounced lineup.
Juniteenth Black Pride
Teased a few weeks ago, Denver’s very first Juniteenth Black Pride Events take place next to Five Points’ Juniteenth Music Festival – and just a week before the centre’s Denver Pride 2021 events. Produced by Youth LakesSupporting the mental health and safety of LGBTQ youth, the free festival includes a “Gospel Brunch Drag Show” with original “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Bebe Zahara Benet, a rooftop radio show at The Drop 104.7-FM, the “Strange Fruit of Black Excellence Ball” in the Denver Botanic Gardens, Silent Disco, club nights and more. All details about the events from June 17th to 20th on youngseen.org and blackpridedenver.com.
Boulder International Film Festival
As Denver Film’s always-sold-out Film on the Rocks franchise demonstrated, beautiful outdoor locations (in this case Red Rocks) make for magical screenings. The Boulder International Film Festival, which runs from June 24th to 27th, will officially open on June 25th in one of these – Boulders Chautauqua Auditorium – with the local premiere of director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s “Summer of Soul (… or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) ”opened. “This will be preceded by a Green Carpet Gala, followed by more outdoor cinema on the Boulder High soccer field (bring-your-own chair events), a virtual version from July 24th to July 3rd and indoor screenings with limited Capacity in Century Theaters. The lineup will be published on biff1.com.
Anythink Backyard concert series
Thorntons Anythink libraries offer free programming year round, but we’re glad to have Backyard concert seriesForced to go virtual for 2020 remains intact. This year’s free, family-friendly program, which returns to Anythink Wright Farms next month, includes The Reminders (June 11th), SuperMagick (July 9th), and Bison Bone (August 13th). Concerts are also broadcast on Anythink’s Facebook and YouTube accounts. 5877 E. 120th Avenue in Thornton. anythinklibraries.org
Denver Children’s Museum on the Marsico campus
Extended playing times in Denver Children’s Museum on the Marsico campus have been arriving regularly over the past few weeks – now updated to run Wednesday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. But perhaps the best news is the introduction of Sunday opening hours from June, effectively doubling the popular spot’s weekend capacity. Reservations for the sessions from June 2nd to June 13th are open this week at mychildsmuseum.org/safer-play
Outdoor Art Museum
Greenwood Villages Outdoor Art Museum opens its newly renovated Marjorie Park with a free, family-friendly celebration from 12pm to 4pm. June 12. The 2 acre park with more than 40 works of art features ongoing music, arts and fitness events throughout the summer with local groceries available for purchase. Registration is required at moaonline.org/events. Regular hours and a new membership program will return soon, officials said. The park is on the north side of Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater at 6331 S. Fiddlers Green Circle in Greenwood Village.
Denver pride The organizers had previously announced a limited return in 2021 for June 26th and 27th, with individual “Pride Hubs” filling the postponed PrideFest of the Civic Center Park. But we only recently got details about the Pride 5K on June 26th at Cheeseman Park and the Coors Light sponsored Virtual Denver Pride Parade (applications at denverpride.org/pridefest/parade). Event producer The Center on Colfax also has music, food, movies, children’s events, pool parties and more in places like JCC Denver, The Center on Colfax, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, You FilmCenter of Denver Film and Hamburger Marys. New this week: The center has lifted the reservation requirements for all events. More information is available at denverpride.org.
The ride festival
Tellurides Ride Festival goes the way of other events that have spread their appearances over a few days and several venues. This year’s mountain-friendly lineup includes Warren Haynes, Rival Sons, Citizen Cope, Matt Berninger (of The National), Donavon Frankenreiter, Big Something, Black Pistol Fire, and others. The festival will take place from July 2nd to 11th at seven venues in downtown Telluride, organizers said. Ridefestival.com
A touch of Colorado
Like Denver Pride, 2021 A touch of Colorado break up into smaller, geographically separated parts for reasons of safety and public comfort. Typically this year, the 38th event draws hundreds of thousands to the area around Civic Center Park, and will focus entirely on Denver food and local artists in various locations downtown from September 4-6. The Downtown Denver Partnership has given restaurateurs, wall painters, and musicians a June 1 deadline to apply for the event. The schedule and participants will be published on atasteofcolorado.com.
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