Outdoor concerts in May not to miss

Grab some sunscreen and hit some of these great outdoor venues & shows from around the state.

Colorado’s outdoor music scene is kicking into gear and no, it won’t be deterred by winter’s last hurrah. From solo artists performing at Red Rocks to three-day music festivals, check out this list of must-see music events coming up in the next month.

Photo Courtesy of Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival

Photo Courtesy of Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival

Let’s start with the 14th annual Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival. Beaver Creek will host two days of barbeque, craft beer and music. Kenny Neal, Packrat’s Smokehouse, Delta Sonics, and Heather Gillis Band will be performing throughout the two-day festival. Barbeque masters will be taking over the town plaza with mouthwatering food including ribs, wings, pulled pork and brisket. Saturday will include a microbrew festival to pair with the food and music. Over 80 brews will be available from 30 Colorado breweries on Saturday. Admission is free to roam the event and it’s happening May 27-28.
 

Downtown Denver will host the Spread the Word Festival May 5-8. This weekend features over 100 bands at various bars and restaurants. Each day will provide free party buses between the locations including Mercury Café, Pearl’s, Tony P’s, Mile High Spirits, Beryl’s Beer Co. and Cervantes. A sneak peek of the bands that are performing includes the Kyle Hollingsworth (of String Cheese) Band, A-Mac and the Height, Whitewater Ramble (Grateful Dead Tribute), John Wayne and the Pain and Analog Son. To see the entire band lineup and details, visit the Spread the Word Festival website.
 

Photo Courtesy of Mishawaka Amphitheatre Website

Photo Courtesy of Mishawaka Amphitheatre Website

The Mishawaka Amphitheatre in Poudre Canyon is having several must-see shows this May and one of the highlights is Wookiefoot with Roots of Creation and Bongo Love on May 12. Wookiefoot is a visual circus and a non-profit charity that helps third world countries. They’ve nicknamed one of their sets “Short Attention Span Musical Theater” because of the mix of light show, projection, costumes, fire, dancers, aerialists, magic, clowns and puppets. Wookiefoot’s music style combines reggae, world beat, hip hop, Irish, funk, folk and rock. Each show has something that will please any audience.
 

Grand Junction Off-Road will be teaming up with the Four Peaks Downtown Music Festival again to create a weekend of fun. Three stages will be set up for bands including Goodman Band, Dubious Brothers, The Infamous Stringdusters and many more. The weekend will include bike rides of 15, 30 and 40 miles. At the finish lines will be four blocks of main street turned into a beer and wine garden that runs all weekend long. Gov. John Hickenlooper will also be inaugurating the first Colorado Public Lands Day.
 

The Denver Day of Rock is happening this Memorial Day weekend on the 16th Street Mall. The one-day music festival will be raising money for Amp the Cause, a charity that helps children in the area. This family-friendly event will feature the Austin Young Band, Cam, The Dustbowl Revival, Young Rising Sons, The Railbenders and many others. A Denver Day of Rock Passbook will be available for $10. This passbook offers discounts just for the weekend at 65 area businesses. The profits from the passbook will go toward Amp the Cause.
 

Photo Courtesy of Red Rocks Park and Ampitheatre

Photo Courtesy of Red Rocks Park and Ampitheatre

And of course, we can’t forget some of the amazing shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre this year. The Rocks has a great lineup to kick off its summer season. Chance the Rapper will be performing May 2-3 followed by Primus on May 16, Chris Stapleton May 23-24, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson with the Colorado Symphony May 26, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers May 29-30. Check out the Red Rocks website to see a full list of artists on tap.

- Ranay Janssen