6 Festivals that’ll Rock Your Summer Line-up

Photo: Neill Pieper

Photo: Neill Pieper

Checking out a few bucket-list summer festivals across the Centennial State

Photo: Neill Pieper

Photo: Neill Pieper

Rapids and Grass Beer Festival, Buena Vista, June 28-30

First on our summer line-up is a rippin’ festival that checks all the boxes for a quintessential Colorado get down. Head to Buena Vista for the Rapids and Grass Fest, where you’ll find delicious brews, jammin’ tunes and an outdoor paradise waiting to be conquered. Buena Vista is surrounded by outdoor recreation possibilities, including the Collegiate Peaks, Browns National Monument and the mighty Arkansas River, which provides whitewater rafting and fishing galore. The beer fest features dozens of sought-after craft breweries and sits along the Arkansas River, where you can watch rafters, kayakers and fishing fanatics.

Photo: Courtesy Benko Photo Graphics / RockyGrass

Photo: Courtesy Benko Photo Graphics / RockyGrass

RockyGrass, Lyons, July 26-28

RockyGrass is back for its 47th anniversary on the banks of North St. Vrain Creek, a stone’s throw from downtown Lyons. Good vibes rule during the three-day extravaganza featuring all things bluegrass. Top talent performs to an enthusiastic crowd of festevarians, some of whom have been coming back to RockyGrass almost as long as it’s been around. Camping is available for an immersive weekend experience. Don’t forget to bring your mountain bike, fly rod or hiking boots for nearby recreation.

Photo: Courtesy NewWestFest

Photo: Courtesy NewWestFest

Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, Fort Collins, August 9-11

Kicking off August, NewWestFest turns downtown Fort Collins into a local music-lovers kingdom. The festival features 80-plus Colorado bands along with additional out-of-state headliners. In recent years, performers have included Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Fray, Brandi Carlile and Leftover Salmon. NewWestFest, a co-production by the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association and Bohemian Nights, is free to the public and spans three fun-filled days.

Photo: Courtesy Swallow Hill Music

Photo: Courtesy Swallow Hill Music

Blues & Brews, Denver, August 10
Party on Denver’s South Pearl Street with eight hours of blues jams, as well as craft beer and other libations from local favorites. A great lineup of soulful acts such as Otis Taylor, Albert Cummings, Chris Daniels and the Kings and The Delta Sonics headline the festivities. Look for Alpine Dog Brewing, Black Project Spontaneous & Wild Ales, Sanitas Brewing Co., Bear Creek Distillery and MANCAN Wine. Watch for additional band and brewery announcements.

Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, Telluride, September 13-15

If there is one venue in the state that might get mentioned in the same sentence with the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre in terms of awe, it’s the Telluride Town Park. Telluride Blues and Brews Festival pairs world-class microbrews with top-flight acts. Some of the performers will include Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band, Boz Skaggs, Anders Osborne, Samantha Fish and Otis Taylor in a setting as idyllic as they come. Right around festival time, expect Telluride’s mountains to be bursting in hues of gold. We’re not sure what’s best, the views, the tunes or the craft beverages. You’ll just have to go and decide for yourself.

Photo: Courtesy Colorado Mountain Winefest

Photo: Courtesy Colorado Mountain Winefest

Colorado Mountain Winefest, Grand Junction, September 19-20

Who says you have to go to Napa for a one-of-a-kind wine experience? Head west but stop when you hit Palisade, where the town throws one of the best wine festivals in the country. Dozens of Colorado wineries pour their libations as live music resonates and wine-inspired activities are held alongside the picturesque Colorado River, minutes from the vineyards where many of the wines were produced. Check out chef demonstrations, a live grape stomp and educational seminars, all while enjoying local vendors’ beverages.


Check out our calendar for updates and additional festivals.

Compiled by Neill Pieper