Ah, festival season in Colorado. It's one of my favorite times of the year. Music all across the state in venues or under the stars, discovering new artists to obsess over. It can't be beat! As a music festival vet and an Underground Music Showcase aficionado, I have some sage advice to help you have the best time down on South Broadway come the end of July! If you haven't already heard of the Underground Music Showcase, it's a three day music festival from July 28-30 taking place in the Baker neighborhood in Denver. The festival spotlights hundreds of acts from locals to nationals across a dozen venues, indoors and out. It's an absolute blast, but it's a marathon. If you're heading down to UMS like I am, I highly recommend checking out my tips and tricks below. Share with your friends! Everyone deserves to be prepared:
Make sure you have a ticket!
This should feel very obvious, but honestly, it's not. The Underground Music Showcase has a mix of free and ticketed venues and shows. You can check out their websites for all those details, but if you want to make sure you have access, I suggest getting a day ticket or weekend pass. They will also be selling tickets at the box offices on site.
What is your plan before getting there?
Being on site at the festival can be a little hectic. It can be worse if you don't have a game plan in place. So first, download the UMS app to your phone. It'll have push alerts, you can create your schedule, plus lots of other exclusives come with it. In the app it also has the venues. Familiarize yourself with the lay of the land. How far you might be walking and what venues are where. I swear this will come in clutch while you're at the festival.
Download the app for iPhone Download the app for Android
Do not drive there!
I'm so serious about this one. Not only is parking a nightmare in the Baker neighborhood normally, but imagine the chaos when there is a huge festival? The residential area around the festival is strict about parking and you will get a ticket if you park incorrectly (I know from experience). There's also some absolutely bananas construction projects happening all around the neighborhood, blocking off streets and parking meters and even dwindling down Lincoln in some places down to one or two lanes. Trust me, you don't want to deal with all of that then miss an act you really want to see. What I suggest is taking public transport. All month long and into August RTD is free! You can lightrail and walk or take the bus directly to the box office at no cost. Baker also has designated bike lanes to help riders feel a little more safe. If you wanna scoot, bike, or board to UMS you have that option as well.
Pack a bag
Yes, UMS allows bags. Don't go crazy with a massive backpack or tote, you also don't need something like that especially in a packed venue. However, pack some essentials: an empty water bottle (refilling stations on site), sunscreen, earplugs, your ID and forms of payment, a fan/mister, a battery pack to keep your phone charged.
Dress for success
Summertime in Colorado can be beautiful, but unpredictable. Especially with all of the rainstorms we've been getting lately. Not only will you want to be aware of our ever changing weather, but the long hours you'll be spending standing and walking between venues. I suggest breathable materials and layers to shed and add throughout the day, sensible shoes, hats and sunnies to shade you from the sun.
Support a local business... or two, or three!
Baker is covered in small owned businesses that need our support year round, but if you're not in the area often, UMS is the perfect occasion to come through with your business. Looking for clothing shops? Check. Need much needed nourishment in the form of many different cuisines? Check. There's something for everyone.
Expand on the experience
Is there already a lot going on in the main footprint of UMS? Absolutely, but that shouldn't keep you from exploring and trying other experiences around the festival. All weekend long there will be house shows at homes near South Broadway, secret shows in stores and coffee shops, and pop up performances in the streets and alleyways. I don't have a website for you to check out all of these things, but I suggest you make friends at the festival because word of mouth is usually the invite! Also stay aware of what's going on by being present. You never know what you'll walk past or what will catch your eye. Follow your heart, it could lead you to a memorable experience!
Ahem...Indie 102.3 is your buddy for the weekend and beyond!
Hello, you're here! We're thankful for you happening upon this article and we have resources for you beyond this! Make sure to tune into the radio station for all the updates, happenings, exclusives, and of course music of The Underground Music Showcase. I also suggest following us on our socials. We'll be doing all the behind the scenes and more on our Instagram, Threads, Facebook, and TikTok accounts. Follow us: @indie1023
Most importantly, have fun and be safe! We can't wait to see you down at the Underground Music Showcase! Get hyped for The UMS with my curated Spotify playlist! All acts you can catch live and in person at the fest.
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