Your complete guide to summer music festivals in Colorado

Photo: Zach Mahone
A packed crowd gives a standing ovation at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival.

From massive events with big-name performers to intimate gatherings in picturesque settings, Colorado offers summer music festivals for every taste. The statewide lineup provides plenty of variety, whether you prefer indoor venues or concerts under the stars, free admission or ticketed shows.

Did we miss a notable Colorado summer music festival? Email details to [email protected].

Throughout the Summer

Free shows at Levitt Pavilion in Denver

May 17 - Oct. 5 

The Levitt Pavilion in Denver offers a free, all-ages summer concert series. Audiences will encounter a range of acts: major, emerging, local and international artists from diverse genres and backgrounds. RSVPs are encouraged but walk up entrance is permitted, as long as the pavilion hasn’t hit capacity.

The One Sweet Summer Concert Series

May 18 - Sept. 13

The annual One Sweet Summer event series in The Foundry Plaza offers a range of events, including a Bluegrass & Brews Festival, Wednesday night concerts, and Symphony on the Plaza.

Bohemian Nights in Fort Collins

May  30 - Sept. 5

Weekly concerts will showcase artists from Colorado and across the country, representing a wide range of genres and styles. The series provides both emerging and established artists an opportunity to share their music live and connect with the Northern Colorado community. Free performances will be held on the outdoor stage in Fort Collins’ Old Town Square every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Sundays at Six in Alamosa

June 1 - Aug. 25

The Alamosa Live Music Association hosts a free concert series, locally known as Sundays at Six, which has become a staple of the San Luis Valley summer season. During the beautiful summer months, audiences in Cole Park are treated to a wide variety of music, ranging from local artists to nationally recognized touring musicians.

City Park Jazz in Denver

June 2 - Aug. 4

City Park Jazz draws big crowds from across the city for its free concerts every summer. The lineup features jazz, blues, and salsa music and takes place at the City Park Pavilion.

Lagoon Concert Series

Wednesdays, June 12 - July 24

This free concert series takes place on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Colorado State University's lagoon. The event includes interactive booths, food trucks, theme nights and giveaways.

Old Louisville Street Faire

Fridays, June 14 - Aug. 9

During this free, Friday night event, Louisville's Front Street comes to life with live music, food, beverages, kid-friendly activities, and arts and crafts.

Strings Music Festival

June 21 - Oct. 20

The schedule for this summer music event spans genres and includes chart-topping contemporary performers and classical musicians from the best orchestras in the country. The concerts all play in a small 569-seat pavilion tucked away at the foot of Steamboat's mountains.

Bravo! Vail Music Festival

June 20 - Aug. 1

Bravo! Vail began as a modest chamber music series in 1987 and has grown to become a well-known music festival that brings dozens of concerts in Eagle County venues and acts as a summer home for some of the best performers and orchestras in the world.

The Colorado Music Festival in Boulder

July 5 - Aug. 4

This six-week summer performance season calls the Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder home. Under music director Peter Oundjian, this world-class festival orchestra includes artists representing 44 orchestras from 23 states and 4 provinces. 2024 Festival highlights include the return of violinist Augustin Hadelich, pianist Olga Kern, and pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton; the world premiere of a new concerto by Gabriela Lena Frank; a celebration of Bruckner’s 200th birthday and more.

Bands on the Bricks

Wednesdays, June 12 - July 31

Bands on the Bricks is an outdoor summer concert series on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall. The free event features a wide variety of local artists and genres. Each Wednesday, the beer garden opens at 5:30 p.m. and the opening band takes the stage at 6. Headliners play from 7 to 9 p.m.

Courtesy of the Boulder Creek Festival.
The Boulder Creek Festival.

May Festivals

The Tico Time Bluegrass Festival in Durango

May 17 - 19

Nestled in the heart of the stunning Animas River Valley just outside of Durango, Colorado the Tico Time Bluegrass Festival combines music, nature, and adventure. The event is presented by local public radio station, KSUT.

Folk 'n Roots Rendezvous

May 24

Enjoy three days of free live music at Big B's Delicious Orchards in Hotchkiss, CO.. There will be campouts in the orchard, fruitwood smoked BBQ, hard cider, fresh juice, kids' activities, and lots of pickin' around the campfire.

15th Annual MeadowGrass Music Festival in Colorado Springs

May 24 - 26

The MeadowGrass Music Festival is a summer kickoff event in the Pikes Peak region. Held over Memorial Day weekend, Meadowgrass boasts local and regional performers as well as  kid-friendly fun, guided hikes, workshops, yoga sessions and late-night shows.

35th Annual Boulder Creek Festival 

May 24 - 27

Experience four days of live music, food from 20+ vendors, a beer fest, local artisans, family-friendly activities and more along the Boulder Creek Trail. There will be three stages of musical performances, kicking off with Steely Dead (Steely Dan meets the Grateful Dead) on Friday night.

The 2024 Greeley Blues Jam Music Festival 

May 30 - June 1

The Greeley Blues Jam aims to promote blues music education and bring the community together in a family-friendly atmosphere to enjoy a fantastic blues experience. The festival includes food and drinks, merchandise vendors, and ample free parking. Additionally, camping and RV sites are available just outside the Island Grove Arena, as a convenient option for visitors who want to stay overnight.

Denver's Juneteenth Music Festival. June 18, 2022.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Denver's Juneteenth Music Festival. June 18, 2022.

June Festivals

Cherry Creek North Concert Series

June 1, 15 and 29

Cherry Creek North In Bloom presents a summer full of music with over 70 days of music, arts, and culture. The Cherry Creek North Summer Concert Series will take place in a special setup on Fillmore Plaza, with a concert stage, lounge area, and bar, every other Saturday in June (6/1, 6/15, and 6/29).

The Colorado College Summer Music Festival's 40th Anniversary Season

June 2-21

The Colorado College Summer Music Festival is celebrating its 40th Anniversary season. It's a three-week intensive program for 52-54 advanced student musicians. All students take part in a concert series, with the Festival Orchestra concerts being held in the Richard F. Celeste Theater at the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center on the Colorado College campus.

Mountains of Music in Vail

June 6-9

The Mountains of Music concert series returns as part of the 2024 GoPro Mountain Games. Daily free music sets will liven up the games’ Mountain House Gear Town in Vail Village and The Hangout, set up at Golden Peak. Evening lineups at the Amp will feature ticketed headliner acts.

Apogaea in Trinidad

June 5-9

Apogaea is an officially registered Burning Man Regional Event for Colorado, operating under the long-running Nevada festival’s ten principles. Trinidad’s event focuses on art, performance, sustainability, radical inclusion, and radical self-reliance.

Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival in Palisade

June 14-16

The Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Festival is a celebration of hot pickin’ guitars, artistry, fiddles, and sunshine. The three-day, family-friendly event takes place next to the Colorado River at Riverbend Park and features top bluegrass artists and emerging stars. 

The Five Points Jazz Festival in Denver

June 8

The free annual festival is a celebration of the history of Denver's Five Points neighborhood, once known as the "Harlem of the West," where jazz legends including Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk performed at local clubs. Now the festival brings out tens of thousands of people to listen to music at four outdoor stages. 

Juneteenth Music Festival in Denver

June 15-16

Every year, in observance of Juneteenth, the day when the last of the country's enslaved people discovered their freedom, Denver's Five Points neighborhood hosts a community celebration. The festival includes Denver's longest-running parade, dating back to the 1950s, with thousands expected to march in honor of the day. Hip-hop artist Bow Wow tops the musical lineup.

Country Jam Colorado in Grand Junction

June 20-22

The three-day Country Jam festival invites audiences to camp and soak in music in the stunning red rock landscape of the Western Colorado town of Mack, just outside of Grand Junction. Headliners include Parker McCollum, Jelly Roll, and Thomas Rhett. 

Jazz Aspen Snowmass

June 20-23

Jazz Aspen Snowmass, a nonprofit, was founded in 1991 to present and preserve jazz and associated music through world-class events, performances, and education. The annual festival spans more than twelve different venues and multiple shows each day, staggered over a range of times.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival

June 20-23

The Telluride Bluegrass Festival hosts an impressive lineup of bluegrass, country, and rock artists in the strikingly beautiful San Juan Mountains. This year's schedule includes over 30 performances, plus contests, workshops, and more.

Aspen Music Festival Summer Season

June 28-30

Hundreds of classical music events — four orchestra concerts, recitals, chamber music, operas, seminars, talks, and family programs — are scheduled for the eight-week summer season.

Blues From The Top in Winter Park

June 28-30

For 18 years, the Grand County Blues Society has hosted live concerts by blues musicians and worked to educate the public about the history of this uniquely American musical genre. The festival will also include vendors selling everything from food and apparel to jewelry and artwork. 

Eli Imadali
Pinegrove performs for a crowd of hundreds at the Underground Music Showcase main stage in Denver on Friday, August 27, 2021.

July Festivals

Ridgway Concert Series

July 4, 11, 18 and 25

The Ridgway Concert Series is a free, outdoor event in Hartwell Park every Thursday in July. The music starts with an opening act at 6 p.m. and ends around 10 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring low-back chairs, blankets, or tarps, but shade-type structures will not be permitted. This year, a portion of the proceeds from alcohol sales will support four local non-profits: Ridgway Community Garden, Ouray County Rodeo Association, Ouray County Cares, and Minerva West Theater Group. Outside alcohol and dogs are not permitted.

Gulch Fest Music & Arts Gathering

July 11-14

Gulch Fest's mission is to inspire, entertain, and foster unique human connections through music and art. The event will feature psychedelic rock and EDM musicians, inncluding Los Toms, Shadow Work, The Bramblers and Dreamspace Database.

High Mountain Hay Fever Festival in Westcliffe

July 11-14

Bluegrass music can be heard throughout the Wet Mountain Valley when the yearly High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival comes to the town of Westcliffe, Colorado. This year’s headliner is Grammy Award-winner  Jim Lauderdale.

Loveland Summer Concert Series

July 11 & 18

This classic summer event, put on by the Rialto Theater and held at the Foote Lagoon Amphitheater in Loveland, is free and open to the public. Shows begin at 7 p.m. and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

SnowyGrass in Estes Park

July 12-14

Since 2016, this riverside music festival has filled the mountain air with the sounds of bluegrass and Americana string bands. The dog-friendly weekend includes on-site camping and food trucks.

Manitou Chamber Music Festival

July 16-26

The festival celebrates its 11th season at the Chapel of Our Savior in Manitou Springs. It features chamber music works by composers from all eras. Highlights include a "Nature" themed concert on July 16, an all-Prokofiev program on July 19, a "smorgasbord" concert on July 23, and the grand finale gala concert on July 26.

Psychs Peak

July 19-20

Psychs Peak is a psych-rock camping festival, stacked with a lineup of seventeen local artists. The festival takes place in about 1 hour from Denver at the Historic Green Mountain Ranch in Pine, Colorado.

Global Dance Festival in Denver

July 26-27

The Global Dance Festival has a new location this year at the Stockyards Event Center Grounds in the National Western complex. The event will run from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily, but attendees will have to find somewhere else to sleep; camping is not permitted at the venue.

Evergreen Jazz Festival

July 26, 27 and 28

No big crowds. No big stages. No big sound systems. Just a big jazz experience, featuring a diverse range of intimate listening experiences at five distinct, small venues.

The Underground Music Showcase in Denver

July 26-28

Colorado's music scene is thriving, and UMS is its annual extravaganza. Hundreds of acts will perform at venues along and around South Broadway, offering a chance to discover the city’s next Billboard-topping breakout band in an intimate jam session space.

RockyGrass in Lyons

July 26-28

RockyGrass, which celebrates its 52st anniversary this year, is regarded as one of the top traditional bluegrass festivals in the nation. It takes place at the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons, Colorado, along the wooded banks of the picturesque St. Vrain River.

Courtesy of Telluride Jazz Festival
The Telluride Jazz Festival.

August Festivals

Rhythms On The Rio in Del Norte

Aug. 2-4

Headliners for this year’s Rhythms on the Rio festival include the award-winning Fretliners, the California Honeydrop, ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra) and more. The event is put on by the South Fork Music Association, a non-profit volunteer organization that gives away instruments and teaches kids in the San Luis Valley how to play them for free. 

Pickin’ in the Park

Aug. 3, 10, 17 and 24

Pickin’ Productions presents four free community concerts in August at Paonia Town Park.  Each even includes free kids activities, regional food vendors, and three concerts per night.

Beanstalk Music Festival in Bond

Aug. 8-10

Hosted by the Boulder group Magic Beans, the festival showcases jam bands from both the local and touring scene. The festival’s Eagle County site features the breathtaking scenery of the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado River.

Telluride Jazz Festival in Telluride

Aug. 9-11

Established in 1977, the Telluride Jazz Festival is an annual celebration showcasing the culture traditions, and cutting-edge progression of American Jazz. This year’s lineup includes Christian McBride & Ursa Major and Angelique Kidjo. 

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons

Aug. 9-11

For over thirty years, the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons, Colorado has hosted songwriters from all genres for three days of music, camping and inspiration under the name Rocky Mountain Folks, sometimes referred to as the "Summit on the Song."

Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Silverthorne

Aug. 15-24

This annual festival highlights the skills of both local and international chamber musicians, while also promoting an appreciation for the art form through community engagement and educational programs.  

Mountain Town Music Festival in Keystone

Aug. 17

The Runaway Grooms and the Salida Circus round out the summer festival season in Keystone, with an evet geared to the whole family. The festival honors Colorado culture and history, with free outdoor concerts, elk and the best of the state’s regional produce.

Four Corners Folk Festival in Pagosa Springs

Aug. 30 - Sept. 1

Hosted by public radio station KSUT, the three-day event includes a main stage, late-night stage, workshops, a kids' tent. Sam Bush and Tophouse head this year’s lineup.

Caveman Colorado Music Festival

Aug 30 - Sept. 1

Monument Lake Resort in Colorado hosts the Caveman Colorado Music Festival on Labor Day weekend. Attendees can enjoy live music performances by over 20 bands and artists in the beautiful setting of the resort with stunning vistas. This year's lineup includes: The Wallflowers, Toadies, Red Clay Strays, Kurt Vile & the Violators, Uncle Lucius, Red Shahan, Jamestown Revival, Band of Heathens, Emily Wolfe, The Droptines, Stephen Wilson Jr., Sir Woman, Taddy Porter, Drayton Farley, Buffalo Hunt, Midnight River Choir, Charlie Shafter, and more.

Editor's Note: Some organizations or events mentioned in this article may be financial supporters of CPR News. Financial supporters have no editorial influence.