Festival Season in Colorado Springs

    Whether you’re looking for raucous or relaxing, city or country, cultured or crazy, Southern Colorado has a festival for you this summer. Here’s your guide to some of the region’s standouts.

    sonic bloom festival concert lights
    Sonic Bloom, photo by Eric Allen

    Colorado has So. Many. Festivals. Summer is high season for festivals in Colorado Springs, up and down the Front Range and in mountain towns all over the state. Go for a day or immerse yourself in the multiday festivities. We’ve gathered a long list of options to get you in the festive mood. And you’ll find them below listed by the following types. Here’s to a celebratory summer! 

    Music

    Sports & Recreation

    Arts & Culture

    Food & Drink

    Music

    MeadowGrass Music Festival

    May 24-26 | Black Forest

    Stay right at home in the pines of Black Forest for the region’s leading music festival, featuring Tea Leaf Green, The Ballroom Thieves, Woodshed Red, Daniel Rodriguez of Elephant Revival, Reckless Kelly, Chuck Prophet & the Mission Express and more. Plus local beer and food, family fun, and festival camping available. meadowgrass.org,

    Springs Country Fest

    May 31

    Russell Dickerson headlines with his radio hits Blue Tacoma, Yours and more. Also playing are Double Wide, Gunnar & The Grizzly Boys and Adam Hambrick. 

    Fri., 5 p.m., Weidner Field, 6303 Barnes Rd., 719-368-8480, switchbacksfc.com,, $20, $10 military.

    Colorado College Summer Music Festival

    June 2-22 | Colorado Springs 

    This year marks 35 years of gathering student and professional musicians for presentations and performances over three weeks. Choose from—appropriately—35 concerts and presentations, including six community outreach concerts. One standout is legendary pianist William Wolfram performing with dancers from the Carolina Ballet. Many performances are free. Styles include classical, chamber, contemporary, children’s and world in venues around the region. coloradocollege.edu

    Country Jam

    June 13-16 | Grand Junction

    Head to the Western Slope to see top country artists, including Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Little Big Town, Alabama and many more. https://countryjam.com

    Telluride Bluegrass Festival

    June 20-23 | Telluride

    Join 11,000 festivarians for the 46th annual bucket list event. Main stage performances include Brandi Carlisle, Jim James, Kacey Musgraves, Greensky Bluegrass, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Sam Bush Band, Yonder Mountain String Band, Punch Brothers and many more. Most single-day tickets already sold out. https://bluegrass.com/telluride/

    Jazz Aspen Snowmass Experience

    June 20-23 | Aspen

    See a world-class lineup of jazz, blues, soul and world artists, including Taj Mahal, Booker T. Jones, Patti Austin and many more. http://www.jazzaspensnowmass.org/june-experience.html

    Sonic Bloom

    June 20-23 | Hummingbird Ranch (near Rye). 

    The EDM (electronic dance music) jam is free-spirited, funky, homegrown and multicultural all in one. Festivalgoers can choose from basic admission, VIP and glamping options. Sonic Bloom Academy, including yoga and art and permaculture classes, starts June 17 sonicbloomfestival.com

    Bravo! Vail Music Festival

    June 20 – Aug. 4 | Vail

    See some of the world’s greatest orchestras in the scenic high-country setting, including the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Anne-Sophie Mutter & Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin and more. https://www.bravovail.org

    Spanish Peaks Music Festival

    July 5-6 | La Veta. 

    Friday night is blues night with Ken Saydak and the Delta Sonics kicking off the festival. Saturday is Country Night with Cody Johnson headlining. This fest includes other performances from Charley Jenkins, Bri Bagwell, Exit West, and Felix and Los Gatos plus on-site camping. spanishpeaksmusicfestival.com

    The Ride Festival

    July 13-14 | Telluride

    See stellar rock and roll in the stunning mountain venue. This year’s lineup includes Widespread Panic, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Rose Hill Drive and more. https://ridefestival.com

    Blues Under the Bridge 

    July 13 | Under the Colorado Avenue Bridge

    Tab Benoit takes center stage at the 13th Annual Blues Under the Bridge Festival. Also playing this year are Nikki Hill, Selwyn Birchwood Band, Hector Anchondo Band, and Crystal and the Curious. Train whistles howl along in the unique bluesy setting bluesunderthebridge.com

    Music in the Mountains

    July 6-28| Durango 

    Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, performances of classical and chamber music by more than 100 renowned artists take place during this three-week festival. Enjoy multiple chamber concerts with a number of guest conductors and soloists, including Philippe Quint on violin and Emmanuelle Boisvert on violin. musicinthemountains.com

    High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival 

    July 11-14 | Westcliffe 

    Nationally-renowned bluegrass performers set against stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Hear host bands Dry Branch Fire Squad and Sons and Brothers. The 2019 lineup includes Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers, The Kody Norris Show, Nothing Fancy and many more highmountainhayfever.org

    Global Dance Festival

    July 19-20 | Denver

    Head for Broncos Stadium for multiple stages of DJs, dance music, carnival rides, art installations , food trucks and an immersive experience. https://globaldancefestival.com

    Underground Music Showcase

    July 26-28 | Denver

    Find your new favorite band among this lengthy lineup, including Honne, Chicano Batman, Black Mountain Tuxedo, Earthgang, Still Woozy, Empress Of and many ore in a variety of often-unique and intimate venues. https://www.undergroundmusicshowcase.com

    RockyGrass Festival

    July 26-28 | Lyons

    Head to Lyons for the 47th annual riverside festival to see some of the nation’s top pickers, including Sam Bush Bluegrass Band, Punch Brothers, The Del MacCoury Band, I’m With Her: Sarah Watkins, Sarah Jarosz & Aoife O’Donovan, and more. https://bluegrass.com/rockygrass

    Folks Festival

    Aug. 16-18 | Lyons

    Head to Planet Bluegrass’ leafy, riverside venue to catch the likes of Ani Difranco, Ben Folds, Josh Ritter, Mandolin Orange, The Oh Hellos, Voilent Femmes and more at the 29th annual gathering. https://bluegrass.com/folks

    Seven Peaks Festival 

    Aug. 30 – Sept. 1 | Buena Vista. 

    Country music superstars Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan and Travis Tritt headline this three-day music festival over Labor Day weekend. Other artists include Maren Morris, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and many more. Camp in your own tent onsite or choose from deluxe glamping rental options.sevenpeaksfestival.com

    Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience

    Aug. 30 – Sep. 1 | Aspen

    The leading jazz gathering features an eclectic A-list lineup, including Weezer, John Mayer, Sting, Porgugal. The Man, Luke Combs, ZZ Ward and more. http://www.jazzaspensnowmass.org/labor-day-experience.html

    festivals Kerry pastine and the crime scene band
    Kerry Pastine and the Crime Scene will play Blues Under the Bridge. Photo by Leslie Van Stelten and Michael Mark.

     


    Sports & Recreation

    FIBArk
    June 14-17 | Salida
    Spend Father’s Day at America’s “oldest and boldest” whitewater festival. FIBArk stands for “First In Boating the Arkansas,” but there are also bike and running races, a parade, live music, beer garden and a retrieving event for your crazy river dog. Don’t miss the Hooligan Race, open to anything that floats except boats.
    fibark.com

    Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and Fan Fest
    June 22, 24 | Colorado Springs
    Meet the racers, watch freestyle motorcycle jumpers and celebrate downtown at the Friday Fan Fest. Then arrive early on Pikes Peak for Sunday’s Race to the Clouds. Motorcycles, stock cars, open wheel race cars and more will race the clock—and the treacherous mountain course.
    ppihc.com/fan-fest 

    Royal Gorge Whitewater Festival
    June 22-23 | Cañon City
    Three words: boats, bands, beer. Expect all manner of fun on the Arkansas River, from whitewater sports to kids activities to a rubber ducky race down the river. Catch the train or take kayaking lessons.
    royalgorgewhitewaterfestival.com 

    International Dragon Boat Festival
    Aug. 25 | Memorial Park, Colorado Springs
    Join or form a team and prepare to paddle. Celebrate Chinese culture and sport based on a 2,500-year-old tradition of dragon boat racing. There’s also music, food, entertainment and other water festivities.
    gwndragonboat.com


    Arts & Culture

    Apogaea
    June 7-10 | Valdez
    Colorado’s regional Burning Man. Actual burning depends on fire restrictions, but you can count on art, music, camping, revelry and self-expression.
    apogaea.com

    Pikes Peak Celtic Fest
    June 15-17 | Memorial Park, Colorado Springs
    Celebrate all things Celtic with bagpipes, Irish dancers, whiskey and scotch tastings, fireworks and Highland games, such as the caber toss and clach neart, or stone throw.
    pikespeakcelticfestival.com 

    Fort Carson Freedom Fest
    June 29–July 1 | Iron Horse Park, Fort Carson
    Show your support for America’s servicemen and women. Activities include carnival rides, sand volleyball tournament, games, food, fireworks and music, including the Eli Young Band. Open to DOD ID holders and their guests.
    carsonfreedomfest.com

    Native American Intertribal Powwow
    Aug. 11 | Norris-Penrose Event Center, Colorado Springs
    Celebrate Native American history and culture with drums, singers dancers, art and artisans, and full regalia. Also included are a live birds of prey exhibit by HawkQuest, Aztec dancers and Native American food, such as Navajo tacos and fry bread.
    coloradospringspowwow.org

    Springs Spree
    June 10 | America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs
    A day of fun, food, music, arts and adventure (did we mention free admission?) make this local event a community celebration. Register for the 5K, and then spend the day.
    springsspree.org

    Colorado Renaissance Festival
    Weekends June 16–Aug. 5 | Larkspur
    A merry tradition with jousting, turkey legs galore, artisans offering everything from swords to stained glass, and themed weekends including wine, dance, romance and Mardi Gras. Find discount tickets at King Soopers, but be prepared to spend more after admission.
    coloradorenaissance.com

    Donkey Derby Days
    June 22-24 | Cripple Creek
    In its 87th year, the Wild West Triple D celebrates Western shootouts, donkey rides and, of course, the donkey race itself. Catch a melodrama and pancake breakfast, and enter your furry companion in the dog show. Admission is free.
    visitcripplecreek.com

    Green Box Arts Festival
    June 25–July 7 | Green Mountain Falls
    Green Box mixes high country charm with big city culture in seminars, classes, concerts, performances and art. This year features  the favorite Musical Swings installation, a master class with Guitarist and educator Colin McAllister, plus Keigwin + Company returns for multiple performances, including with the local Ormao Dance Company.
    greenboxarts.org

    Colorado Springs Art & Music Festival
    June 30–July 1 | America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs
    National and local fine artists display juried paintings, ceramics, sculptures and wearables, such as leather and jewelry. Plus live music and food. Free admission and parking.
    coloradoeventsandfestivals.com

    Pridefest
    July 14-15 | Downtown Colorado Springs
    The LGBTQ celebration includes a parade downtown and live music, entertainment, food and games in America the Beautiful Park. July 14 is family day with fun activities for kids of all ages.
    coloradospringspridefest.com

    festivals state fair carnival rides
    Colorado State Fair

    Colorado State Fair
    Aug. 25–Sept. 3 | Colorado State Fairgrounds, Pueblo
    Older than the Centennial State itself, the fair is an institution. Catch the rodeo, carnival rides, stock shows, kids activities and all the state fair food you can stomach—plus five stages to watch live music, including the Oak Ridge Boys, Neal McCoy and more.
    coloradostatefair.com

    Commonwheel Labor Day Art Festival
    Sept. 1-3 | Memorial Park, Manitou Springs
    The large arts fest draws statewide artists offering everything from fine oil paintings to outdoor steel sculpture to handmade fabric goods. Sample plenty of food vendors as well.
    commonwheel.com

    Victor Celebrates the Arts
    Sept. 1-3 | Victor
    Watch art created live as en plein air works are created outdoors by dozens of on-site painters. The Quick Draw event pushes artists to create on the spot, improv-style.
    victorcelebratesthearts.org

    Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off
    Sept. 1-3 | Memorial Park, Colorado Springs
    Wake up early to see the skies fill with launching hot air balloons. Of the 50 hot air balloons that take to the skies each morning, watch for the few who accept the challenge to dip their baskets in Prospect Lake after takeoff. Daylong festivities include skydiving demonstrations, wakeboarding exhibitions, stand-up paddle boarding, live entertainment and beer gardens. The balloon glow is particularly photogenic, starting at dusk Saturday and Sunday.
    coloradospringslabordayliftoff.com

    What If … Festival of Imagination & Innovation
    Sept. 8 | Downtown Colorado Springs
    Come celebrate and explore new ideas and interactive experiences centered around creativity and innovation. Expect art, science, music, invention, business, entrepreneurship and fun for all ages.
    whatif-festival.org


    Food & Drink

    Feast of St. Arnold
    June 9 | Chapel of Our Saviour Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs
    This family friendly beer festival includes a kid’s zone with activities, tours of the estate, and of course appearances throughout the day by good olde Saint Arnold. Sample a mix of beers, wines and liquors.
    feastofsaintarnold.com

    Colorado Brewers Rendezvous
    July 14 | Riverside Park, Salida
    Raise a few along the banks of the Arkansas River, but pace yourself. More than 75 Colorado breweries will pour over 300 types of brews. Pair them with food vendors’ fare and live music.
    salidachamber.org

    Crested Butte Wine & Food Festival
    July 25-29 | Crested Butte
    A gathering of oenophiles, connoisseurs, foodies and people who just like food and wine—in a gorgeous mountain setting.
    cbwineandfood.com

    tents at fiddles, vittles and vino
    Fiddles, Vittles & Vino

    Fiddles, Vittles & Vino
    July 29 | Rock Ledge Ranch, Colorado Springs
    Mix live bluegrass music—headlined by Grammy winner Rhonda Vincent and the Rage—with wine samples and fine cuisine from two dozen local restaurants, and you have a magical evening to benefit Rock Ledge Ranch.
    fiddlesvittlesandvino.com 

    Vino and Notes
    Aug. 4 | Downtown Woodland Park
    Sip on wine, sample food and enjoy live jazz as you support Habitat for Humanity of Teller County. Afterward, make your way to the Mountain Arts Festival to shop and peruse.
    vinoandnotes.com

    Springs Beer Fest
    July 21 | America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs
    This big draw boasts more than 120 beers from 55 craft breweries, including local spots as well as nationally known brews. There are plenty of eats from Springs food trucks and restaurants, plus vendors and live music. An early access ticket gets you in an hour before the rush.
    springsbeerfest.com

    Steers and Beers Brew Fest
    Aug. 18 | Antlers Hotel, Colorado Springs
    Sample from hundreds of brews and spirits, from locals to the likes of Stone Brewing and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Just try and stay on the mechanical bull. The VIP Experience gives early access to special whiskeys, beers and firkins not available to the general attendees. Designated drivers required.
    steersandbeersbrewfest.com

     

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