Adventure Travel

You don’t want to miss these music festivals in Colorado

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Colorado doesn’t exactly need a pitch to get you to visit, but hosting some epic music festivals doesn’t hurt. From the steep canyon walls of Telluride to the resorts of Winter Park and Loveland, the cheerful tunes don’t seem to stop when it comes to music festivals in Colorado. It’s true—you can catch a festival each month of the summer. All the more reason to extend you trip by a month…or two!

Ready to get planning? Head to these cities for carefree, sunny vibes all summer long at the best music festivals in Colorado.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 16-19, Telluride)

Head to Telluride in June for the world’s most famous bluegrass festival. Four days of laid-back string band fun in an iconic setting makes Telluride Bluegrass Festival unmissable. Each year the festival attracts premiere level acts like the John Butler Trio, Kacey Musgraves, and Yonder Mountain String Band, with local favorites such as the Telluride House Band. Be sure to get there early to set up shop—if you’re camping along with the rest of the festival goers, you’ll need to weave through the crowd to find your site. Other accommodations include historic hotels such as the New Sheridan and plenty of private house rentals (think Airbnb) to crash in with your buddies.

The Divide Music Festival (July 22-24, Fraser/Winter Park)

Indie music finds its home in Fraser come July. The brand spanking new Divide Music Festival brings Coachella-inspired performers to the small town Colorado crowds. Come experience the inaugural festival, which promises big name acts such as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Mike Snow, Kid Cudi, Cake, and Passion Pit all in one place. And the town of Fraser is the perfect homebase to simply relax and enjoy the shows or dip into the Rocky Mountains after catching a set.

Arise Festival (Aug. 5-7, Loveland)

Head to Loveland in August to experience everything that is Arise Festival. With amazing music, yoga workshops, and creative spaces abound to explore, there’s never a dull moment on the festival grounds. Located on Sunrise Ranch and surrounded by the dense forest, Arise is nothing short of a holistic experience. Whether you choose to tent camp or rent out a room at a nearby hotel, there’s no wrong way to experience Arise! This year’s lineup includes Ziggy Marley, Jurassic 5, and The New Mastersounds.

Vertex Festival (Aug. 5-7, Buena Vista)

Buena Vista transforms come August, when Indie music legends descend upon the Collegiate Mountains. Located on a working ranch called Cottonwood Meadows, the festival is nestled under 14,000 foot snowcapped peaks and sunny skies. This year’s lineup brings Alabama Shakes, Dawes, Houndmouth, and Odesza just to name a few.

Telluride Blues & Brews (Sept. 16-18, Telluride)

Circling back to Telluride to round out the year of festivals, Telluride Blues and Brews is perhaps the most iconic festival throughout Colorado each year. As one of the premier blues festivals in the U.S., Blues and Brews attracts international visitors and acts. This year’s lineup includes The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, Jason Isbell, Shakey Graves, Joe Walsh, and Gary Clark Jr.

Mandy Burkholder is a travel, adventure, and outdoor writer who honed her craft in the foothills of the La Plata Mountains of Southwest Colorado. After a stint in the Swiss Alps, she now resides in Tennessee. Follow her on twitter — @mandyburkhold3r

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