Five Ways to Get the Most From the Westword Music Showcase

Good fans at last year's Westword Music Showcase.EXPAND
Good fans at last year's Westword Music Showcase.
Focus 4 Design

The 2015 Westword Showcase is so close we can almost hear it. If you’re new to Denver or just new to this particular festival, we understand that the enormous schedule can seem more overwhelming than exciting. But by following just a few simple pieces of advice, you, too, can be ready for the party of the summer.

1. Make a schedule. The showcase goes from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, and includes more than a dozen stages and 100-plus bands and artists. And while this is absolutely the kind of day where you can stumble into a random venue and onto the best set you’ve ever heard — that’s the beauty of the Showcase, after all — you don’t want to plan your whole day that way. Grab a pocket schedule, rip out a schedule from a copy of Westword or, at the very least, plug some set times into your phone. Because this is also the kind of day where everything is happening at once, and unless you have the most minimal of plans, you will spend it wandering aimlessly, realizing that the one band you really wanted to try to see started playing twenty minutes ago.

2. Don’t spend all day at the Main Stage. This year’s headliners — Roadkill Ghost Choir, Wave Racer, Robert DeLong, MisterWives, the Black Angels and Flume — are fantastic, yes. But they make up less than 10 percent of the Showcase lineup. Come early and explore: There are a shocking number of talented, interesting bands in Colorado, and this is the day that we get to celebrate what they do — all in one neighborhood, all on one day! So do yourself a favor and see as many local bands as you can.

3. Go to venues you’ve never been to before. A festival is dependent on a solid environment, and the Golden Triangle neighborhood is one of the best. Maybe you’ve spent a few happy hours at Bannock Street Garage or a weekend brunch with your parents at Dazzle, but there are plenty of gems spread throughout the Showcase grounds this year. Pick a venue you’ve never been in and spend an hour there. Who knows? It could become your new favorite spot in the ’hood.

4. Don’t start drinking at noon. There will always be someone in your squad who thinks it’s a good idea to shotgun a beer and down a few shots before heading out into the heat for a ten-hour-long festival. It might seem like a good idea at first, but that guy (or gal) will probably be done for the day and in a cab long before Flume hits the stage. Instead, start the day out with a hearty meal and some water, and rehydrate every couple of hours.

5. Talk to people. You’re going to be surrounded by thousands of Denver music fans at the Showcase, so take advantage: It’s the ideal time to make new friends, get new music suggestions and prepare for one hell of a community block party. 


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