Ten Great Spring Music Festivals Kick Off Outdoor Concert Season in Colorado

Denver's Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats play the Project Pabst music festival coming to Denver this spring.
Denver's Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats play the Project Pabst music festival coming to Denver this spring.
Anthony Camera for Westword.

Music festivals are often thought to be a strictly summer kind of thing, but luckily for Colorado, our 300 days of sunshine allow for a whole extra season of live music outdoors. This spring, electronic acts like Diplo and Kaskade, local superstars like Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and hip-hop legends like Ghostface Killah and Raekwon will throw down at big events throughout Colorado. Whether you prefer to enjoy live music in a mountain setting or are partial to a show in the city streets, there's a festival waiting to be discovered. We've compiled a list of ten great music gatherings happening before June here — but be sure to check out the online Westword calendar for a full list of upcoming concerts.

Orbiting Olympia
Orbiting Olympia
ArtsLafayette via the Lafayette Electronic Arts Facebook page.

1. Lafayette Electronic Arts Festival
Center for Musical Arts, Lafayette
Friday, April 1
Free/donation

Electronic music and art intertwine at this free day-to-evening community-centered festival. Immerse yourself in out-of-this-world sonic textures and visual landscapes as local and national musicians, videographers, tech geeks and digital artists like the Synth_Drone Collective, Orbiting Olympia, Andrew Blanton and Benton C. Bainbridge create multi-sensory magic in real time. 

Diplo performing at the 2014 Westword Music Showcase.
Diplo performing at the 2014 Westword Music Showcase.
Aaron Thackeray

2. Minus Zero Festival
Winter Park Resort
Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3
$95 to $339
The Minus Zero Festival in Winter Park brings many of electronic music's biggest and most influential stars to its slopes for some fun in the snow and sun. Diplo, Kaskade, Bass Physics, Manufactured Superstars and many more acts make up this two-day mountain fest dedicated to enjoying live sets in an outdoor setting. Parking is free, lift-ticket/festival pass combinations are available, and all tickets are good for post-fest after-parties. 

Franny & the Jets perform at this year's Ultimate Music Xperience.
Franny & the Jets perform at this year's Ultimate Music Xperience.
Franny & The Jets Facebook page.

3. Ultimate Music Xperience
Pearl's
Saturday, April 2, and Sunday, April 3
Free
Doubling as a live show and an audition for a slot at the upcoming 45th Annual Capitol Hill People's Fair, the Ultimate Music Xperience gives local acts a chance to shine. All genres are welcome as dozens of Colorado acts like Star Monday, JL Universe, Random Hero and Franny & the Jets fill two days' worth of free entertainment in the heart of the city.   

4. 420 Eve on the Rocks
Red Rocks
Tuesday, April 19
$35 to $150
The weed holiday has happily become an event that is equally about the music, and the 420 Eve on the Rocks show gets a jumpstart on the celebratory marijuana-themed festivities. The killer lineup includes ganja party staples Method Man and Redman, fellow heavyweights Ghostface Killah and Raekwon, Collie Buddz, Joey Bada$$ and more. They'll all take over the Rocks for a night that promises to go up in smoke.

Ten Great Spring Music Festivals Kick Off Outdoor Concert Season in Colorado
The Rowdy Shadehouse Facebook page.

5. Spread the Word Music Festival
Quixote's True Blue, Sancho's Boulder Arrow, Owsley's Golden Road, 1301 Broadway, Boulder
Friday, April 29, through Sunday, May 1
$15 to $40
An excellently curated two-day, two-city festival of some of Colorado's best acts, the Spread the Word Music Festival gives listeners a chance to sample the work of dozens of musicians from across the state. Venues in Denver and Boulder will host acts like Rowdy Shadehouse, ATOMGA, Midnight Pressure, Rastasaurus and more, offering fest-goers an excellent survey of the eclectic music community.

Read on for more spring music festivals in Colorado.


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