Brian SimmondsEXPAND
Brian Simmonds
Courtesy of RiNo Art District

Crush Walls 2019: Eighteen Can't-Miss Stops

As Crush Walls grows with every year, navigating the main attraction and its many side shows becomes trickier, too. This year’s fest, the tenth official celebration of street art in Denver, is being touted as a “360-degree art festival,” and will spread out across thirty blocks of RiNo, with plenty of Colorado artists in its lineup.

Yeah, it’s big and bold, and in addition to watching artists prep and paint murals, you can also watch them party over the next nine days. While you could just wander into RiNo and catch lots of action, don't miss these eighteen stops, starting with a big opening bash on Monday, September 2:

Adi Tora
Courtesy of RiNo Art District

Crush Walls Opening Party With DRiNk RiNo
Denver Central Market, 2669 Larimer Street
Monday, September 2, noon to 5 p.m.

You have to start somewhere, and this is quite a kickoff: Crush Walls gets off the ground right away with an afternoon public party hosted by neighborhood nonprofit craft brewery association DRiNk RiNo, whose members will line Denver Central Market’s pedestrian alley and parking lot to vend brews, spirits, wine and ciders. You won't have to work hard to have fun on Labor Day.

Hector Palacios
Hector Palacios
Courtesy of RiNo Art District

Crush Walls Artist Happy Hour
River North Brewery/Blake Street Taproom, 3400 Blake Street
Tuesday, September 3, 6 to 10 p.m.
Free, RSVP at eventbrite.com

Get cozy with Crush artists over happy-hour brews on Blake Street, where the taps will flow indoors while the week’s intensive mural-art making takes off outside.

Scott Young, "Wish You Were Her(e)."EXPAND
Scott Young, "Wish You Were Her(e)."
Scott Young

Scott Young, Beat Box
Art Can, 25th and Larimer streets, across from the Ramble Hotel, 1280 25th Street
Wednesday, September 4, and Thursday, September 5, 7 p.m. to midnight

Neon artist Scott Young, whose locally famous “Wish You Were Her(e)” neon sign graces the Ramble Hotel garden, is taking over the hotel’s Art Can shipping-container incubator for two days with the interactive installation Beat Box, with glowing neon noodles you can activate with pulse-rate sensors. Mind-blowing? You have to be there to find out (but beware, there might be a line to play — viewers can only enter two at a time).

Anna CharneyEXPAND
Anna Charney
Courtesy of RiNo Art District

Women + Street Art
Ratio Beerworks, 2920 Larimer Street
Wednesday, September 4, 5 to 8 p.m.
Free, RSVP at eventbrite.com

Women are making the biggest splash ever in the Denver mural scene at this year’s Crush, and this is a celebration to boost that significant achievement. The all-inclusive event starts with a networking hour with artists and their fans among decorations provided by the Ladies Fancywork Society yarn-bombing collective and wheat-paste artist Koko Bayer, followed by a panel discussion with Mary Valdez (who’s commissioned more than 300 murals for Denver Arts & Venues) and artists Robyn Frances (Grow Love), Chelsea Lewinski, UcSepia Ozjuah and Lindee Zimmer.

Nicholas Napoletano
Nicholas Napoletano
Courtesy of RiNo Art District

Nick Napoletano Mural Installation
Dairy Block Alley, 1800 Wazee Street
Wednesday, September 4, through Monday, September 9, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

While there will be dozens of murals going up just blocks away in RiNo, this one’s crossing the line into the art-activated Dairy Block Alley at the Maven Hotel in LoDo. Starting September 4, muralist Nick Napoletano will be working daily throughout the Crush fest, adding a new dimension to the alley.

DJ Thred spinning discs.
DJ Thred spinning discs.
Crush Walls

Thursday, September 5: Colorado Crush Party with RC3, Deezy Ie Phunk and Halston
Friday, September 6: Colorado Crush Party with Secret Headliner, DJ Haas, Big J. Beats and DJ Thred
9 p.m. to midnight, nightly
Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer Street
Free, RSVP for one or both nights at eventbrite.com

What do mural artists who’ve been sweating all day on the streets do when the sun goes down? A lot of them will want to kick back with a beer or three and party with each other to a background of spins you can dance to. Art fans will want to do the same, and the Larimer Lounge makes it easy with two no-cover, mid-Crush nights of fun for all. The lineup ramps up on the second night with the inclusion of a mystery headliner to be announced.

An artist takes part in the Secret Walls challenge.
An artist takes part in the Secret Walls challenge.
Crush Walls

Secret Walls
RiNo Location TBA
Friday, September 6, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Admission: $5 in advance

Teamwork counts at the annual Secret Walls event, where two street-artist crews will compete in a ninety-minute battle, wielding black paint markers to work freehand, sans sketches or pencils or even an inkling of what the final product will be. The big secret is its location in RiNo, which isn’t revealed to ticket-holders until right before the event. This is thoroughly worth the five bucks it costs to be in the audience. Doors (wherever they might be) open at 7 p.m.

Join the Galería Balneario of Mexico for an art takeover at the Source, with artists Antonio O'Connell and Hey Pogo.
Join the Galería Balneario of Mexico for an art takeover at the Source, with artists Antonio O'Connell and Hey Pogo.
Galería Balneario

First Friday in RiNo:

Pedro Barrios and Jaime Molina
Art Can, 25th and Larimer streets, across from the Ramble Hotel, 1280 25th Street
Friday, September 6, through Sunday, September 22
Open Fridays and Saturdays, 5 to 10 p.m.

Galería Balneario x Source Art Takeover and Artist After-Party
The Source Hotel and Market Hall, 3350 Brighton Boulevard
Opening Reception: Friday, September 6, 6 to 9 p.m.
Artist After-Party: Friday, September 6, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Isabel Juice + Cocktail Bar in the Source

First Friday and Crush Walls @ Ironton Distillery
Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse, 3636 Chestnut Place
Friday, September 6, 3 p.m. to midnight

Crush Walls First Friday at Foolproof
Foolproof Contemporary Art, 3240 Larimer Street
Friday, September 6, 7 to 10 p.m.
RSVP at eventbrite.com

Crush Walls and RiNo’s First Friday coincide, with numerous galleries and artist venues hosting Crush-related shows and events. At the Ramble Hotel’s Art Can studio/gallery in a shipping container, popular Denver muralists Pedro Barrios and Jaime Molina will be working on a special Crush activation within the can, for public viewing beginning on First Friday. At the Source, Market Hall 2 will welcome Off Path, a group exhibition from Mexico’s Galería Balneario and Mexico City-based artists Antonio O'Connell and Hey Pogo, who have been hard at work transforming the Source with new mural art. Ironton Distillery is working with favorite Denver muralist Casey Kawaguchi for Crush by commissioning a new mural, as well as a label for a Peach Crush Liqueur you’ll be able to taste when it’s released during the reception, and at Foolproof Contemporary Art, you can drop in for some more Crush activations.

Crush Walls 2019: Eighteen Can't-Miss Stops
Courtesy of Crush Walls

Larimer Block Party
Denver Central Market, 2669 Larimer Street
Saturday, September 7, noon to 8 p.m
Saturday afternoon and into the early evening, the lot next to Denver Central Market will come alive with a free blowout party for the artists and visitors crowding into RiNo as murals near completion. For another concurrent good time, make your way to RiNo’s Boxyard Park, 2500 Broadway, for live music by the Lionel Young Band from 2 to 6 p.m.

Crush Walls 2019: Eighteen Can't-Miss Stops
RiNo Art District

Photo Scavenger Hunt
Lot Twenty Eight, 28th and Blake streets
Saturday, September 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Register with the DPL in advance online

The RiNo Art District and the Denver Public Library are teaming up on a couple of Crush tie-ins, beginning with a participatory Photo Scavenger Hunt for prizes. Sign up to play, and you’ll be sent a list of specific things and places to snap with your phone as you peruse progress on the walls of RiNo. Once you’ve checked off everything on your list, bring said phone to Lot Twenty Eight on Saturday and find out if you’ve qualified for a prize. Yay, prizes!

Kids Crush at Crush Mural Festival
Lot Twenty Eight, 28th and Blake streets
Saturday, September 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Register your child with the DPL in advance online

The DPL will also reach out to the younger generation — specifically, kids ages five to twelve — with a nice and dirty hands-on mural-painting experience where making a mess is a given. It’s for kids only, but parents and friends can spectate.

Shop RiNo during Crush Walls.
Shop RiNo during Crush Walls.
Denver Bazaar

Denver Bazaar Arts Fest
Art District Fest RiNo
2424 Larimer Street, adjacent to the Ramble Hotel
Saturday, September 7, noon to 10 p.m.
Sunday, September 8, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Free, register in advance at eventbrite.com for $2 off your first drink

Denver Bazaar, Red Wolf Gallery and Gum Pop Presents will create a Crush diversion with art and artisan booths, live art, food trucks and beverages. A portion of bar proceeds will go to Red Wolf Gallery, which is in search of a new gallery space.

Work through street-art issues at a screening of Exit Through the Gift Shop.
Work through street-art issues at a screening of Exit Through the Gift Shop.
Paranoid Pictures

GoodCinema Presents: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Vauxhall @ The Ramble Hotel, 2450 Larimer Street
Sunday, September 8, 4 p.m.
$20 in advance at eventbrite.com, $25 at the door

Get a first or second look at the controversial documentary (which may or may not be real) about a shopkeeper and a filmmaker who seek to befriend the guerrilla street artist Banksy, and then things start getting weird. A panel of Crush 2019 artists will discuss the film and the Banksy mystique afterward, so stick around.

Crush Concert With Natalia Lafourcade
Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop Street
Sunday, September 8, 8 p.m.
$39 to $79 at
The Crush Concert is a first for the fest, and you might say Crush organizers were just waiting for the right venue to come along before taking the leap. The spanking-new Mission Ballroom, which easily took care of that problem, will host Mexican pop-rock songstress Natalia Lafourcade, who adds an international touch to the fest, along with live painting and other Crush-esque diversions.

Crush Walls runs from Monday, September 2, through Monday, September 9; learn more about Crush Walls 2019 online.

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