Festivals abound in and around Denver, and while the massive something-for-everyone events start to look the same, there's still room for music fests for more specialized audiences. Enter the hip-hop-centric Queen City Festival, presented by New Wave LLC, which will happen Friday, August 12, and Saturday, August 13, at City Hall, and feature Michael Christmas, Taylor McFerrin, Masego & the Traphouse Jazz Band and Esta of L.A.-based collective Soulection.
Boston-based Michael Christmas has been dubbed an "Everydude rapper" by MTV for sounding off on everyday strangeness, and he debuted his relatable and down-to-earth record, What a Weird Day, which features D.R.A.M. and Mac Miller, in 2015. Brooklyn-based DJ Taylor McFerrin, the son of well-known vocalist and conductor Bobby McFerrin, is known for his beats as well as beatboxing.
"In our mind, Denver has all the elements to become a hub for music, art and entertainment in the same ways that Chicago, Toronto, Austin and Miami have in the past couple years," Mahendra Bachtiar, one of the founders of the event, says. "Why not us? Some of my favorite musicians and artists live in this city; there are promoters that throw amazing shows and parties in this city, dope local clothing companies reside in this city, the food culture is on the rise in this city. All these things represent what Denver has to offer and what is personally important to us."
Local openers for the fest will include rising rap star Turner Jackson, Povi, CRL CRRLL, LXST BXYS and rap duo Future Heroes. More acts will be announced closer to the show date, so keep an ear out if thought-provoking hip-hop is up your alley.
"As far as music, outside of the locals we have on the bill, we are targeting artists that we love that don't get to come out here often," Bachtiar says. "We plan on having a live-art element where we have our favorite local artists paint canvases and bikes that we'll auction off for charity."
Queen City Festival, featuring Michael Christmas, Taylor McFerrin, Turner Jackson and more, is August 12-13 at City Hall.