As the work week winds to a close, many Denverites find themselves eager for entertainment but short on funds. Fret not: Westword has assembled an inventory of delightful events that won't break the bank. From history lessons to free concerts and LGBTQ-friendly theater, the city abounds with ways to occupy your time. Better yet, each of the ten events listed below costs less than $10 to attend. Keep reading for the ten best free and cheap events in Denver and the surrounding area this weekend.
Thursday, July 19, 6 to 8 p.m.
Renegade Brewing Company
Though Colorado gets plenty of nationwide press for our federal-law-flouting cannabis tolerance, the Centennial State used to be populated by the sort of Bible-thumping busybodies who'd enact Prohibition a full four years ahead of the rest of the country. A misguided legislative effort that made unlikely bedfellows of the Ku Klux Klan and booze baron profiteers, Colorado's Prohibition era is a thankful relic of the past. Modern-day drinkers can enjoy stories from the folly of yesteryear at High & Dry, a lighthearted reappraisal of turn-of-the-century liquor policies as related by History Colorado beer historian Sam Bock while quaffing a mug of of 1916 Lager, based on a pre-Prohibition local beer recipe. Visit Renegade Brewing Company's Eventbrite page for tickets, $8, and to learn more.
Thursday, July 19, 6 to 10 p.m.
Denver's summer music calendar is packed with shows readers can enjoy without a cover, and some of the season's finest freebies can be found at Levitt Pavilion's summer concert series. The tradition of excellence continues tonight with a double bill including Frances Cone and Wildermiss. Brooklyn-based but Southern-raised, Frances Cone reveals indie pop's hidden soulfulness, while local favorites Wildermiss do Colorado proud. Admission is free; $30 VIP tickets are also available via Levitt Pavilion's Eventbrite page.
Friday, July 20, 5 to 10 p.m.
Denver's thriving concert calendar continues at B-Side Music Fridays, an ongoing presentation of up-and-coming local musicians that takes full advantage of its setting on the rooftop of the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art — which offers one of the area's finest views of the cityscape. This week's lineup includes hip-hop iconoclasts XRaye and the Masterminds: Molina Speaks and Ill Se7en (both recent Westword MasterMinds), in an evening of beats and brews that's sure to leave toes tapping and heads nodding. Plus, the first hundred 21+ attendees will receive a free draught courtesy of Ratio Beerworks. Get ready for rooftop extravagance; visit MCA Denver's Facebook events page to learn more.
Friday, July 20, 6 to 9 p.m.
$8 to $10
Trading heels for wheels, the Men's Roller Derby Drag Show is a testament to serving and swerving at one of Denver's most enduring gay bars. Raise funds for the Men's Roller Derby's trip to the national playoffs in Boston with a lighthearted competition packed with rink-side thrills. Guests also have the opportunity to take a few laps around the rink themselves once the show ends – at no additional charge. Admission is $8 at the Denver Roller Derby's box-office page and $10 at the door. Visit Tracks Denver's Facebook events page for more details.
Friday July 20, 8 p.m.
Fill your burn book with fun at the Denver ELEMENT's presentation of Mean Gays, an LGBTQ-friendly reinterpretation of the cult-classic teen comedy. There's nothing more fetch than an even sassier update of Tina Fey's Broadway and blockbuster hit, and attendees can rest assured that their cover charge will benefit local theater. Can't make Friday's show? No worries: The Avenue Theater is hosting repeat performances on Saturday, July 21, Monday, July 23, Thursday, July 26, Friday, July 27, and before closing on Saturday, July 28. Admission is $10 at the Avenue Theater's Brown Paper Tickets page.