Art News

Denver Tool Library Launches Concert Series and Bazaar

Where you see lawnmower storage space, John Baxter sees a stage. The man behind ZetaKaye House and This Ain’t No Cowtown Compilation was in search of a home for his next event somewhere in the Arts District on Santa Fe — unsure at the time what it might become — when he walked in front of the Denver Tool Library. After a short conversation with the owner of the building and Sarah Steiner, founder of the tool-sharing organization, they had placed a ladder against the three-story building and the idea was born for the inaugural Denver Tool Library Concert Series and Bazaar.

“All of the work I’ve done on the This Ain’t No Cowtown compilations or the bookings that I’ve done have been through networking with friends and bands I’ve worked with, or I’ve gone on social media and put out an ask for submissions,” Baxter says. “With this bazaar I want to incorporate all different types of art from a lot of people I don’t know, and I love going to Santa Fe for that. Why not just throw all the arts together at once? Let’s do visual, audio and oral here.”

For the first concert series and bazaar, which will take place on Friday, May 6, and continue on the first Friday of each month through September, Baxter and Steiner have put together a full lineup of bands, comedians, food trucks and vendors. Renegade Brewing Company, Greater Than Collective, Sexy Pizza and Sexpot Comedy are all on the bill as May’s event sponsors, and the chosen bands that will break in the new rooftop stage include The Outfit, FACEMAN and U.S. Tygers. Sexpot Comedy will present comedians Nathan Lund and Zach Reinert. While Baxter has been immersing himself in the music, Steiner says he’s been equally dedicated to working on the bazaar aspect of the event, as it was his idea in the first place.

“We have a place for the makers who ‘make the things’ now, and John went even further by having the idea to make the spaces free,” Steiner says, adding that Baxter also will not be charging percentage fees so that each vendor can take home all of their profits. “John is enthusiastic about community and has just been donating his time and energy to the Tool Library to make this happen because it combines what he loves — music, music promotion and art — all for what he thinks is a ‘cool’ nonprofit.”

Although the first Denver Tool Library Concert Series and Bazaar has yet to take place, Baxter is already booked through July for bands. Ned Garthe Explosion, Dangerous Friends and Emerald Siam will play from the rooftop in June with comedians Byron F. Graham and Matt Cobos; and Big City Drugs, Cult of the Lost Cause and Bad Year are on the lineup for July with comedians Kevin O’Brien and Cory Helie.

The Denver Tool Library Concert Series and Bazaar kicks off on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. at the Denver Tool Library, 555 Santa Fe Drive. The event is free for everyone until 8 p.m., at which time the price will go up to $5 for non-members. Proceeds will benefit the Denver Tool Library inventory. Visit the Denver Tool Library Facebook page for more information. 
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Lauren Archuletta is a contributor for Westword's arts section, covering Denver's health and wellness scene. Follow her work for tips on cheap workouts and which yoga classes include mimosas and beer.