Levitt Pavilion Begins to Unfurl Its Fifty Free Concerts of 2020

Levitt Pavilion announced the first round of its summer concerts.
Levitt Pavilion announced the first round of its summer concerts. Joel Rekiel
Since opening in Ruby Hill Park in 2017, Best of Denver winner Levitt Pavilion has booked fifty free shows every summer, as well as some ticketed national acts (This year's lineup includes the Beach Boys and the Celtic Women). As the nonprofit enters its fourth season, the venue is once again bringing in a diverse lineup to its family-friendly concert series.

Chase Wessel, production director and talent buyer for Levitt Pavilion Denver, says that over the past few years, he’s learned what the audiences like. So this year, he’s once again beefed up the Latin programming. Chilean rock band Gondwana and Los Angeles-based Latin acts La Santa Cecilia and Las Cafeteras are part of Levitt’s first round of show announcements. Other acts will be announced in groups of ten every two weeks or so leading up to the summer season.

The increase in Latin acts will be part of an eclectic summer lineup. The first round of announcements also includes Canadian neo-soul/hip-hop act Busty and the Bass, Canadian-Cuban singer-songwriter Alex Cuba, New Orleans-based Rebirth Brass Band, country singers Logan Mize and John King, New York ska band the Slackers, and blues-rock singer and guitarist Patrick Sweany.

Other than Latin acts, Wessel says reggae, country and jam bands have done really well. “Anything that Coloradans can get behind, to have an excuse to put out their blanket and chairs and bring the kids out and hang out for a few hours is a good excuse."

And during those few hours, the folks at Levitt have also tried to keep sound levels at a point where the music doesn’t bother the neighbors who live near Ruby Hill Park.

“We want to be respectful of the neighborhood,” says Levitt associate director Andy Thomas. “I think that’s a big challenge for us — is mitigating sound, which we’ve continued to do a good job of. The programming thing is something that will always continue to evolve, and the type of bands that do well we’ll always think about. The constant has to be how well the neighborhood perceives us, and I think overwhelmingly we’ve continued to have a good impression. But that’s a big concern, and we continue to help with that.”

Wessel says the City of Denver has provided the venue with hardware and software for noise monitoring to ensure that levels are not spiking.

“It’s able to really help dial us in, keep us within our limits and keep the neighborhood happy,” Wessel says.

The first round of Levitt Pavilion Denver’s free summer concert series includes:

Gondwana with E.N Young
May 22

Busty and the Bass

June 5

La Santa Cecilia

June 6

Alex Cuba
June 11

Rebirth Brass Band
June 13

Logan Mize
June 19

The Slackers
June 28

Las Cafeteras

July 16

Patrick Sweany

July 17

John King
July 26

For more information about these concerts and additional programming at the venue, go to the Levitt Pavilion website.
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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon