Music Festivals

Mile High Music Festival not happening

In case you've noticed that the Mile High Music Festival hasn't announced its lineup yet for this year and you've wondered why -- first of all, congratulations on being astute, but secondly, the lineup hasn't been revealed because, well, there is no lineup this year. There is no festival. After three years, Mile High is reportedly going on hiatus. An official announcement from organizers is expected later this morning, but early reports appear to indicate that the decision was prompted by financial considerations.

Despite attracting throngs since its inception in 2008, the talent for the annual festival hasn't turned the regional gathering into a destination event on par with Coachella, Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza. The announcement follows a similar decision last year in which AEG opted not to host Rothbury, its annual festival in Rothbury, Michigan, now the home of the upcoming Electric Forest Festival, which is slated to be headlined by The String Cheese Incident, Tiesto, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, among others.

Photos: 100 Most Memorable People of Mile High Music Festival 2010

If parts of that lineup rings familiar, it's for good reason. Several of those acts, including Bassnectar, Pretty Lights and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are headlining the freshly minted Snowball Festival, due to kick off in the Vail Valley this weekend.

Photos: Best of Mile High Music Festival 2010

More and more, Festivals are becoming a tougher sell in Colorado. There doesn't seem to be a compelling reason as to why, other than perhaps an inherent niche factor. Dyed-in-the-wool franchises such as the Vans Warped Tour and the burgeoning Heavenfest have proven to be perennially successful, but that's most likely because they're geared to appeal to a very specific audience.

Photos: Mile High Music Festival 2009, Day 1

On the other hand, though, by that logic, the meticulously curated Monolith festival should still be an ongoing concern, but it's not. Last year, it went the way of the once popular LoDo Music Festival. Our best guess as to why Monolith stalled -- despite its progressive lineups -- is that indie-centric audiences are just not as substantial here as they are in other parts of the country such as Washington, whose Sasquatch Festival sold out in record time.

Photos: Mile High Music Festival 2009, Day 2

Perhaps the answer, if the Mile High Music Festival is to return next year, is a melding of the original mold with a lineup similar to Monolith and Electric Forest Festival, which appeals to a broad cross section of fans from the mainstream to the underground, from electronic to jam bands, from metal to hip-hop. Sound eclectic? Well, as you've no doubt noticed, so are the tastes of music fans in the Centennial state. There simply is no one-size-fits-all template.

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Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera