Ready for 2020: New Year's Resolutions for Denver Music Lovers

Musicians fought to end Denver's urban camping ban in 2019. What are you doing to fight for Denver musicians?
Musicians fought to end Denver's urban camping ban in 2019. What are you doing to fight for Denver musicians? Kyle Harris
We know, you want to read more, eat better and exercise regularly in 2020. But music fans should also resolve to support the city’s thriving music scene — and not just by going to blockbuster concerts and Red Rocks (though, by all means, knock yourself out).

Here are ten ways to be a better Denver music fan in 2020:

Buy Merch

Some time after the record industry collapsed, it became clear that one of the best ways bands could make money was by touring — and not just touring, but selling merch. So consider those T-shirts and posters you’re hoping to pick up at your next concert to be much more than an investment in your wardrobe or your wall. They’re bread and butter for up-and-coming and big-name musicians alike.

Support the Indies

If you’re tired of high-priced tickets and big arena sound, we recommend going to some of the city’s smaller and independently run venues. Consider the hi-dive, Mutiny Information Cafe, Streets Denver, the Mercury Cafe, Seventh Circle Music Collective, Rhinoceropolis and the Oriental Theater, for starters. 
click to enlarge Levitt Pavilion - JAKE COX
Levitt Pavilion
Jake Cox

Go to Levitt Pavilion

Levitt Pavilion puts on dozens of absolutely free concerts every year in gorgeous Ruby Hill Park. The nonprofit venue doesn’t just host a slew of amazing Denver bands; it also pays them a fair rate. And with the money you save, you can put it right back into buying band merch. So what are you waiting for? (Oh, yeah...summer.) Get ready for some serious free fun.

Shop Record Stores

Wax Trax Records, Twist & Shout, Chain Reaction Records and many more record stores offer a mix of vinyl, CDs and more. Buy local, buy often, and request local bands’ albums while you’re there. Keep an eye out for special events and in-shop shows. We had the chance to see Mumford & Sons at Twist & Shout in 2019, and it proved to be one of the best concerts we saw all year.

Wear Earplugs

We can’t say this enough. If you want to be going to shows for years to come, protect those eardrums! Bring ear protection wherever you go. Really!
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris