For the last four years, a group of Colorado musicians have gathered to play an unofficial showcase at SXSW. The Colorado Music Party, as it is now called, has expanded steadily in that time, but this year's installment will be the biggest by far.
This year, the party will go for five days, from March 17 to 21, and it will feature over 120 bands and artists from Denver, Fort Collins, Boulder and elsewhere in the state. The Fort Collins non-profit SpokesBUZZ organizes the event along with Colorado Creative Industries and the Colorado Tourism Office. Westword is among this year's media sponsors, which also include KUNC, KRFC and CPR's OpenAir.
The showcase will be at the heart of the festivities on Sixth street, at a two-level bar and venue called The 512. With a lower level-indoor stage and an upper-deck outdoor stage, the Colorado Music Party, which is (mostly) free and does not require an official badge, will host back-to-back performances throughout the showcase. The showcase is free to the public, and because it is not an official SXSW event.
The full lineup for the Colorado Music Party will be announced next week, but you can expect to see a little bit of everything. "Demonstrating the diversity of musical talent and the wide range of genres that Colorado is becoming well known for is an important element to the Colorado Music Party," says SpokesBUZZ executive director Dani Grant.
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“This year’s Colorado presence in Austin, during one of largest music festivals in the world, is unprecedented, thanks to the continuing collaborative spirit of our partners in the Colorado music industry, and the commitment by the state of Colorado to our collective cultural and creative momentum,” says Grant. “We’re not only giving Colorado bands a chance to share their talent with the world; they are also afforded an opportunity to further develop their business skills, forging connections within the industry that are only made possible at this event."
In addition to the music, this year's Party will include several special events, including a shared meeting and work space hosted by Colorado Creative Industries and the Colorado Tourism Office. A few more of the planned activities and themes were announced today:
Tuesday, March 17: Opening ceremonies and COIN kickoff event
Wednesday, March 18: A full day of Colorado hip-hop on the rooftop
Thursday, March 19: Sixth annual SpokesBUZZ showcase
Friday, March, 20: Play Fort Collins - featuring the music of Fort Collins, Colorado
Saturday, March 21: Bands presented by the City of Boulder Office of Arts & Culture