The twelve best music festivals in Colorado this fall

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Rocky Mountain Folks Festival August 15-17 Planet Bluegrass Ranch, Lyons $60-$195 The fourth festival planned in the series that marks the return of the music scene to Lyons after last year's flooding, Rocky Mountain Folks Festival is a laid back weekend with three days of music of varying styles. The festival is kid-friendly and in addition to headliners like Randy Newman -- the composer of several film soundtracks, including all three Toy Story movies -- and the impossible-to-classify Dispatch, the festival will offer juried workshops and a competition for unsigned songwriters. If there was ever a festival to just spread a blanket in the grass and relax, it would be this one.

SummerGrind August 16 Multiple South Broadway locations $25-$75 SummerGrind is returning after a year off to bring another round of punk, ska, hardcore and skateboarding. The festival drew punk fans from across the country in 2012 and this year's lineup promises an even better experience. Punk legends The Suicide Machines and Lower Class Brats are headlining and the lineup features both national acts like The Atom Age and Morning Glory as well as locals Potato Pirates, The Photo Atlas, Allout Helter, and sixteen others. In addition to three stages -- indoor and outdoor -- there will also be a space between the Gothic and Moe's BBQ dedicated to skating, so attendees should be sure to bring along their boards.

Chive Fest August 16 City Park $77-$282 Chive Fest's website describes the event as a "party like a runaway gravy train on biscuit wheels". We're not sure exactly what sort of party that is, but Chive is definitely going to be interesting. The lineup features huge names like international indie sensation Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, as well as White Denim, Cold War Kids, Delta Spirit, Moon Taxi and Spanish Gold. To spice things up, hip-hop artist Talib Kweli and glam metal band Steel Panther will also be there.

Higher Ground Music Festival August 23 Casselman's Bar and Venue, Denver $20-$75 The third annual Higher Ground music festival--now more appropriately named than ever--will be downtown this year with five stages and forty bands. Headlining are Seattle-based Barcelona, who just recently dropped a synth heavy '80s-inspired EP, and folk-pop two-piece Baywood. This is the festival to attend for local bands as thirty five of the forty-three bands on the bill are from Colorado, offering a variety of genres from the punk of Wiredogs to the pop of Sarah and the Meanies.

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