Things to Do Denver: Concerts in the Face of COVID-19 | Westword

"This Is Not the Summer of Party," but Denver Concerts Keep Happening

The COVID-19 shutdown has closed bars and nightclubs, but live music continues to find ways to thrive.
The music is back.
The music is back.
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On June 30, Governor Jared Polis announced that the bars and nightclubs he'd allowed to reopen just two weeks before had to close, as COVID-19 cases were on the rise.

Even so, live music is making a comeback. Dazzle, Nocturne and the Roxy on Broadway, which operate as both restaurants and music clubs, have been permitted to host concerts for weeks — while observing very strict social distancing rules. The hi-dive, a music club that just reopened as a bar, is weighing whether to partner with Sputnik so it can keep its doors open under the restaurant loophole.

And following the lead of the 1400 block of Larimer Street and Glenarm Place, a few blocks in RiNo have closed to vehicular traffic. While that doesn't mean that RiNo will be hosting any big festivals, it does mean that the Larimer Lounge, which is already dishing up Globe Hall's award-winning BBQ, can spread out. "This won’t affect capacity for shows, and no music is permitted on these restaurant patios,” notes Kyle Hartman, Larimer Lounge talent buyer. “So it won’t have an impact on shows at the venue. Everything is reserved seating both inside and out. But people will be able to enjoy cocktails and BBQ for the rest of the summer. It’s going to have a very European, open-air vibe all along Larimer, which will allow people to enjoy a night out this summer safely. I also think it’s going to help foster the RiNo community during this time by making the whole district feel connected.”

And that's not all. Milk Bar on Broadway has been hosting a socially distanced version of the popular dance party Lipgloss, and the Mile High Flea Market is now home to the Dirty Drive-In series, with bass-music concerts presented through August by Feyline, Nuell Entertainment and Lionshare. "Flea markets are uniquely suited to host large groups,” explains United Flea Markets CEO Rob Sieban. “They have built-in amenities like bathrooms and concessions, nearly unlimited outdoor space, and no permanent seats or bleachers to contend with that you’d find in an amphitheater or traditional concert venue.”

Snowmass, too, is hosting drive-in music this month through the Snowmass Free Concert Series, and Mishawaka has booked performances in its amphitheater. But the Oriental Theater, which had planned concerts through July, has pushed back its calendar to August.

Still, there's enough action in the scene that we're bringing back our club/concert listings, with the latest on shows booked for the area. Turn the page to see all the sounds you can hear in the next week or two, but be careful out there: As Polis announced last week, “This is not the Summer of Party.”
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