The annual Underground Music Showcase is the latest summer festival to be scrapped because of COVID-19, though organizers pledge that something will be happening.
The landmark event, which takes over Broadway venues each July and serves as a platform for hundreds of local artists, is also a major revenue booster for venues like the hi-dive, Three Kings and many more bars and clubs.
"Underground Music Showcase as we know and love is out of the question for this year," UMS organizers announce on the website. "We won’t be jeopardizing a single music lover’s health for a party. But we’re sure as hell not giving up on what we stand for! UMS is more than just a good time and a bad hangover. We support Broadway venues, artists, and a family that makes this festival come true. And we're not going to shy away from that support when we all need it the most."
In a letter to supporters, owner Casey Berry explains that UMS will be reimagined in 2020.
"Today’s reality dictates that a traditional music festival isn’t safe right now, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to give up," Berry explains. "We’re pushing hard to bring a modified vision to life — the Underground Music Something. We’re not exactly sure what that entails just yet, but we know we have two main goals for this 20th-anniversary festival — to raise money and to rage safely with Denver.
"Music venues and artists are the backbones of our local music community, and we want to support them in any way possible," Berry continues. "July 25th, we will be creating a fundraising experience for our loyal fans, be it smaller-scale on Broadway, virtual, or both."
In the meantime, be sure to tune in to Streams With Grit on the UMS Facebook page at 5 p.m. every day to catch a different local act live. This week's lineup includes Tres Leches, Specific Ocean, Jeff Cramer, Aaron Bordas and Bun Bun.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.