Denver music festivals: How to do The UMS, Westword, Sunnyside, Down in Denver and more

Denver music fans can attend more than a half-dozen music festivals in the coming weeks, stamina-willing. Here’s a rundown.


The producers of The Underground Music Showcase — founded by former Denver Post critics John Moore and Ricardo Baca — consider 2021 their 20th installment, having gone online last year due to the pandemic. This year’s national headliners include Pinegrove, Remi Wolf, Allah-Las, Shannon & the Clams and Dâm-Funk, plus 100 local acts such as bellhoss, Adiel Mitchell, Big Dopes, DespAIR Jordan, Izcalli, Neoma, Ray Reed and Wes Watkins.

Aug. 27-29 at various venues along South Broadway in the Baker neighborhood. Sold out.

Denver Day of Rock

This free, family-friendly event raises money for the Amp the Cause charity, with five stages along downtown’s 16th Street Mall. Local and national artists include The Band Perry, Cale Dodds, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, and Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers.

Aug. 28 in downtown Denver. Free. VIP passes benefiting Amp the Cause are $250.

Down in Denver

Roughly 50 Colorado acts will take over two stages at RiNo’s Larimer Lounge (one inside, one outdoors) for this brand new event, which its founders describe as a “truly local” music fest. Booked performers include Bianca Mikahn, Bluebook, Kerrie Joy, Astral Planes, The Dollhouse Thieves and Wave Decay.

Sept. 4-6 at 2721 Larimer St. $15 day pass; $30 weekend pass.

Sunnyside Music Festival

This free, nonprofit, volunteer-run event raises money for neighborhood music-education programs in North Denver and features acts such as Los Mochochetes, Gumbo le Fungue, Pick & Howl, Cast Iron Queens and Shakedown Street. Food and drink will be available for purchase. “We really try to reach out to local artists and businesses,” said board member Amy Murin. “We’re in the long game in trying to breed musicians and music lovers in this neighborhood.”

Sept. 11 at Chaffee Park, 1901 W. 43rd Ave. Free.

Sundown Colorado

This EDM festival is geared toward sober and sober-curious music fans. Local artists and vendors, guided meditations at a “healing tent,” art installations, a detox bar (with IVs, even) and other programming join artists such as N2N, Yolanda Be Cool, Autograf, DoubleCrush and Ishe. “Our goal is for everyone to leave feeling better than when they arrived,” founders Amber and Mike Handby said via email.

Sept. 11 at the RiNo Festival Grounds, 3715 Chestnut Place. Tickets: $10-$49.

Titwrench Music Festival

For its final installment, this 13-year-old, all-ages DIY festival will take over the pavilion at City Park with live performances from Nacha Mendez, The Milk Blossoms, Machete Mouth and My Name is Harriet. Food trucks, kid-friendly activities and an artisan market curated by Witch Collective will be on site.

Oct. 3 at City Park, 2001 Steele St. Free, with RSVP and donations encouraged.

Westword Music Showcase

Setting up in RiNo for the first time this year, Westword’s fest will feature national headliners Young the Giant, Kaytranada, Thundercat, Duke Dumont, Matoma and Hippo Campus. Local acts include A Meazy, Yasi, Brothers of Brass, Mawule, Bison Bone and The Mañanas.

Sept. 17-18 in and outside Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop St. in RiNo. Tickets: $40-$100.

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