Winter’s (almost) over. Although there’s a small chance of a stray snowstorm or two in the Colorado Rockies, now’s the perfect time to plan your summer getaway to the myriad of music festivals held throughout the summer. Denver’s City Jazz Park produces 10 free jazz concerts each summer in the City Park, Boulder hosts the annual Colorado Music Festival, and Grand Junction hosts Country Jam. Take a look at this list of over 20 music festivals in Colorado, many of which are free or low cost. From contemporary to bluegrass, find a music festival that’s right for you.

Denver Summertime Traditions

City Park Jazz Festival Logo, Denver, Colorado


City Park Jazz Festival
Ten jazz concerts are free to the public and thousands of fans flock each year to the City Park to take in music, food trucks, and other park activities.
When: Sunday’s from first of June until August. Emma Mayes & The Hip leads off the event on June 2nd.
Where: City Park, 1600 CITY PARK ESPLANADE, DENVER, CO 80206

Spread the Word Colorado Music Festival
When: May 17-19, 2019
Where: Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt St, Denver, CO 80216

Juneteenth Music Festival
When: June 15-16, 2019
Where: 2720 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205

Westword Music Showcase
When: June 29, 2019
Where: Golden Triangle, 1080-1098 Acoma St, Denver, CO 80204

Global Dance Festival
When: July 19-20, 2019
Where: Broncos (Mile-High) Stadium, 1701 Bryant St, Denver, CO 80204

Underground Music Showcase
Last year’s lineup included over 100 national and local bands who performed at over the 20 indoor venues and four outdoor stages.
When: July 26-28, 2019
Where: Held on Broadway Street in Denver, the main stage is between W. Ellsworth Ave and W. Bayaud Ave.

A Taste of Colorado is a free, three-day outdoor festival
When: Labor Day Weekend, August 31-September 2, 2019
Where: Denver’s Civic Center Park, Colfax and, Bannock St, Denver, CO 80202

Looking for a picturesque outdoor venue in Denver? Check these out.

Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater in Greenwood Village. Address: 6350 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Levitt Pavilion in Denver. Address: 1380 W Florida Ave, Denver, CO 80223

Jeep Summer Concert Seasons at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison. Address: 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80465

Additional 2019 Music Festivals in Colorado by Genre


RIDE Festival
Around since 2012, the festival has a variety of talent including Pearl Jam, Sheryl Crow, Grace Potter, and others.
When: July 12-14, 2019
Where: Town Park, 500 E Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435

Electronic or Alternative Music

Sonic Bloom Festival
Colorado’s premier electronic music festival at Hummingbird Ranch
When: June 20-23, 2019
Where: Hummingbird Ranch in Spanish Peaks Country — 732 Co Rd 653, Rye, CO 81069

Bohemian Nights Music Festival
Free, three-day music festival held each August in historic downtown Fort Collins
When: August 9-11, 2019
Where: Downtown Fort Collins, 19 Old Town Square, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Celtic Music Festivals

Pikes Peak Celtic Festival
The festival has world-renowned Celtic rock groups in addition to the sound of bagpipes and Irish dancers.
When: June 14-16, 2019
Where: 250 S Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80910

Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival
Annual Celtic Music Festival and four-day retreat in Huerfano County in Colorado led by international artists and teachers.
When: 19-22, 2019
Where: 300 S Main St, La Veta, CO 81055

Bluegrass / Country / Folk Festivals

Folk N’Bluegrass Festival
When: June 7-9, 2019
Where: 320 Hot Springs Blvd, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Country Jam Music Festival
When: June 13-16, 2019
Where: 1065 Old US Hwy 6 & 50, Loma, CO 81524

Palisade Bluegrass & Roots Music Festival
When: June 14-16, 2019
Where: 451 Pendleton St., Palisade, CO 81526

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
When: June 20-23, 2019
Where: Telluride, CO (check website for further details)

Colorado Prairie Music Festival
When: June 22, 2019
Where: 33747 County Rd 2W, Hugo, CO 80821

Central Rockies Old-Time Music Association
When: July 10-14, 2019
Where: 15722 Parrish Ranch Rd, Berthoud, CO 80513

Rapidgrass Bluegrass Festival
When: July 19-20, 2019
Where: 101 Idaho Springs Road East, Idaho Springs, CO 80452

Rockygrass Festival
Converge under the red rock cliffs of the St. Vrain River and listen to bluegrass legends.
When: July 26-28, 2019
Where: 500 W Main St, Lyons, CO 80540

Bluegrass and Beer Festival
Keystone brings the wonders of Appalachia to the Rockies with down-home cooking, frothy flavor, and mountain music.
When: August 3-4, 2019
Where: 164 Ida Belle Dr, Keystone, CO 80435

Rocky Mountain Folk Festival
Summer weekend celebrating songs and stories from around the musical and geographic world.
When: August 16-28, 2019
Where: 500 W Main St, Lyons, CO 80540

Seven Peaks Music Festival
Labor Day Weekend of live country music
When: August 30-September 1, 2019
Where: 14822 County Road 350, Buena Vista, CO 81211

Blues / Jazz

Greeley Blues Jam
Two amazing days of non-stop Blues.
When: June 7-8, 2019
Where: 501 N 14th Ave, Greeley, CO 80631

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
JAS has grown from a simple 3-day event in Aspen to a complex set of multi-day festivals in Aspen/Snowmass.
When: June 20-23, 2019
Where: Multiple venues in downtown Aspen, CO

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival
Blues & Brews is a three-day celebration of music and microbrews.
When: September 13-15, 2019
Where: 500 E Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435


Bravo! Vail Music Festival
Programming consists of chamber music, classical music, jazz, and pops concerts.
When: Select dates in an outdoor venue at various times throughout the season from June 20-August 4, 2019
Where: 2271 N Frontage Rd W C, Vail, CO 81657

Colorado Music Festival
Six-week summer concert season at Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder showcasing Colorado Music Festival Orchestra
When: June 27-August 3, 2019
Where: 200 E. Baseline Road, Lafayette, CO 80026

Music In the Mountains Classical Music Festival
Annual summer classical music festival located in Durango, with additional performances in other regional towns
When: July 6-28, 2019
Where: Various locations in Durango, CO; check the website for details.


Boulder’s Bands on the Bricks
Outdoor summer concert series in Downtown Boulder has performers from alternatives to classic rock
When: June 5 to August 7, 2019
Where: 1300 Block of the Pearl Street Mall, Boulder, CO 80302

Colorado BBQ Challenge
While not your traditional music festival, this event features multiple bands over 3 days in addition to a cookoff.
When: June 13-15, 2019
Where: 1 Main St Frisco, CO 80443

Crested Butte Music Festival
When: July 2-28, 2019
Where: 523 Riverland Dr, Crested Butte, CO 81224

Aspen Music Festival and School
Offers classical music training to young adult musical students and offers occasional concerts to the public.
When: June 27-August 28, 2019
Where: Varies. Check the website for details

2019 Music Festivals in Colorado for Pinterest


From alpine forests to mirrored lakes, Colorado’s Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway skirts between the Roosevelt National Forest and the Rocky Mountain National Park. This byway was originally part of a link between Longs Peak and Pikes Peak. You can explore many of the old mining towns along the route and find some ghost towns as well. Roads along these mountain lanes are mainly two lanes, so you won’t want to rush it. There are also plenty of places to pull over and enjoy the view.

Hint: CO-7 near Estes Park is also known as South St. Vrain. As you view directions, you will sometimes see CO-& or roads with the name Vrain. It’s the same road.

How long? About sixty-two miles from Central City to Estes Park. However, I would give yourself up to 2 hours. In the summer (especially around Estes Park), give yourself up to three. Or four. Heading from Denver to Central City can easily add on another hour. To loop back around to Denver from Estes Park is another hour and a half, so this tour can easily be a days drive if you stop at everything.

Time of Year? I would go from May to October. The Spring can be nice, but just make sure to check the weather as pop-up snow and winter storms can occur. In the winter? If the weather is nice and you know there isn’t much snow, it might be an adventure. Just be careful. Trust your gut, check the weather, and remember the Donner Party (or the Shining.) Seriously though, many of these roads are not available year-round due to winter weather and the high elevation, so plan accordingly.


Map not working on your phone? Try this one.


Peak-to-Peak Scenic Byway Itinerary

Start from Central City

Central City, Colorado

Teller House, Eureka St, Central City, CO 80427

Central City is a former mining town founded in 1859 during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. The rush financed many of the Victorian structures that still stand in the downtown area. Teller House, which now operates as a restaurant, was built in 1872. The City Central Opera House (124 Eureka St, Central City, CO 80427) was constructed in 1878 and is still in use. Oscar Wilde and Buffalo Bill Cody were known to have visited the opera house and today you can view events such as summer music festivals. Just up the hill from Central City is the ghost town of Nevadaville with original buildings and several historic mines. If you want a short excursion, you can follow Central City Parkway and take the Nevadaville Road on the left or simply take a (steep) hike up into the town.

Nederland, Colorado
(Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest)

Carousel of Happiness, 20 Lakeview Dr, Nederland, CO 80466

As you begin heading north towards Nederland, Colorado, you will drive through the magnificent Roosevelt National Forest. As you begin climbing the gorge, you will be able to see Buckeye Mountain to the west and Tungsten Mountain to the east. The drive also passes the entrance to the Golden Gate Canyon State Park. In Nederland, visit the Carousel of Happiness to view hand-carved animals on a restored 1910 merry-go-round. Nederland was founded in 1874 and has plenty of old buildings to explore in its historic downtown. You can also drive out to Trail Ridge Road, which is the highest paved road on the U.S. mainland!

Pine Trees in the Rocky Mountain National Park outside of Denver, Colorado.

Brainard Lake Recreation Area

Brainard Lake Rd, Ward, CO 80481

The Brainard Lake Recreation Area is where the looking-glass lakes called the Red Rock and Brainard offer a great stopping point for views and activities. A short trail leads up to Long Lake Trailhead, which offers superb views of nearby peaks. Off-season, when the gates are closed, head over to the Brainard Gateway Trailhead (Brainard Lake Winter Lot), with a warming hut, bathrooms, and parking for the snowshoe and ski access. Better yet, visit the town of Ward, Colorado, a former mining town in 1860, and look around the near-ghost town. The town has a restaurant, a coffee shop, and a general store in case you need a snack.

Peaceful Valley Campground

Middle Saint Vrain Creek, Boulder, CO 80301

From Brainard Lake, the CO-72 drops back into a valley along a creek and some hairpin turns. You will soon arrive at the Peaceful Valley Campground, where you can view some great scenery and wildlife. If you are not planning on camping, continue the drive into a tunnel-like canyon walled by granite cliffs. After a slight panic attack (okay, just me), you’ll soon turn west onto CO-7 E.

Saint Malo’s Chapel on the Rock

10758 CO-7, Allenspark, CO 80510

North of Allenspark, Colorado, is the St. Catherine of Siena Chapel, also referred to as Chapel on the Rock. The church was built in the 1930s out of a large rock formation just east of the Rocky Mountain National Park. The structure has been damaged by sporadic landslides, floods, and fire. It is undergoing renovations and is occasionally open to the public. However, you can still view the majestic structure from the parking lot or as you drive nearby.

Want to Hike on the Edge? Visit Longs Peak Trailhead

Longs Peak Trailhead, 1398 Longs Peak Rd, Estes Park, CO 80517

No? Skip to Enos Mills Cabin
(You can still see Longs Peak in the distance)

6760 CO-7, Estes Park, CO 80517

The Longs Peak Trailhead hike is a 16-mile round-trip hike to the tallest summit in Colorado, Longs Peak. At 14,259 feet, the hike is not for inexperienced climbers as it has narrow ledges, loose rock, and steep cliffs. It’s a climbing hike. You can always drive down the Longs Peak Road to the trailhead and view the campground. The mountain is visible in the distance.

Either after you visit and complete the trailhead, or just take a glimpse, head up CO-7 to Enos Mills Cabin. The museum also includes a short nature trail that leads you to the original homestead cabin of Kansas Enos, considered to be the “Father of Rocky Mountain National Park.” The cabin was built by Enos as a 15-year-old in 1885. Admission can be steep ($20 per adult), so you may want to drive by and continue up to Lily Lake.

Lily Lake Loop

Lily Lake, Estes Park, CO 80517

Lilly Lake, once the home of a field full of lilies, is full of a variety of ducks, mallards, Canadian geese and an occasional moose. A 0.8-mile hiking trail goes around the lake and is easy enough for all skill levels. It can be crowded as it is used by locals and tourists, but it has a great visitor’s center with clean restrooms.

Estes Park

Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, 1000 US-36, Estes Park, CO 80517

Estes Park is called the “Eastern Gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park.” Surrounded by the soaring vistas, the town is a popular resort year-round. This is especially true in the summer; if you find a parking space, grab it. It may be a while before you find another one. The city is walkable so you can visit many of the shops and galleries on foot along Elkhorn and Morain avenues. The Riverwalk is fun too.

The Beaver Meadow Visitor’s Center is a great place to stop and watch a 20-minute video about the Rocky Mountain National Park. Before you start heading east into exploring the park, even more, you can get an idea of what to see, do, and so forth. The historic Stanley Hotel (333 E Wonderview Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517) is also nearby and is a popular spot both for its history and for serving as the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining.


If you have more time and feel like continuing your tour, dive deeper into the Rocky Mountain National Forest. Take US-34 east out of Estes Park and continue to Loveland, Colorado, an hour away. In fact, if you are planning on spending the night, Loveland has more affordable hotel rates that might make your trip easier. Also, it’s a stunning drive, especially in the summer.

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Colorado. The very name brings up images of the snow-covered Rocky Mountain Parks and streaming rivers. The state boasts 16 national parks and sites and 41 state parks with over 13,000 campsites just to start. Over 200 historic sites and locations also dot the land. Numerous forests and wildlife preserves can also be found in abundance. Summer in Colorado is ideal for hiking, camping, and cooler temperatures as you climb up the majestic peaks. Winter months offer skiing and other outdoor activities. The National Register of Historic Places lists 1,551 sites in the state. More than 7 million visitors come to Colorado national and state parks every year.