By Allison LeCain
Coming up on its fourth year running, the Fort Collins Music eXperiment (FoCoMX) will be the ultimate two-day music festival of the year. Dubbed “The Biggest Little Festival in America,” the set list is complete with 320 bands from Northern Colorado featured in more than 30 locations around downtown Fort Collins, making it easy to get your local music fix for only 20 dollars.
The music starts at 3:30pm on Friday, April 13 and continues into the night until 12:30am. It picks back up on Saturday, April 14 at 1:30pm and comes to a close at 12:30am. Some of the venues are 21 and up, but many are all ages, including the Aggie Theatre, Avogadro’s Number, Equinox Brewing and Cranknstein.
FoCoMX is put on by Fort Collins Musicians Association (FoCoMA), which is a non-profit organization that promotes the education, support and networking of local musicians.
President and co-founder of FoCoMX, Greta Cornett, started the festival four years ago with some friends. They began by calling up bands to ask if they wanted to be featured in the festival.
“We were just looking for a way to get some recognition of the Fort Collins music scene and celebrate what’s going on up here,” Cornett said.
This year they received more than 600 new band submissions in addition to the bands that have played previous years, making a stage spot in the festival quite the competition.
“We were kind of overwhelmed, but happily surprised,” Cornett said.
Over the years, not only have the number of bands grown from 107 to 320, but the number of audience members has also increased. This year FoCoMX is expected to have around 6,000 guests, according to Bryony Fuller, chair of the festival’s promotions committee.
This festival is home to more than just local musician performances. FoCoMX will also include musicians’ education panels, childrens’ workshops, a silent disco and silent films with live music, making it different than other festivals.
Cornett said FoCoMX is a unique experience that all music lovers will enjoy because of the wide variety of music types that will be featured. Fuller explained that there will be everything from DJs to punk rock to folk music.
“You’re also not committed to just one venue,” Cornett said. “You have the option to bounce around and see as much music as possible.”
As one of the only purely Colorado-based music festivals, the goal is to appeal to as many people as possible. The reasonably priced tickets help to fund FoCoMA and future local musicians.
“It’s really dedicated to the amazing talent that is right here in Northern Colorado,” Fuller said.
Upon payment, audience members will receive a wristband that will grant them access to any venue for both days of the festival. These can be purchased online at focomx.org or in Old Town Square on the day of the festival.
FoCoMX is almost entirely run by volunteers, who do everything from running the ticket booths to emceeing the stages. The group is still accepting help, and anyone who volunteers for four or more hours will receive a free wristband to the festival.
By attending the event, you can also try the limited edition FoCoMX beer. The group has partnered with Equinox Brewing to create an amber ale especially for audience members. It will be made in a small batch and served exclusively at FoCoMX venues for the duration of the festival.
The festival is called ‘the experiment’ for a reason and will truly be an amazing weekend for all music lovers.
“We’re open to new ideas and we’re not terribly afraid to try things,” Cornett said. “We take the lessons we learn and make each year better.”
To purchase a wristband, view the schedule or sign up to volunteer, visit focomx.org.