By: BOHEMIAN NIGHTS STAFF
Each August, Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest fills the streets of downtown Fort Collins for one of the biggest community celebrations of the year. The 2016 festival will take place Aug. 12, 13, and 14 and will feature three free days of music and classic festival attractions, including food and beverage vendors, specialty booths and activities for kids. The festival is co-produced by Bohemian Nights and the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association.
The upcoming festival will feature an all-Colorado lineup of more than 80 bands and three nationally-known headliners. On Friday, Aug. 12 at 8:30 p.m., Denver-based DeVotchKa takes Mountain Avenue Stage, headlining the first night of the festival with their brand of orchestral indie rock.
Saturday’s headliner will be The Fray, an alternative rock band known for hit singles “Over My Head (Cable Car)” and “How to Save a Life.” The Fray’s performance will take place on Mountain Avenue Stage on Saturday at 8:30 p.m., and also will be simulcast live on two screens in Library Park and on one screen on Linden Street Stage. Sunday’s headliner is a surprise that will be announced in early August, so be on the lookout through the Bohemian Nights website and mobile app.
An all-Colorado lineup demonstrates how central community is to Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. The festival gives bands an opportunity to perform for their Colorado community, and gives the community an opportunity to discover and experience live Colorado music.
“An all-Colorado lineup supports Bohemian Nights’ mission of supporting new, emerging and established Colorado artists,” explains Bohemian Foundation Music Programs Director Tom Scharf.
The festival provides an environment of support for musicians, and it also taps into the community of support that is already present in the state. When asked what they love most about the local Colorado music scene, DeVotchKa’s lead singer Nick Urata spoke to the supportive environment of Denver and Colorado and how it helped them develop as a band.
“The people and music clubs here have always been willing to give fledgling bands a chance to be heard, but I’ve got to say the local ‘zines, radio 1190 and now OpenAir have made bands like ours possible,” he says. “I’ve lived in other cities where they don’t bother covering the underground natives and it was hard to get anything going.”
This year’s all-Colorado lineup supports and promotes Colorado bands, but it also speaks to the tremendous talent pool in our state. In addition to three headliners, a solid lineup of more than 80 talented artists and bands is a point of pride for Coloradoans and demonstrates the caliber of musicians we have in the state.
The bands and artists coming to the festival cover a wide spectrum, both in terms of genre and level of prominence. There are established bands, like the nationally-known headliners, but there are also emerging bands and artists that continue to grow locally and nationally. Trout Steak Revival is one such band, an up-and-coming bluegrass group who was featured on Good Morning America’s 2015 Cross Country Road Trip and won an Emmy Award for a soundtrack they produced for Rocky Mountain PBS.
Fans are also looking forward to a reunion show by Tickle Me Pink, a Fort Collins-based band that went on several national tours before parting ways in 2010. Tickle Me Pink will perform on Mountain Avenue Stage on Friday at 5:55 p.m. Another local favorite, 12 Cents for Marvin, has toured with a number of national ska bands and will be celebrating 20 years as a band. They will perform on Mountain Avenue Stage at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday.
In addition to established acts, emerging artists and local favorites, there are some new bands to check out as well. Silver and Gold, a five-piece band formed in Greeley, will bring their energetic indie-rock sound to Linden Street Stage on Saturday at 11:35 a.m.
Urata reflects on his performances at the festival by saying “At a festival like this, you are sure to be exposed to people who have never heard you before, if the stars are aligned you will have some new friends for life. It may sound simple, but being able to connect to a crowd of strangers in the hot sun is a skill every band must hone.”
The music portion of Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest will span across six outdoor stages in downtown Fort Collins, including the recently renovated Old Town Square Stage. Music performances will run from 5–10 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m.–7 p.m. on Sunday. Festivalgoers can find more information at BohemianNights.org, on the mobile app and social media, or on the Downtown Business Association website.
TOP FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BOHEMIAN NIGHTS AT NEWWESTFEST:
- For the safety and enjoyment of others, the festival asks that you do not bring drugs of any kind, alcohol, pets, lawn chairs, or selfie sticks. Personal items are subject to search.
- More information and an interactive lineup can be found on the Bohemian Nights mobile app, social media sites and website. Download the Bohemian Nights app at the Apple Store or Google Play.
- Use #focomusic to share photos and posts about the festival!
- There are many alternative transportation options available, including biking (temporary racks will be located around the festival) or riding the MAX, which will run all three days of the festival.
- Stop by the selfie station at the Central Music Merchandise tent to snap a photo with the bands.