By: Meghan Pipe
Three days. Six stages. Eighty-six bands. It’s hard to count all the reasons we’re pumped for Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. Co-produced by Bohemian Nights and the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association, this free music festival is a summer staple—and 2017’s festival, held on August 11, 12 and 13 in downtown Fort Collins, is shaping up to be the best yet.
This year’s headliners, who anchor the festival’s main stage on Mountain Avenue each evening, appeal to a broad base of music fans. Leftover Salmon, the Boulder-born “architects of Jamgrass,” headline on Friday, August 11 at 8:30 p.m. Performing on Saturday, August 12 at 8:30 p.m. is CAKE, the alt-rock band that rose to fame with hits like 1996’s “The Distance” and 2001’s “Short Skirt Long Jacket.” Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile closes out the festival with a performance at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13.
Seeing national headliners is just part of the fun, though. Across the festival’s six stages, emerging and established Colorado talent fills the weekend’s music schedule. Though you’ll see plenty of festival favorites (Slow Caves, The Subdudes) on the lineup this year, half of the artists billed are playing Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest for the first time. New to the festival is Greeley-based folk band Igaus Davis. When asked about the opportunity to perform, Michael Igaus said, “I started up this music project just over a year ago, and we’ve been trying to find out how to become more established in the Colorado music scene. It is incredibly encouraging to have been selected to show my music, especially since all of my favorite Colorado bands have played here at one time or another.”
Other first-time festival artists have been part of the music scene for years, like Cory Clarke and Cody Marsden of Fort Collins hip-hop duo Kind Dub. “We have been immersed in the local scene for almost a decade, and it means the world to us to make the lineup,” said Clarke. “There is nothing better than knowing our music has a place in our community.”
As you explore Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, you’ll see that sense of community and music’s place within it, celebrated by festivalgoers and artists alike. It’s a reminder of the supportive and vibrant music scene that exists in Northern Colorado year-round. “The fact that you can go to a festival like this and see musicians cheering for other groups speaks volumes,” said Igaus.
• Friday, August 11: 5:30-10 p.m.
• Saturday, August 12: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
• Sunday, August 13: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Things to leave at home:
• Pets, selfie sticks, coolers, lawn chairs, drugs and outside alcohol
Ways to stay in the loop:
• Download the Bohemian Nights mobile app
• Visit bohemiannights.org
• Follow Bohemian Nights on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
• Use the #focomusic hashtag on social media