A Guide to Front Range Music Venues – The Mishawaka

Dead FLoyd performing at The Mishawaka in 2017. (taken from Wikipedia commons).

This is a fun one.

The Mishawaka – AKA “The Mish” – is an outdoor amphitheater and bar in the heart of the Poudre Canyon. It’s idea was developed in 1916 by a motorcyclist named Walter S. Thompson – a man who had a dream of starting his own dance hall. It has come a long way since then. As it stands today, The Mish is one of the most historic musical venues in all of Northern Colorado. It currently serves as a full time restaurant and bar with outdoor concerts throughout the Summer.

Having an outdoor venue hidden right in our backyard is something to be appreciated. Obviously, it’s not on the level of Red Rocks (nothing is) – but you’ll find a certain charm and beauty to The Mishawaka. Just make sure that if you’re going to drive out there, don’t go to fast. It creeps up on ya quickly!

Venue Perks

VIEWS. First off, the amphitheater overlooks the Cache La Poudre River. How freaking cool is that? And on the way up, you’ll notice the drive is full of twists and turns, with several spots to pull over and admire the natural beauty of the canyon. Do yourself a favor and soak up some of the scenery before you get to the venue. This is all part of the experience. I snapped a few pictures when I last drove out there:

Natural sound echoes off the rocks and makes for a pretty incredible listening experience. After all, it’s what inspired Walter Thompson to carry out his vision of a music hall.

Amphitheater holds 950 people. Bring all of your friends… and then some. It’s one of the biggest outdoor venues you’ll find in Northern Colorado.

The fun doesn’t end in the winter. Though the amphitheater is closed from December to April, there is a venue inside the restaurant – The SpokesBUZZ Lounge – that can hold roughly 150 people. This is open all year long.

There’s food and beer! Even if there are no shows scheduled, the restaurant and bar are open all year long. Bring some pals and have a few beers. Who knows, maybe one of you will have the courage to play the open piano.

Trying to Kill Time Before a Show?

I’ll reiterate that if you have extra time and don’t know what to spend it on, you’d be smart to pull over and chill with Mother Nature. It’s winter, but there are still things to do when the sun is out. Nothing says Colorado like 60 degrees in February.

Have a picnic! Go on a hike! Go fly fishing! Go rafting! Whatever you decide to do, make a day out of it! You won’t find much else to do in the canyon, unless you want to knock on a local’s door and hang out there for a few hours. Though, I wouldn’t recommend that method.

For tickets to shows, go to themishawaka.com