Riot Fest, Sept. 2-4, National Western Complex.
At heart, Riot Fest is a punk rock festival that bills bands like Descendents and NOFX from the genre’s heyday. But they are also bringing in huge names like Jane’s Addiction, Ween, and Nas so that every single person in their right mind wants to go. Along with carnival games, rides, and a freak show circus, we are so glad that the Chicago-based festival found its second home in Denver. This is year four for us, and each one has been amazing. It’s a little pricey, 3-Day general admission is $199, but more than worth it.
A Taste of Colorado- Sept. 2-4, Civic Center Park.
A Taste of Colorado hits all the bases as far as appeal. The foodie in you will be satisfied by over 50 restaurants from Denver and around the state, and it tastes better than normal because it’s cooked and eaten outside. Live music complements the food all weekend long. Big Bad VooDoo Daddy performs Friday night, bringing with them a heavy dose of nineties nostalgia and finally providing some use for that old zoot suit you’ve kept hanging in the back of the closet.
Denver Oktoberfest- Sept. 23-25 and Sept. 30- Oct 2, Ballpark Neighborhood/LoDo.
Keg bowling. Picture that for a moment. Also, all the normal fixings of Oktoberfest including bratwurst, sausages, gigantic pretzels, dancing, and liter Steins of German beer.
Great American Beer Festival, Oct. 6-8, Colorado Convention Center and Denver Beer Fest- Sept. 30-Oct 8th, all over town.
The Great American Beer Festival is the ultimate wet dream of every beer lover. Hundreds of breweries, open tasting, homebrew lessons. Unfortunately, it sells out in a matter of minutes each year. Fear not though- the dozens of breweries around the Denver metro area are throwing their own parties leading up to, during, and after the GABF. Biking events, food pairings, music, and anything else that can possibly be made better by adding beer will be going down. Make your own itinerary here.
Snowboard on the Block Festival- Oct. 14-15, Sculpture Park.
Each fall sees the release of the year’s batch of fresh snowboard films, and this festival screens nearly all of them in one place. With big name music headliners including Steve Aoki, Mimosa, and Afroman along with many of Denver’s best bands and a gear sale that rivals Sniagrab, the Block Festival is a great representation of the state of affairs for one of Colorado’s most popular sports. Yours truly will be managing the music at the festival, so if you see me running around frantically with a clipboard or stack of drum equipment, feel free to bring me a shot from the bar.
Zombie Crawl- Oct. 22, 16th St. Mall.
Don’t lie- as a kid you wanted to join The Organ Trail, right? The Zombie Crawl will make that dream a reality. Plus, there’s a solid chance that you’ll bump into three or four people from your high school. Being intoxicated by 10 am and covered in hair dye, makeup, and ketchup is the perfect time to reminisce.
Denver Arts Week- Nov. 4-12, all over town.
Those who say Denver has no culture are wrong on many counts and Denver Arts Week is proof. Art galleries, theaters, museums, and music venues around town will be hosting special events and offering deals so that you can finally take home a good piece of art or photography for your living room wall without breaking the bank.
First Fridays at the Arts District on Santa Fe- Sept. 2, Oct. 7, Nov. 4.
The rapid growth of Denver in recent years has seen the rise of a handful of new ‘arts districts,’ but the Arts District on Santa Fe is the original and best. On the first Friday of each month, the entire neighborhood throws down on a party with music in the streets, lots of free or incredibly cheap wine and beer, and just about every local food truck worth its name lined up on the north end of the event. The resident galleries keep their doors open late for viewing and buying, and Renegade Brewing is bumping until last call at 11:00.
Featured image by MAD Hippies Life