Summertime in Denver is all about the outdoors. Denverites spend these months making the most of the plentiful sunshine and copious fresh air — hiking, biking and enjoying a host of live music extravaganzas.


WHEN: May–September

No summer in Denver is complete without at least one — or two, or five — trips to the awe-inspiring Red Rocks Amphitheatre, just 15 miles from downtown Denver. More than 70 million years in the making, the 9,450-seat venue is flanked by enormous 300-foot red sandstone rock formations and always boasts a star-studded musical schedule.

Highlights of the 2018 lineup:


Mon., May 28: Haim with Maggie Rogers and Lizzo

Tues., May 29: Five Finger Death Punch with Of Mice & Men

Wed., May 30: Vance Joy with Alice Merton


Fri., June 1: Michael Franti & Spearhead with Xavier Rudd and Victoria Canal

Sun., June 3: Marshmello

Tues., June 5: Ween

Sun., June 10: John Butler Trio with Tash Sultana and Mama Kin Spender

Tues., June 12: Bryan Adams

Thurs., June 14: Ryan Adams with First Aid Kit

Fri.–Sat., June 15–16: Odesza

Tues., June 19: Barenaked Ladies with Better Than Ezra and KT Tunstall

Wed., June 20: Kaleo with Anderson East

Thurs., June 28: Chromeo and The Glitch Mob with Elohim and Kittens

Fri.–Sun., June 29–July 1: The Avett Brothers with David Crosby, Mandolin Orange and Jill Andrews


Mon.–Tues., July 2–3: Zeds Dead with Russo

Wed., July 4: Blues Traveler with G. Love & the Special Sauce and The Wailers

Thurs.–Sat., July 5–7: Umphrey's McGee

Thurs., July 12: moe.

Sun., July 15: Seal with The Colorado Symphony and Corinne Bailey Rae

Wed., July 18: Sylvan Esso

Thurs., July 19: Trampled by Turtles with The Oh Hellos and Dead Horses

Fri.–Sun., July 20–22: The String Cheese Incident with JJ Grey & Mofro, The Main Squeeze and Rising Appalachia

Thurs., July 26: Sarah McLachlan with The Colorado Symphony

Fri., July 27: Beats Antique and The Polish Ambassador & The Diplomatic Scandal


Fri., Aug. 3: Lucero and Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls with Face to Face

Sat., Aug. 4: Yonder Mountain String Band & The Infamous Stringdusters with The Earls of Leicester and Horseshoes & Hand Grenades

Mon., Aug. 6: Steve Martin and Martin Short

Wed., Aug. 8: Portugal .The Man with Oh Sees

Sun., Aug. 12: Brandi Carlile with Shovels & Rope and The Secret Sisters

Mon., Aug. 20: Niall Horan with Maren Morris

Wed.–Thurs., Aug. 22–23: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats with Tank and The Bangas and Slim Cessna's Auto Club

Mon.–Tues., Aug. 27–28: David Byrne

Thurs., Aug. 30: Shakey Graves, Jose Gonzalez & The Brite Lites with Twin Peaks


Sun., Sept. 2: Jason Mraz with Brett Dennen

Mon., Sept. 3: Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit with Aimee Mann and Amanda Shires

Sun., Sept. 9: O.A.R. with Matt Nathanson

Mon., Sept. 10: Mac DeMarco

Mon., Sept. 17: Punch Brothers & Gillian Welch

Sun., Sept. 30: Gregory Alan Isakov with Patty Griffin




Held at the end of June, this summer music festival brings local and national acts together for a day of great entertainment. Westword, Denver's alternative newsweekly, has been a staple in the community for decades and it continues to bring great events to the city.


As is the case with most Denver music festivals, the Underground Music Showcase (UMS) started from humble beginnings. During its first year, 300 attendees came out to the Bluebird Theater to hear four bands. By 2006, the festival had to move to South Broadway to accommodate the number of music acts and festivalgoers. Today, it's one of the most popular music festivals in Denver, spanning four days in July with more than 400 local and national acts and more than 15 venues and stages. If you want to experience Denver at its best when it comes to music, make sure to check out this festival.

VELORAMA: AUG. 17–19, 2018

Velorama is a three-day street party that accompanies the annual Colorado Classic, a four-day series of cycling races. Launched in 2017, Velorama attracts top acts.


It might be known as a food festival (hence the name), but A Taste of Colorado also features around 120 bands playing during the four-day weekend. Listen to a variety of genres as you savor culinary offerings from Colorado’s favorite food establishments.

GRANDOOZY: SEPT. 14–16, 2018

Superfly Productions, the creators of popular festivals including Bonaroo and Outside Lands, will launch its latest music festival in Denver this fall. It will be a three-day weekend festival, featuring big-name headliners — Kendrick Lamar, Florence and the Machine, and Stevie Wonder — plus Denver bands, as well as local food and drink purveyors.


WHEN: Year-round

Rock, pop and country's biggest stars often make a stop at Pepsi Center — a major sports arena that's right in the heart of the city. When the center isn't hosting basketball's Denver Nuggets, hockey's Colorado Avalanche or lacrosse's Colorado Mammoth, you can catch killer music acts here year round.

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Tues., June 12: Steely Dan & The Doobie Brothers

Sun., June 17: Kesha and Macklemore

Wed., June 20: Chicago and REO Speedwagon

Tues., July 3: Harry Styles with Kacey Musgraves

Tues., July 24: Foreigner with Whitesnake and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening

Fri., July 27: Shania Twain

Wed., Aug. 8: Jeff Lynne's ELO

Fri., Aug 10: Chris Stapleton

Tues., Aug. 21: Sam Smith

Wed., Aug. 22: Rod Stewart with Cyndi Lauper

Wed., Sept. 5: The Smashing Pumpkins

Fri.–Sat., Sept. 7–8: Bruno Mars with Cardi B

Sun., Sept. 9: Maroon 5 with Julia Michaels


WHEN: May–June

In town during summer but still want to get a peek at the Denver Broncos' famed home stadium? A summer concert at Sports Authority Field at Mile High might be just the ticket. Big-name acts take to the open-air stage as music carries on the Colorado breeze above the storied gridiron for a concert experience you won't forget.

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Sat., June 30: Kenny Chesney with Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion and Brandon Lay

Sat., Aug. 4: Luke Bryan with Sam Hunt, Jon Pardi and Morgan Wallen


WHEN: June–July

Summer is baseball season, but when the Colorado Rockies are away, the musicians will play — at Coors Field.

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Thurs., June 28: Eagles with Jimmy Buffett and The Coral Reefer Band

Sat., July 21: Def Leppard and Journey


WHEN: June–September

Denver Botanic Gardens is a lush oasis located in the heart of The Mile High City, with hundreds of rare and lovely species of plants populating the grounds. But it's also home to a stellar summer concert series. The lawns surrounding the stage are general admission, so bring a blanket or lawn chair along with a bottle of wine and a picnic dinner and enjoy the great music in an unparalleled setting. Word to the wise: virtually all Botanic Gardens concerts sell out — so get your tickets early!

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Mon., June 11: Violent Femmes

Fri., June 22: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Mon., June 25: The Milk Carton Kids

Wed., June 27: Chris Botti

Mon., July 9: The Mavericks

Mon.–Tues., July 23–24: TajMo: The Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' Band

Wed., July 25: Melissa Etheridge

Fri., July 27: Chaka Khan

Sun., July 29: Guster

Wed., Aug. 1: Amos Lee

Wed., Aug. 8: Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers

Thurs., Aug. 9: Angelique Kidjo's Remain In Light and Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Wed., Aug. 15: Gipsy Kings


WHEN: Fri.–Sun., Aug. 31–Sept. 2, 2018

Jam out to three days of Phish at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. It's a Denver tradition!


WHEN: June–early August, Sun., 6–8 p.m.

The City Park Bandstand and Pavilion turns into a swinging, open-air jazz club, as music lovers of all ages congregate for City Park Jazz. Bring a blanket or folding chair—but be prepared to spend plenty of time on your feet, too. City Park Jazz encourages dancing. Best of all, these concerts are free.

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Sun., June 3: Jyemo Club

Sun., June 10: Katie Glassman & Snapshot

Sun., June 17: Hazel Miller with Harmony Chorale and Badda Boom Brass Band

Sun., June 24: Paa Kow

Sun., July 1: Eufórquestra

Sun., July 8: La Pompe Jazz & Friends

Sun., July 15: Pat Bianchi Trio

Sun., July 22: Mistura Fina Band

Sun., July 29: The Sammy Mayfield Blues Band

Sun., Aug. 5: Chris Daniels & the Kings with Freddi Gowdy and Tivoli Brass Band


WHEN: June–August

Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park is not only a great, family-friendly attraction with roller coasters, water slides and more — it also offers an excellent concert series. All concerts are free with admission to the park.

Check back later for more of the summer 2018 lineup.

Sat., June 2: Chris Lane with Dylan Scott

Sat., June 9: Jack & Jack

Sun., June 17: Banda El Recodo

Sat., June 30: Why Don't We

Sat., July 14: Colton Dixon & Sidewalk Prophets

Sat., July 21: Jacob Sartorius

Sun., July 29: La Septima Banda

Sat., Aug. 4: Switchfoot


WHEN: May–August

The Levitt Pavilion is a new, state-of-the-art amphitheater in Ruby Hill Park that was created as a gift to the community. This outdoor venue plans to host a slew of free concerts every summer, and a few ticketed events, too. Bring a blanket and a picnic, kick back on the lawn and enjoy artists from a wide range of genres.

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Sat., June 2: Alan Parsons — Eye in the Sky 35th Anniversary Tour (ticketed)

Fri., June 22: Home Free (ticketed)

Fri., July 27: Robert Earle Keen (ticketed)

Sat., Aug. 4: War & Tower of Power with Megan Burtt (ticketed)

Fri., Aug. 24: ABBA The Concert: A Tribute to ABBA (ticketed)

Mon., Sept. 3: YES 50th Anniversary Tour Featuring Joe Anderson, Trevor Rabin, Rick Wakeman


WHEN: May–September

Grab a blanket and take a seat on the lawn or buy a reserved seat at this beautiful venue just south of Denver in Greenwood Village. Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre has a variety of acts coming up this spring and summer.

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Sun., May 27: James Taylor & His All Star Band with Bonnie Raitt

Wed., May 30: Paul Simon

Tues., June 5: Styx and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Thurs., June 21: Sugarland with Brandy Clark and Clare Bowen

Sat., June 23: I Love the 90's with Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa, Montell Jordan, Biz Markie, Rob Base and DJ Kool

Sun., June 24: Summer Song Festival with Jeremy Camp, Phil Wickham, Tenth Avenue North, Britt Nicole and Tauren Wells

Sat., July 14: Keith Urban with Kelsea Ballerini

Sun., July 15: Thirty Seconds to Mars / Walk the Moon with K.Flay, Welshly Arms, lovelytheband, Jukebox the Ghost, Two Feet and L.I.F.T.

Tues., July 31: Weezer / Pixies with Sleigh Bells

Sat., Aug. 4: Steve Miller Band with Peter Frampton

Sun., Aug. 12: Lost 80's Live with A Flock of Seagulls, Wang Chung, Naked Eyes, Men Without Hats, Animotion, Missing Persons, Dramarama, Gene Loves Jezebel & Farrington and Mann

Sat., Aug. 18: Slayer with Lamb Of God, Anthrax, Testament, Napalm Death

Fri.–Sat., Aug. 24–25: Dave Matthews Band

Sat., Sept., 8: Boy George & Culture Club with The B-52s and Thompson Twins' Tom Bailey


WHEN: June–September

Hudson Gardens is known for presenting some of the best touring artists in the world in a picturesque natural setting, and the 2017 season is shaping up to be one of the most dynamic and exciting yet! All seating is general admission, so bring a blanket or low-back chair. You can bring your own food, or visit one of the many local food trucks that will be dishing out eats during the shows.

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Sun., June 10: Brian Setzer's Rockabilly Riot!

Sun., June 17: 38 Special

Sun., June 24: The O'Jays

Tues., July 3: Super Diamond

Wed., July 4: Firefall

Sun., July 8: Tommy James & The Shondells and Herman's Hermits Starring Peter Noone

Sun., July 15: Sheryl Crow

Sun., July 22: Third Eye Blind

Sun., July 29: Chris Isaak

Sat., Aug., 4: Little River Band

Sun., Aug. 5: UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell, Astro & Mickey

Sat., Aug 11: Kenny Loggins

Sun., Aug. 12: Toto

Sat., Aug. 18: Josh Turner

Sun., Aug. 26: Big & Rich

Sun., Sept. 2: Boz Scaggs


WHEN: Wednesdays, mid June–mid August (Backyard opens at 5 p.m., music runs from 5:30–9:30 p.m.)

Head to the Backyard at Elway's Cherry Creek every Wednesday this summer for Elway's Taste & Tunes Summer Music Series. Enjoy free music from some fantastic bands (including some of the area's best tribute bands), cocktails, the restaurant's signature menu and beautiful Colorado evenings. Bands play from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Wed., June 13: The Tripping Griswolds

Wed., June 20: Funkiphino

Wed., June 27: The Samples

Wed., July 11: The Railbenders

Wed., July 18: Swerve

Wed., July 25: The Long Run

Wed., Aug. 1: Under a Blood Red Sky

Wed., Aug. 8: Deja Blu Dance Band

Wed., Aug. 15: The Eighties Band


WHEN: Select Sundays, June–September

On a few special Sundays this summer, join Swallow Hill Music at Commons Park, along the South Platte River at the edge of downtown Denver, for an evening of tunes by indie artists performing from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Sun., June 3: Blue Canyon Boys

Sun., June 17: Grown Ass Man Band

Sun., July 1: The Currys

Sun., July 15: Alan Bibey & Grasstowne

Sun., Aug. 5: Half Pint & The Growlers

Sun., Aug. 19: Mama Magnolia


WHEN: Wednesday Evenings, June–August

Pack up some picnic provisions (and your family) and bring them to the Shady Grove Picnic Series at Four Mile Historic Park on Wednesday evenings for shows that begin at 6:30 p.m. (doors 6 p.m.). This summer tradition has been going on for almost two decades!

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Wed., June 6: A Hawk and a Hacksaw

Wed., June 13: Clay Kirkland and Al Chesis & the Delta Sonics

Wed., June 20: Shakedown Street

Wed., June 27: Dexter Payne Quintet

Wed., July 11: Color

Wed., July 18: Bryan Bowers w/ Martin Gilmore

Wed., July 25: Harry Tuft

Wed., Aug., 1: The River Arkansas

Wed., Aug., 8: Ricky Earl Band feat. Cherise

Wed., Aug., 15: Rocky Mountain Jewgrass

Wed., Aug., 22: Felonious Smith Trio


WHEN: Friday Evenings, June–September

Fridays at 5:30 p.m., art and music lovers gather in the forecourt of the Clyfford Still Museum for live concerts, with the contemporary architecture of the art museum as backdrop.

A few highlights of the 2018 lineup:

Fri., June 29: Chimney Choir

Fri., July 27: Red Baraat

Fri., Aug. 17: Dustbowl Revival

Fri., Sept. 7: Kyle Emerson