Blues, brews and laughs
Opening Friday. This year marks the 20th anniversary of Blues from the Top, the Grand County Blues Society’s festival in Winter Park, and the lineup feels appropriately big, with local heroes Big Head Todd and the Monsters, plus national headliners such as Gov’t Mule, Tab Benoit, Larkin Poe, Southern Avenue and Charlie Musselwhite. June 24-26 at the Rendezvous Event Center. $60-$70 per day; full-fest passes sold out. Kids 12 and under are free. grandblues.org/bluesfromthetop
Gov’t Mule (ATO Records) this weekend also sees the reboot of the Evergreen Music Festival, now called Hops Drops Evergreen Music & Beer Festival. The Saturday, June 25, event in Buchanan Park will feature live sets from The California Honeydrops, Rapidgrass, Heavy Diamond Ring, and beer from nearly a dozen local breweries. $35 GA, or $55 for admission and the beer fest (yoga packages are available, too). hopsdropsevergreen.com
Boulder will be hopping this weekend with the return of Zoe Rogers’ Boulder Comedy Festival, featuring a curated group of late-night-TV and Comedy Central regulars, in addition to a sampling of local comics, June 23-26. That includes visitors like Heather Pasternak, Leslie Liao and Shanel Hughes, as well as Colorado legends Chris Fonseca and John Novosad. Events take place across Boulder and Louisville. Tickets: $20 per show at bouldercomedyfestival.com.
World-class music fests, paired
Opening June 23. Next week brings two serious music festivals to Colorado, with events conveniently spaced out over weeks, not days. Bravo Vail’s! 35th season opens on Thursday, June 23, led by this year’s resident Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. As usual, it’s got more world-class orchestras (New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, etc.); pops programs like “Revolution: The Music of the Beatles”; plus premieres and workshops through Aug. 4.
Lawn passes, which cover more than a dozen outdoor performances in June and July at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, are $76-$228. Show passes run $5-$29 (lawn) and $44-$114 (amphitheater seats) at ticketing.bravovail.org.
Colorado Music Festival’s summer concert season returns Thursday, June 30, through Aug. 7, with 22 orchestral and chamber performances over its six weeks. That includes resident composer John Adams as well as world premieres, notable acts such as Takács Quartet, and even a family concert on July 3. Our fave? The July 31 performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” including a dramatic reading by actor John de Lancie (Q on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”).
Tickets are $25-$80 per show ($10 for kids’ shows). Shows take place at Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder. Visit coloradomusicfestival.org for more.
A unicorn gathering? Yes, and Denver’s fringe, too
Through Sunday. The Unicorn Festival in Littleton’s Clement Park returns Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, to celebrate all things fairy-like and magical. Little kids can enjoy the “unicorn” meet-and-greet corrals, and themed offerings such as the Mermaid Lagoon, Fairyland Face Painters, Karaoke Kingdom, Renaissance Adventures (foam sword fights), Quidditch games and more. All attractions are included with festival admission, which is $25 per person for both days; children 2 and under are free. 7306 W. Bowles Ave. in Littleton. unicornfestivalcolorado.com
Denver Fringe Festival also returns, June 23-26, with its first fully in-person run, featuring 40-plus diverse shows, including drama, improv, cabaret, magic, micro-circuses and one-person shows, in the RiNo Art District and Five Points neighborhood. With twice as many offerings this year as last year, and even a free KidsFringe (June 25-26 at the RiNo Art Park Community hub, 1900 35th St.), it’s a steal at $15 per show and $75 for a full-fest pass. See denverfringe.org for the full lineup, locations and more details.
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