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    Bands on the Bricks

    Boulder's Hot Summer Music Scene

    Several nights a week throughout the summer, you can head to a live show under the stars for dancing, picnicking and soaking up the sweet sounds of music on the Colorado breeze. There are also several annual music festivals to celebrate all things song. Or beat the heat with an indoor concert or silent film series with live musical accompaniment. 

    Outdoor Concerts

    Arts in the Park

    May–Sept. 2021

    New for 2021, Arts in the Park plays host to vibrant arts and cultural performances at the historic Glen Huntington Bandshell in Boulder’s Civic Area. Times and prices vary, so make sure to check the website for details. 

    2021 lineup:

    • May 16, 23 and 30; June 6, 13, 20 and 27 – Boulder Creek Fest – Summer Sundays
    • May 29 – Street Wise Art JAM in the Park
    • June 22–24; June 27-July 1; July 5-9 and 12-15; – Discount Ghost Stories: Songs from the Rockies
    • July 16–18 – Boulder Creek Fest
    • July 22 and 29; Aug. 5, 12, 19 and 26 – Boulder Arts Outdoors
    • July 25, Aug. 15, and Sept. 19 – eTown presents Nick Forster's Hippy Bluegrass Church
    • Aug. 7 – Sustainable Summer DAZE
    • Aug. 14 – Opera in the Park

    Only live-music events are listed above. Check the Arts in the Park website for a full lineup of performances, including dance and more.   

    Arts in the Park

    Dairy Arts Center at the Bandshell

    June-July 2021

    With the success of their Back Porch Series last year, the Dairy Arts Center is excited to get to use a bigger stage and a bigger audience space at the Glen Huntington Bandshell in downtown Boulder.

    2021 Dairy Arts Center at the Bandshell lineup:

    • June 4 – Hazel Miller and the Collective
    • June 5 – Los Chicos Malos, with Elisa Garcia Trio and Adolfo Romero
    • June 12 – Brother's of Brass
    • June 18-19 – Colorado BrazilFest
    • June 25 – The Burroughs
    • July 2 – Chris Daniels and the Kings 

    Tickets available here.

    Dairy Arts Center Back Porch Series

    May-August 2021

    Come round to the back of the Dairy on an afternoon or evening for a live performance — rain or shine. They use their loading dock as a stage, and the shaded parking lot for a safely distanced audience area, to enjoy the irreplaceable experience of real live people putting on a show.

    2021 Dairy Back Proch lineup:

    • May 21-23 – Opera on Tap Colorado "See/Hear"
    • May 30, 2021 – Ley Line
    • June 6, 2021 – Gen3

    Check here for more Backporch Series dates.

    Bands on the Bricks

    Wednesdays, June 9–Aug. 11, 2021. 5–9pm. Free.

    On Wednesdays, Bands on the Bricks rocks the 1300 Block of Pearl Street. Enjoy performances from top local and regional musicians, and get your groove on Pearl Street's famous brick walkway. 

    Check back for the 2021 lineup.

    Bands on the Bricks

    Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

    Select dates, spring–fall. Prices vary.

    The legendary Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre in nearby Morrison (not to be confused with Boulder's own Red Rocks hiking trail) is a summertime must, hosting an unbelievable lineup of bands all season long. It is just a 45-minute drive from Boulder. In 2021, we can't wait to see Brandi Carlile, Trevor Hall, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Avett Brothers, STS9, Nathaniel Rateliff and so, so, so many more! Here's the 2021 schedule.

    Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

    Meadow Music (for Families)

    Most Mondays, 5:30–7pm. Free.

    On most summer Mondays, Meadow Music entertains young families on Boulder open space at Chautauqua Park, with an iconic mountain backdrop at the foot of the Flatirons. Dynamic duo Jeff and Paige perform kid-friendly songs about nature and science. The evening starts with a short exploratory nature hike (meet in the park at 5:30pm) on a dirt trail, and a musical performance follows, with kids gathering like tiny groupies around the stage and families picnicking on the grass.

    This event is currently unconfirmed for 2021.

    Meadow Music


    Concerts in the Parks

    Mondays, 7pm. Free.

    Monday evenings throughout summer, the Boulder Concert Band plays a different Boulder park each week for Concerts in the Parks. Bring a picnic!

    This event is currently unconfirmed for 2021.

    Twenty Ninth Street LOVE the Tunes

    Fridays and Saturdays, 6–9pm. Free.

    Weekend concerts take place at Twenty Ninth Street, an outdoor shopping mall that opens up its Central Plaza so concertgoers can sprawl out and soak up the incredible Flatirons views while they listen to local bands.

    This event is currently unconfirmed for 2021.

    Pearl Street Buskers

    Anytime. Free (tipping encouraged).

    Pretty much anytime you walk down Pearl Street — a brick-paved pedestrian lane in historic downtown Boulder — you'll see crowds gathered around street performers, as they putting on their shows. And often those street performers are musicians: violinists, a bassist who stands atop his instrument as he plays, singer-songwriters, drummers and even a pianist.

    Musicians on Pearl Street

    Music Events and Festivals

    Upslope's Summer Music Series Kick-Off

    May 15, 2021, 4:30–9pm. Prices vary.

    Upslope's Summer Music Kick-Off will be a socially distanced soiree featuring Upslope beer, Spiked Snowmelt seltzer, a food truck on-site with food and non-alcoholic options for sale and live music from The Pimps of Joytime & The Low Road. It's held at the Upslope Flatiron Park brewery.

    Colorado Brazil Fest

    June 18–19, 2021. 

    Colorado Brazil Fest is hosted by Boulder Samba School, the only organization in the state dedicated to promoting the rich heritage of Brazilian music, dance, and culture. Enjoy live music performances and dance lessons at the Glen Huntington Bandshell in Boulder’s Civic Area.

    Boulder Creek Fest

    July 16–18, 2021. Free. 

    Boulder Creek Fest is Boulder's biggest annual celebration of music, markets, food, craft beer, family-friendly activities and much more.

    Dead & Company at Folsom Field

    TBA 2021. Prices vary.

    After a 15-year hiatus, the University of Colorado started bringing live concerts back to the beautiful Folsom Field football stadium in 2016. And they went all in, hosting Dead & Company (which features some original members of the Grateful Dead and John Mayer) for two-night runs in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. 

    Boulderites will use any occasion to move and groove to live tunes, so most festivals and events include live music. Learn more by browsing our list of annual events and festivals.

    This event is currently unconfirmed for 2021.

    Indoor Concerts

    Chautauqua Auditorium

    Select dates, summer–fall. Prices vary.

    Shawn Colvin said that playing in the Chautauqua Auditorium was like playing inside a guitar. That's how good the acoustics are in this all-wood structure built in 1898. Each summer the auditorium hosts musicians such as the Indigo Girls, Lucinda Williams, St. Paul & The Broken Bones and The Gipsy Kings during the Chautauqua Summer Music Series. Additionally, the Colorado Music Festival takes up residency in the auditorium each summer, June–Sept., putting on several weeks' worth of orchestral concerts.

    2021 lineup:

    • July 19 – Indigo Girls Look Long Tour with Band
    • Aug. 20 – The Jayhawks
    • Aug. 21 – The Steeldrivers with Wood Belly
    • Aug. 26 – Keb’ Mo’
    • Sept. 17 – Steep Canyon Rangers with Jon Stickley Trio
    • Sept. 23 – The Moth Mainstage
    • Oct. 2 – Andrea Gibson & Zoe Keating
    • Dec. 4 – Edwina the Great and Her Flea Circus
    Fox Theatre

    Select dates, year round. Prices vary.

    Rolling Stone magazine named the Fox Theatre one of the best places in the U.S. for live music. Being on University Hill, it caters to a college crowd but draws a huge variety of accomplished artists. Shows happen year-round, and in August, the Triple A Radio Conference comes to town, and the Fox plays host to several top-name acts associated with the event. Previous performers have included Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, Grace Potter and John Mayer.

    Fox Theatre Boulder

    Boulder Theater

    Select dates, year round. Prices vary. Please purchase tickets and reserve your socially distanced table online in advance. 

    The art deco marquee on the outside of the historic building is the first suggestion of an exceptional experience. Located in downtown Boulder, just steps from the Pearl Street Mall, the Boulder Theater is beautifully restored with art deco ornamentation, including hand-painted murals and a fresco ceiling. The Avett Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Madeleine Peyroux, Branford Marsalis and Johnny Cash have all performed here.

    Boulder Theater Concert

    Etown Music Hall

    Select dates, year round. Prices vary.

    eTown is a weekly radio broadcast heard on NPR and commercial stations. The shows are taped in front of a live audience at eTown Hall, the most eco-friendly music venue in Colorado, with performances from musicians as well as conversations about the world. Being in the audience is a peek behind the scenes — you'll be a part of the soundcheck, witness how the show is produced and hear bloopers. Musicians like Warren Haynes, Martin Sexton and David Gray coupled with interviewees like Jimmy Carter create a one-of-a-kind, live radio show. It is a fun evening of music and inspiration.

    eTown Hall is also the venue for an acoustic series called Boulder In-the-Round. Once a month, four singer-songwriters perform and tell stories in a format reminiscent of VH1's "Unplugged." Admission is by donation.

    Chautauqua Silent Film Series

    TBA 2021. $12 adults ($6 for members and children 12 and under).

    Live musical accompaniment to films of the twenties makes the Chautauqua Silent Film Series a truly unique summer experience inside the Chautauqua Auditorium. Films starring favorites like Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin and Lillian Gish, play on the big screen while rousing, live music (often piano) is provided by local artists. 

    This event is currently unconfirmed for 2021.