Where To Enjoy Live Music This Summer

Denver’s live music scene heads outdoors, offering a symphony of experiences beyond the usual suspects.

The Garden at The Ramble Hotel
Photo courtesy of The Ramble Hotel.

Denver’s summer is about to burst forth like an orchestra in full swing. While we all love a good patio happy hour, it’s the abundance of outdoor concerts that has us craving those balmy summer nights. Sure, Red Rocks, Fiddler’s Green, and Empower Field at Mile High are the usual suspects, but you can see incredible local musicians share their talents at open-air venues around the city all summer long. The Denver Municipal Band, the city’s virtuosic chameleon, is gracing various parks throughout June, morphing from a 40-piece concert band to a 20-piece jazz outfit, and occasionally a smaller ensemble. At Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park, Hazel Miller & The Collective bring some rhythm and blues during the Sounds Exciting! concert series, which continues throughout the summer.

Saturday afternoons in June are reserved for Cherry Creek North’s Live & Local, a harmonious blend of acoustic melodies and visual artistry. Sundays, of course, are synonymous with City Park Jazz, the city’s longest-running free concert series at its largest public space, with 10 performances this year.

Thursdays in Greenwood Village, the Mobile Concert Series visits neighborhood parks to showcase bands in a range of genres, from high-energy Rocky Mountain bluegrass to electro-funk to classic country. Museum of Outdoor Arts presents Unwine Wednesdays and Friday Afternoon Social Club—casual evenings of live music, food, and drink in Marjorie Park. The Broomfield and Discovery Park summer concert series bring people out to the parks on Wednesdays and Thursdays, respectively, in June and July. And Lone Tree gets in on the fun during Backyard Beats at Sweetwater Park one Saturday in August. And, let’s not forget the Sounds of the Summer concert series at Fire’s patio at the Art Hotel or Music in the Clouds at Halcyon’s Elevated Rooftop Bar. Shows in The Garden at The Ramble Hotel are known to get funky as well.

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For a more botanical experience, Evenings al Fresco at Denver Botanic Gardens offers the perfect blend of flora and harmonious notes, courtesy of local musicians and a partnership with Swallow Hill Music.

Levitt Pavilion, nestled in Ruby Hill Park, offers a medley of free concerts each year, plus a handful of ticketed events featuring the likes of Dwight Yoakum, EmmyLou Harris, and Garbage. Meanwhile, Olde Town Arvada’s Second Saturdays Summer Concert Series and Street Festival returns this year for four dates and two stages—plus artisan vendors, food, and libations.

Throw in Central Park’s two outdoor concert venues, Green Valley Ranch Sunday Concerts, Downtown Lakewood Summer Concert Series, and countless others, and you’ve got yourself quite the fun soundtrack to the hottest season.

Top it all off with big festivals like Five Points Jazz, Juneteenth Music Festival, Underground Music Showcase, Denver Day of Rock, and many more, and you’ll find yourself wondering how Denver managed to fit so much music into one summer.