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Underground Music in Colorado

Garage Rock, Hip-Hop, Folk Music, Industrial Electronica, Psychedelia, and more; the Colorado Underground Music scene has everything. So you’ve never heard of it? We wouldn’t blame you. In fact, there’s probably a very good reason for it.

This culture, offering the latest beats of nearly any musical style by an assortment of local artists is an elusive one. Simply put, these fresh artists can’t afford to play at a large popular venue. Instead they’ve come up with an entirely new and innovative model of doing things: do-it-yourself venues, or “DIY” as they’re called in the scene.

Essentially, DIY Venues, are empty storefronts or warehouses in Denver that the artist or groups of artists rent out for a week, a season, or even just one night. The average passerby probably wouldn’t even realize a concert was taking place in one of these buildings unless they knew where to look. These artists are looking only for a place to showcase their skill, and not for getting rich or famous. As a result, to maintain these venues the artists commonly ask their audiences to make a “donation at the door” sometimes as low as $5. This allows them to afford to play another day.

The fleeting nature of these events, and the word-of-mouth promotion associated with them no doubt adds to their alluring mystique and increased popularity. Even The Huffington Post’s Denver edition is a fan. Huffpost Denver has built a weekly Spotify playlist dedicated to what’s new in the Colorado Underground Music scene. You can hear the playlist and familiarize yourself with what’s hot in the scene here:

Some of the hottest underground music in Colorado is profiled every Saturday night from 9pm to 9:30 pm on Sounds on 29th on Colorado Public Television12.

Over the past two decades, underground music in Colorado has grown from a fringe community to a full-blown cultural phenomenon. The Colorado Underground Music Showcase (UMS), an annual week-long music festival in Denver, has grown from modest roots 13 years ago, to boasting over 375 music acts playing throughout venues on S. Broadway St. with 12,000 eager fans coming out to see them in 2012. UMS predicts that these of the event for 2013 will continue its explosive growth.

Pictures from last year’s Underground Music Showcase: http://photos.denverpost.com/2012/07/11/photos-scenes-from-the-underground-music-showcase/

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