Amazing Colorado Music Fests: Sounds of Summer

With the arrival of warmer weather comes the return of Colorado’s music scene to the great outdoors, where star-studded setlists meet scenes of towering peaks and rivers at cherished mountain towns and stages.

A crowd gathers at two stages with green mountains behind them to listen to bands at the JAS Labor Day Experience in Snowmass
JAS Labor Day Experience in Snowmass

From jazz and bluegrass to reggae, indie and beyond — the state’s summer music festival scene draws fans of all tastes. And, thanks to mild summer temps and acoustically friendly mountain backdrops, bands love to make the summer pilgrimage to the state’s gorgeous open-air venues. Whether you’ve come to see legendary artists or discover the next up-and-comer, are seeking intimate performances or exhilarating parties, make your summer music festival experience one to remember in Colorado.

Explore some of our exciting summer music festivals below or visit our Colorado events and festivals calendar for the full list.

Yampa River Reggae Festival: June TBA, 2024

Located along the waters of the Yampa River in Craig, the Yampa River Reggae Festival has it all — from a 5k fun run and yoga in the park to food vendors and a beer garden — with live music scheduled from day to night. Past performances have included Ghost.Wav, The Flowmads, Sensi Trails and Tomorrows Bad Seeds playing to an audience cozied up on the lawn at Loudy-Simpson Park. Tip: Bring a blanket or lawn chair for extra comfort as you soak up the music’s good vibes.

Vail Jazz Festival: July–Sept. TBA, 2024

At Vail Jazz Festival, you'll find a full summer of jazz performances that concludes with a four-night, five-day bash over Labor Day weekend. Celebrate the festival with a jam-packed lineup featuring several headliners that join together to play in group performances, multi-artist jam sessions and inspiring tributes to jazz legends. Embracing the spontaneous roots of authentic jazz, the party has in the past hosted soloists such as Ernie Adams, Dick Oatts, Shelly Berg and Wycliffe Gordon, as well as groups like the Monty Alexander Trio and Clayton Brothers Quintet in a cabaret-style setting. Tip: The Patron Pass grants you early entry to all the performances and functions at the Vail Jazz Party, considered to be the finale of the festival.

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival: Aug. 9–11, 2024

Set in the culture-rich, tiny mountain town of Lyons, the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival celebrates song and story with music from morning to night with songwriting workshops sprinkled throughout the day. Embrace the laid-back vibe of the community with three days of music, camping and inspiration at the festival’s famed venue, Planet Bluegrass. The mellow festival has featured folksy talent such as Brandi Carlile, Josh Ritter, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Sweet Honey in the Rock. Don’t miss the impromptu late-night campsite sessions put on by festival attendees. Tip: Bring your swimsuit and a beach towel and take a refreshing dip in the St. Vrain River just steps from the festival.

JAS Labor Day Experience Sept. TBA, 2024

The three-day JAS Labor Day Experience — just east of Aspen at the Snowmass Town Park in Snowmass — tops off the summer season with a dance-inducing display of rock, heritage, country, pop and alternative. Fall in love with this ski village like never before at this free-spirited event that draws incredible artists to celebrate the unofficial end of summer. At past events, you could catch large stars like Steely Dan sharing mountain-framed stages with Fitz and the Tantrums, Lenny Kravitz and the Zac Brown Band gracing the stage. Tip: Make sure to drink lots of water when dancing in the sun all day at 8,100 feet.

Telluride Blues and Brews Festival: Sept. 15–17, 2023

Telluride, a festival capital of Colorado, hosts this soulful gathering complete with brews from more than 20 of the country’s best craft breweries. Throughout the three-day Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, discover all that this acclaimed ski town has to offer in the summer, while relishing the sounds of celebrated artists with a Colorado craft brew in hand. Previous years' lineups were a who’s who of the blues, rock and gospel worlds, including Chicago, The Fray, George Thorogood & The Destroyers, and Galactic and Jimmie Vaughan (Stevie Ray’s big brother). Check the site in June to see this year's roster. Tip: Camping is popular with festivalgoers headed to this picturesque resort town. Get there early; spots are first-come, first-served.

Want More? 

Check our events calendar to find other concerts around the state throughout the summer and read Summer Food & Wine Festivals in Colorado and 11 Quintessential Summer Festivals in Colorado.