Summer Music Articles - Bohemian Nights

Bohemian Nights Summer Music Articles

brent cowles

One of my favorite Fort Collins musicians is Brent Cowles. He began a solo career under the moniker of You Me and Apollo when he was just 17 years old. I heard his demo before I met him and was blown away by the powerful vocals, the intricate songwriting and the connection I felt to the music. When we did finally meet, I was definitely shocked that someone so young could be so soulful and have so much passion to sing about. He took those early songs into a studio which became the backbone of not only an album but a full band that would be known as You Me and Apollo. They shot straight to the top of the Colorado Scene, toured across country, played Red Rocks and experienced national success before calling it quits. "I had a grieving period after the band broke up. I didn't know if music was what I should be doing. I gave it a shot but maybe I should do something else. Then I had this revelation that music is the only thing I'm passionate about and it's the only thing that makes sense to me," Brent explains. It didn't take long for him to reconnect to his songwriting roots and come back out swinging with a new arsenal of songs. He states, "Reconnecting with music after my break was a little intimidating because I had never taken time off. The more I did it, the more I remembered why I love it. It's the most important thing in my life. I had lost sight of how music can make you feel and my new songs rekindled my love affair with performing." He began booking shows as Brent Coles (just to help you properly pronounce his last name) but went back to Cowles. His new solo work is some of the strongest music coming out of Colorado which is exactly why he will be in the spotlight at this year's Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. Watch Brent Cowles perform with his backing band directly before the Fray on Mountain Ave Stage this Saturday August 13th at 6:45 PM. I guarantee you won't be disappointed by his soulful and powerful voice, his incredibly strong songwriting and his humble stage presence which you can't help but be drawn to. It's passion like this that inspires us all.


**The blog below was originally published in 2014, hence our #TBT to the #TBT. We are beyond thrilled to welcome back one of Fort Collins favorite bands, Tickle Me Pink to Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest for a very special performance this year.  It's their first time on stage together since they quietly called it quits a few years ago. They are one of our must see artists performing on Friday August 12th at 5:55 PM on the Mountain Ave Stage.**


For my first ThrowBack Thursday post, I picked Tickle Me Pink's set from 2008. I chose this because it was one of the most touching and powerful performances I have ever witnessed at Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. This show was a little over a month after the death of bassist Johnny Schou (pictured below on the far left). As most of us remember, he passed away on the day that the band released their album Madeline through a national label. The release party that night at the Aggie Theater tragically turned into a private memorial for Johnny. 


The group decided to move forward with their national tour, so they added guitarist Joey Barba from the Brotherhood of Dae Han and moved lead singer Sean Kennedy into the bassist role. A few days after the funeral, they set out on a cross country tour. They returned home to play for Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, which was their first show back in Fort Collins after the loss. The crowd packed out Mountain Ave Stage to show their support. Although a storm had rolled through the festival grounds earlier that morning, the skies cleared for Tickle Me Pink's set. When the band got to their single Madeline (which is about the death of a friend), you could hear Sean's voice crack with emotion and just at the climax of the chorus, a huge gust of wind ripped the back drop cloth from the stage. It literally took the crowd's breath away and as cheesy as it may sound, it was incredibly powerful to see our friends and fellow musicians push through the pain as they stood their ground and let the music take over. That show was beyond special to me and that's why it's one of my very favorite Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest performances. 


The harsh reality we all experienced with Tickle Me Pink showed me that life sucks and life can be wonderful at the same time. And through it all, we ultimately learn that life goes on. Tickle Me Pink may not be a band anymore, but the members of the group are still making music in Colorado and beyond. Sean writes non stop and after a string of projects around town, he recently formed powerhouse band Magician in the Machine. Steven Beck has enjoyed his own success performing with a number of local and national artists. Both Sean and Steven are proud papas to 2 of the cutest kiddos I have ever seen! Joey is a well respected studio producer and tours internationally with Tyler Ward. Stefan Runstrom is most definitely an animal on his drumset and although he plays in so many bands that I can hardly remember them all, you can see him at this year's Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest with Wiredogs on Sunday August 17th at 2:15 PM. And because it's #TBT (can you hashtag a blog?!?), check out Tickle Me Pink's video for Madeline below. Cheers to Life!



Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is such a great way to check out your local music scene, but sometimes it can be hard to navigate through names you're not familiar with. That's where we come in. We want you to go into the weekend prepared and ready to see some exciting new music that is homegrown right here in Colorado. And lucky for us, most of our artists have some pretty fun videos to get you excited for more. We put together a short list of 5 acts below that we hope you'll enjoy!

Otis Taylor is a world renowned blues musician whose music has appeared in television and film, including the Johnny Depp movie Public Enemies. See his band in action on Friday August 12th at 7:40 in Library Park.

Slow Caves are a Fort Collins favorite who are quickly turning into a national favorite with catchy rock songs and an energetic stage show that wows even the hardest crowds. You can see this band on the rise Saturday August 13th on Mountain Ave Stage at 2:20 PM.  

The sisters of SHEL have grown up in the Fort Collins scene and really spread their wings on an international level in the last few years. Their newest album was produced by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. With press from NPR and beyond, you'll want to see them on Saturday August 13th at 7:00 PM in Library Park.

Bluegrass sensation Trout Steak Revival are touted as one of the next big players to enter the scene. The group have built a name for themselves with incredible harmonies and intricate musical stylings. They were featured on the Today Show and received rave reviews from the toughest critics. Make sure to see them this Sunday August 14th at 3:50 on the Mountain Ave Stage.

If you're looking for roots reggae in this scene, look no further than Dubskin. The band have performed across the country at major festivals and at home in premiere venues like Red Rocks. Calling Fort Collins home, they are definitely a fan favorite and performing in a perfect location for this year's festival. Get down with them in Old Town Square on Sunday August 14th at 5:00 PM. 

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Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is almost upon us! Prepare for an awesome and fashionable festival weekend with our fashion tips and “bring this, not that” list. 

What to bring:

Fanny pack or small backpack

Fanny packs are back in style, especially in festival fashion! They are convenient and come in a variety of styles. Small backpacks are also great for festivals, as they are easier to carry than a purse and have more space. Just remember that your backpack, purse, fanny pack, or murse (man purse, as modeled by Zack Galifianakis above) will be searched at the entrance to Mountain Avenue venue, so make sure you aren’t carrying something from the “do not bring” list!


Looking like a lobster has never been in style. Prevent a sunburn with a travel sized sunscreen and remember to reapply! 

Water bottle

Staying hydrated will keep you going all festival weekend. There are several water stations from the City of Fort Collins placed around festival grounds where you can fill up. The Cupboard has a wide selection of fun and colorful water bottles to choose from. 

Sunglasses and a hat

Colorado is known for its sunny days, which calls for sunglasses and/or a hat. You’ll protect yourself from UV rays and better see the bands without the sun in your eyes. TOPO Designs has a great selection of sunglasses and hats.

Breathable clothing

Sweat can ruin any outfit. Keep the air flowing with lightweight clothing like a cotton tank top from Akinz

Rain jacket (just in case!)

We are afraid that even mentioning It-That-Must-Not-Be-Named (rain) will bring about its presence at the festival. While we hope for sunny, storm-free days, you can never be too prepared! JAX Mercantile has lightweight rain jackets that can be folded up and be stuffed in a purse or bag. 

What not to bring:


You are welcome to wear marijuana themed clothing (if that’s your style), but don’t bring the actual thing. Living in a state with legalized marijuana comes with its highs and lows (pun intended!) – yes its legal, but you can’t use it and bring it everywhere. Legal and illegal drugs are not allowed at the festival.

no shooters


Please don’t fill your cool fanny pack with alcohol from outside the festival. There are plenty of alcohol options inside festival grounds, but outside alcohol will be confiscated. We are not liable for tears you may shed while you watch your alcohol be thrown away.  

Selfie sticks

Selfies are a great way to document your festival outfit, but selfie sticks aren’t the way to do it and aren’t allowed at the festival. This year, however, there is a selfie station where you can take a selfie the old fashioned way or have someone else take a photo for you. The selfie station has a beautiful backdrop and can be used during CD signings to take a photo with a band (use #FoCoMusic in your post!). Sounds like profile picture material to us!

selfie stick meme


One of the most bittersweet moments of our festival weekend for me, will probably be The Epilogues set. It will be their last Fort Collins show for the foreseeable future as frontman Chris Heckman moves to Spain.  The band burst onto the scene over a decade ago with a true passion for performing that helped propel them to the top of the Colorado scene. Friends from high school, they had integrity that you don't see a lot of anymore. Loyalty and fun meant just as much to them as the music they were performing. They spent countless hours (probably years) touring across country and gaining fans. They perfected their craft and they respected their fellow musicians; often the first to show up for a gig and the last to leave, cheering on each act that took the stage. They always took the time to talk to their fans or the drunk dude at the bar, giving everybody a moment to feel special. No wonder they were able to achieve success both in and out of the spotlight.  The group performed at premiere festivals on a national level; SXSW, CMJ, The Sunset Strip Music Festival in addition to be statewide headliners at Westword Music Showcase & UMS. They won KTCL's Hometown for the Holidays and rode the high of having their music on radio stations across the country. Those are just a few reasons that watching them perform one of their last shows this weekend will perhaps bring a tear to my eye. They mean so much to our scene on so many levels. So I hope you will join me in sending off The Epilogues this Sunday August 14th on the Linden St Stage at 5:20 PM. Their hit single Hunting Season is below, where sometimes art mimics life in that "Everything I Ever Wanted Inside of Me is Proving Real Tonight..." You did good boys and the music scene will miss you.


elephant revival photo

SOOOO... the wait is finally over and we couldn't be more thrilled to announce our surprise Sunday headliner for this year's Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, Elephant Revival!! Hailing from Nederland, this national folk group will round out our ALL COLORADO festival.  The band are one of the hardest working acts in the scene, really putting the DIY spirit to the test and putting themselves out there since 2006. They have spent the last decade performing tirelessly across country and gaining fans one city at a time with their charming stage presence and eclectic musical spirit. Each member is a talented multi-instrumentalist and vocals are split between the group, creating an exiting dynamic that must be experienced to fully appreciate the complexity of. Elephant Revival really found their stride in 2015 with some huge opportunities that they were fully prepared to jump on. One included the Southwest Airlines campaign Live at 35 which featured live performances by artists while in flight. If you missed that gem, check it out HERE. They continued that success by selling out venues throughout the country and landed just this summer at the "dream" of all Colorado musicians, a headlining slot at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The band did not disappoint as they performed an absolute mesmerizing set accompanied by many musicians and artists to a near capacity crowd. We couldn't be more honored to include them back in our lineup as not only a must see band, but a headlining band this year!! Make sure you see Elephant Revival this Sunday August 14th on the Mountain Ave Stage at 5:30 PM in what we expect to be a magical show. Check out this video of them live below and get ready to be wowed!

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Planning ahead is one of the best ways to help ensure a good time at Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. Here are some tips and tricks as you plan for an awesome weekend filled with free music, funnel cakes and fun times.

Construction and street closures

Construction is like going to the dentist – nobody likes it, but it’s necessary. During the festival, some construction will be taking place in various areas downtown. This up-to-date trip planner and map from the City of Fort Collins shows construction areas, road closures and more. Several streets will also be closed leading up to and during the festival weekend. See detailed festival street closures here.  


The MAX Rapid Bus Transfort will run all weekend during the festival in 10 minute intervals from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Riding your bike is great option as well. Bike racks are available at several locations around the festival. If you don’t have a bike, check out the Fort Collins bike-sharing program.

Skateboard parking is now available in Old Town Square at the intersection of Trimble Court Alley and Whitton Alley. Make sure to bring a lock and utilize this great feature, especially since skateboards are not allowed in Mountain Avenue venue. 

With several street closures and so many cars downtown during the festival, driving may not be the most convenient way to get to there. But if you need to drive, there are a few parking options available. The Old Town Parking Structure is located on the corner of Remington Street and Mountain Avenue, and the Civic Center Parking Structure is located on the corner of Mason Street and Laporte Avenue. On Friday normal rates apply, on Saturday parking is $5, and on Sunday parking is free. Additional parking can be found on public streets around the festival.

“Where is the…?”

The Bohemian Nights website and app are great resources for most things you would need to locate at the festival, including water tables, and restrooms. If you need to find out where specific vendors are, head over to the information booth tent to talk to a DBA volunteer. They can point you in the right direction. 

What’s new this year

There are a lot of exciting changes this year. 

The newly renovated Old Town Square Stage has returned and will feature music performances on Saturday and Sunday. 

The three headliner simulcast locations are now Library Park Stage, Linden Street Stage, and the northwest corner of Library Park next to the Carnegie building. 

Festival bucks are no longer required for the purchase of items at the festival! Food, beer and beverages can be purchased using card or cash. Carnival bucks are required for carnival purchases and may be purchased at the entrance to the carnival. 

There is a selfie station at the Central Music Merchandise where you can snap a photo with a band during their CD signing. Use #focomusic to share your photos!

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If there's one thing the Fort Collins music scene does not lack, it's diversity. We've got a little bit of everything in our community which is why we want to keep you informed on what to see next weekend. Another talented group on the rise that you should definitely know about for this year's festival is our very own Write Minded. Fronted by Sam Mouton (yes, he was on the Voice - check it HERE), the band has used their influences and passions to create their own signature sound that blends hip hop with an island reggae vibe seamlessly.  The act has a laid back groove with 2 energetic MCs in front of the epic Rhythmic Rap vs Soulful Reggae battle. Who wins? We all do as they keep audiences moving and happy.  Make sure to see Write Minded next Saturday August 13th on the Linden St Stage at 12:45 PM. Check out their hit video, Perfect Day below. 

sad dog pets festival

We love pets just as much as anyone at Bohemian Nights. In fact, we love them so much that we ask that you do not bring them to the festival. Festivals like Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest can cause animals a great deal of stress and be harmful to their health. Here are some reasons from James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University on why it’s best to not bring your furry family member to the festival.


Loud noises – like those found at a music festival – commonly provoke panic and phobia in dogs and other animals.

Noise anxiety causes chemical changes in an animal’s body, including increased heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. Dogs will display a fear response that includes trembling, drooling, pacing, panting, clinging to owners, whining, barking, chewing, clawing, and panicked attempts to hide or escape.

A fearful, anxious dog cannot think straight and does not need correction or discipline – they need to be removed from the source of anxiety. Why put your precious pooch in this frightening situation in the first place? The best bet is to leave them at home. 


Would you want to walk around on black pavement with no shoes in the middle of a hot, sunny day? Your dog doesn’t either. There is no way to completely avoid pavement at a street festival like Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. At an air temperature of only 86 F, pavement temperatures can rise to 135 F, burning a dog’s footpads and causing them a great deal of pain. 

Hot summer days can also cause dehydration and heat-related illness. Dogs can experience heat exhaustion, heat strokes and sunburns in high heat.  


Crowds often trigger anxiety, fear and aggression in any dogs – even ones that are normally calm in demeanor. Being surrounded by so many unfamiliar people can put dogs in a constantly stressful, high-alert state, which can trigger aggressive behavior, even if your dog is not usually aggressive.

For the sanity and well-being of your dog, others and even yourself, just leave your dog at home. Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest strongly discourages all guests from bringing pets. It makes for a better festival for everyone.  

Read more about why festivals can be harmful to pets from this article by the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching School on CSU’s SOURCE and find a great pet sitter or boarding facility for your pup if you need them to be taken care of during the festival. 


Say it ain't so!! Somehow our entire summer has flown by and we're down to the very last TNL concert of this season. It's been a ton of fun hosting our favorite Colorado bands for you each week and we hope you'll enjoy this very special last performance. I won't lie, I absolutely LOVE Pandas & People. They remind a lot of folks of Mumford and Sons with their Americana sound full of banjo picking and vocal harmonies. They call Greeley / Fort Collins home and have won over the entire state of Colorado, playing at KTCL's Big Gig and winning their Hometown for the Holidays. If you haven't checked them out before, this is your chance to support your local music scene before they blow up on the national scene. This band is touted as one of the next front runners to do just that and of course you'll want to see them before that happens! Check out Pandas & People performing their radio hit On My Way below and make sure to join us this Thursday August 4th in Old Town Square from 7 - 9 PM for the final TNL of 2016. 


Hate crowds, but love music? Want the experience of seeing or hearing your favorite Colorado band live, but can’t make it downtown for the festival? That’s okay! You can enjoy Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest from anywhere by tuning in to any (or all!) of these great channels during the festival…  

Live Radio Broadcast from KRFC 88.9

Tune to KRFC 88.9 anytime during festival hours to listen to Mountain Avenue performers live – even headliners! View the full lineup of Mountain Avenue Stage bands here!

Headliner Simulcasts on Saturday

Do you prefer relaxing on a blanket on the grass instead of standing in front of the stage amongst a large crowd? Head over to Library Park to watch The Fray’s performance simulcasted live on one of the two large screens or venture north to Linden Street to view on a third simulcast screen. See all three simulcast locations on our map.

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Live Cams on the Bohemian Nights Mobile App

The Bohemian Nights mobile app is an amazing festival resource right in the palm of your hand. Access the app during the festival to view live cams at each stage, giving you a virtual front-row experience. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play.


Get to know the artists performing at the festival on Bohemian Nights’ free Soundcloud playlist. You can access it here from the Bohemian Nights website and on the mobile app.

Bohemian Nights Social Media

Like and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest about Bohemian Nights and behind-the-scenes moments and photos all weekend long during the festival.


However, and from wherever you choose to enjoy the festival, be sure to use #FoCoMusic to connect with other music lovers and festival goers! The hashtag is a great way to share your festival experiences and see how others are enjoying the festival.


Denver based duo, the Reminders have been delivering their signature brand of hip hop to the masses and making their live show a family affair for almost a decade now. Sharing the stage and a life, husband-wife sensation Aja Black and Big Samir bring together socially conscious lyrics blended with amazing beats that will have everyone standing up and taking notice.  A crowd favorite, their children often jump on stage to join the fun. A high energy show paired with beautiful poetry and rhythmic cadences make the Reminders a must see show at this year's Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. See them live on Sunday August 14th at the Linden St Stage from 3:45 - 4:30 PM. 


sustainability recycling

“I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom, for me and you. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” -Louis Armstrong, “What a Wonderful World”

Here at Bohemian Nights, we like trees of green (and red roses too!) and want to do our part to keep the world wonderful by aiming to provide an environmentally friendly festival. Here are some easy ways you can help us be green at this year’s Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest.


The MAX Rapid Bus Transfort will run all weekend during the festival! Take advantage of this awesome transportation system Friday and Saturday until midnight, and from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sunday. You’ll save emissions and get a safe ride to and from the festival. 

Bikes and music are a classic FoCo combo. Temporary bike racks are available at several locations around the festival. Don’t have a bike? Check out the Fort Collins bike-share program that provides rental bikes across town at affordable prices. Bikes are just $7 per day! 

More of a skateboarder than a biker? Check out the new skateboard parking structure in Old Town Square to lock up your skateboard while you roam the festival.

So you can’t MAX, bike, skateboard, walk or even treadmill scooter to the festival. Try getting some friends together and carpooling. It will save emissions and be a lot easier to find parking.

Reusable water bottles

Drink water? We hope you answered yes, and that means you should own a reusable water bottle. Reusable bottles are cheaper than purchasing disposable bottles, more eco-friendly, and healthier! The City of Fort Collins has some of the cleanest water in the U.S. and will provide free water stations across the festival. Don't have a water bottle? You can find a great selection at many stores in downtown Fort Collins, including The Cupboard (local shopping for the win!). 


With help from Gallegos Sanitation Incorporated (GSI), Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest has recycled 22 tons of paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum, food waste and glass from 2011-2015! Diverting this amount of material is equivalent to powering three homes for one year, eliminating 43,739 miles driven by an average car, and saving 2,054 gallons of gasoline! 

These astounding numbers are made possible by you – the festival goer. Recycling bins are located all across the festival and tell you what can be recycled. Recycle every bit of waste you can! 

Food waste

Maybe you shouldn’t get a giant turkey leg if you just ate an entire bag of kettle corn. Food waste is no joke and takes up a lot of space in our landfills. The best way to prevent food waste is to not get more than you need. 


We all learned in kindergarten that littering is bad. It also makes for a less enjoyable festival. With around 100 waste receptacles located throughout festival grounds, littering is pretty pointless. Don’t see a trash or recycling can? Turn 180 degrees. Still don’t? Ask a volunteer. Still can’t find one? You may not actually be on festival grounds any longer. Please return to the awesome free music. 

grupo presidio

This week's Thursday Night Live band is Grupo Presidio, a Latin band that is sure to get you dancing! To celebrate Grupo Presidio and the diverse local music scene they are a part of, we present this special blog in both English and Spanish. ¡Disfruta!

One of the best things about our free Thursday Night Live series is that it gives everyone a chance to see how diverse and amazing our local music scene is and how deep it really does run. It showcases the amount of talent that calls Northern Colorado home and it puts a spotlight on hidden gems. One of those diverse and hidden gems is Greeley based Grupo Presidio. The band have blended together an eclectic mix of Latin influence into their own signature sound that keeps audiences dancing the night away and coming back for more. Not only do they bring the fun, but they bring their A game by putting a ton of their personal effort into benefits and community events, continually giving back to their fans and their causes. Make sure to stop by Old Town Square this Thursday July 28th for a night of good music, good people and good times with Grupo Presidio. Watch their video below and make sure to bring your dancing shoes!!

En Español: Grupo Presidio – Música para unir a las comunidades

Una de las cosas mejores de nuestro “Thursday Night Live” serie gratis es que todos pueden disfrutar la oportunidad de ver la diversidad y la calidad de talento de nuestra escena musical local aquí en Colorado Norte. Una de esas joyas ocultas es Grupo Presidio basado en Greeley. La banda ha combinado una mezcla ecléctica de influencia latina en su propio sonido característico que mantiene la audiencia bailando toda la noche y regresando por más. La banda demuestra dedicación admirable para su comunidad, sus fanáticos, y sus causas. No se pierda la oportunidad de ver Grupo Presidio este jueves 28 de julio para una noche de buena música, buena gente y buenos momentos. Mira su vídeo y recuerden de traer tus zapatos de baile! 


As cliche as it may be, I love finding out how bands come up with their name. It's a tough job to figure something that captures the essence of the group while still being original and not "lame" or "hokey". Denver based rock band My Body Sings Electric chose Walt Whitman's poem I Sing the Body Electric. And like Whitman, these guys embody a transition as well; a fine line between rock and pop as well as being a musicians band and a crowd band. They've found the perfect balance by crossing over to a large audience and steadily building a following on a national level. My Body Sings Electric is lauded as one of the next break out bands from our state. They've licensed music to Showtime, MTV, Bravo, Fox Sports and the Discovery Channel, they've performed as part of the Warped Tour, they've toured across the country numerous times and they've conquered radio by winning Channel 93.3 KTCL's Hometown for the Holidays. This summer they're coming to wow the fans at Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. You can see them on Saturday August 13th on the Linden Street Stage from 5:40 - 6:25.  Check out the hit video Doctor from My Body Sings Electric below and mark them as a MUST SEE ACT at the festival this year.

Surprise!! It's The Holler!

This week's Thursday Night Live performance in Old Town Square has been billed as a "surprise show" all summer long and local music fans have speculated about who it might be. Well, the cat is officially out of the bag and we couldn't be more excited to announce it's none other than a Fort Collins' favorite, The Holler! Fronted by Michael Kirkpatrick, who might be the most recognized musician in Colorado with his signature mustache, the band have been playing to packed houses around the region for over a decade. They've cornered the market on "Folkadelic Rock" by blending bluegrass, jamgrass, mando music and more with style. They love what they do and you can feel the passion and energy pulsate through the crowd with each song. You'll want to be right up front to dance the night away this Thursday July 21st from 7 - 9 PM. Join us in Old Town Square to witness The Holler! in action. Check them out (below) from a Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest past and get geared up for this barn burner!

Dressy Bessy - Indie Rock Pioneers Return to BoNi

They're back and better than ever! Denver indie rock pioneers Dressy Bessy will be returning to Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest this year with their brand new album, King Sized (2016). The group broke in the late 90s and helped establish Colorado music in the national scene with songs featured in film and a TV appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly. Fronted by super hip and fashion forward Tammy Ealom and featuring members of The Apples in Stereo, they toured relentlessly and packed venues across the country for years. Fans have anxiously awaited the release of new music after the band took a short hiatus, so it's super exciting to welcome them back to our stages to share their new sound with Fort Collins. Dressy Bessy will be performing on the Linden St Stage at 2:15 PM on Sunday August 14th. Check out their hit song Electrified that propelled them into the national spotlight and get ready for a fun party!

Explore the History of the Armory Building

With 109 years under its belt and a storied past to match, the Fort Collins Armory has earned its place on the National Registry of Historic Places. These days, Bohemian Nights uses the space for Concerts at the Armory, year-round ticketed performances that pair a national artist with a local act. Before its current use, however, the building served a variety of purposes. So let’s step back in time and explore the rich history of the Armory!

Fort Collins’ First National Guard Armory

The Armory was designed in 1907 by architect Arthur Garbutt and constructed by local company M.G. Conely with local brick. It cost $18,000 to build, which equates to around $460,000 today. Located at 314 E Mountain Avenue, the building served as Fort Collins’ first permanent armory and housed around 60 National Guardsmen in Company F.

Guardsmen would hold drill practice as local citizens watched from the mezzanine. The building was also used as a community center for conventions, events and even Friday night boxing matches! The basement of the Armory featured a shooting range, marble-floored showers and horse stables. The drill hall and officers’ quarters were located on the first floor, while enlisted men’s quarters resided on the second floor.

Roller Skates, Washing Machines and More

In 1922, the National Guard vacated the Armory for a new property on College Avenue. The original building was repurposed as a roller rink, putting its smooth maple floors to good use. For most of the century, however, the Armory housed a laundromat. For 44 years, Paramount Laundry ran a successful laundry and dry cleaning business in the space.

After its long stint as a laundromat, Paramount Laundry closed its storefront and the Armory sat vacant for six years. The building became increasingly dilapidated, filled with pigeons and seemingly beyond repair, until a local business bought and renovated it in 2000. Over the next decade, it housed various businesses and retail shops.

Bohemian Nights Presents Concerts at the Armory

In 2011, Bohemian purchased the Armory and transformed it into a concert space. The first concert featured artists Ruthie Foster and Cary Morin on June 27, 2014.

Even today, the Armory’s fort-like architecture echoes its origins. A crenulated roofline fits the standard for armory architecture, emulating a sturdy castle or fortress. Inside, four-story ceilings rise over the original maple floors that speak of time spent underneath the boots of National Guardsmen, wheels of roller skates and metal edges of washers and dryers. The building is old and new at once. Its décor and renovations meld antique character with a modern feel.

Throughout the year, concert-goers fill the space. They come for both the national acts and local performers to enjoy the intimate listening experience that the Armory provides. Concerts at the Armory breathe new life into a building that has stood the test of time for more than a century.

Find out more about Concerts at the Armory and purchase tickets to an upcoming concert.

Mama Lenny & The Remedy - Bringing the Soul to TNL!

If you're looking for a soul punch that's sure to get you moving on the dance floor, then look no further than Fort Collins' own Mama Lenny & the Remedy. Blending together an R&B smoothness with ripping blues rock riffs, the group have kept Colorado grooving with their tight vocal harmonies and energetic stage presence for over 5 years. They have become a staple across the region and even represented the hometown on a tour to Alaska last summer. I should probably disclose at this point in the story that I'm the trumpet player, but you might already know that. Even so, this is one show that I would highly recommend as it offers something for everyone. Check out a clip of Mama Lenny & the Remedy in action below and get yourself ready to see them this Thursday Night, July 14th as part of our FREE TNL summer series in Old Town Square from 7 PM - 9 PM.

Kids LOVE Music Too!

The live music experience is such an important part of Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest. Seeing bands, meeting artists, learning about the local scene... BUT did you know that you can also explore the instruments too? Our Kids' Music Adventure features an instrument petting zoo where children of all ages can touch and play strings, brass, woodwinds, drums and more. Volunteers help our youngest audience embrace live music from the ground up because let's face it, kids want to be part of fun too and help create the sounds they love!

From personal experience, I can honestly say that our family is so thankful to have opportunities where we can not only enjoy live music performances but also make sure Mattie Lou (our now 3 year old) is having a good time too. Living in a community like Fort Collins allows us the lifestyle where live music is not viewed as a privilege for special occasions but that every occasion should be celebrated with live music and that live music should always be celebrated.

Kids LOVE Music Too!