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5 Denver Events You Can’t Miss This Summer

June 14, 2019

5 Denver Events You Can’t Miss This Summer


It’s astounding that we all had about 18 consecutive summerswith nothing to do but eat popsicles and channel surf. Unfortunately, the reality of our lives today is that adulthood has no such offseason. This means we have to be vigilant about how we spend what piddling leisure time we have.


But looking around lately, you’ll notice American cities coming alive with festivals and outdoor events signaling the upcoming summer season. And even though us Denverites aren’t starved for quality weather like our friends elsewhere, the mystique of summer still crackles with excitement and possibility in our imaginations.


As a man of high standards, you’ll want to note the following leads on how to have a signature Denver summer in 2019. Whether you’re a resident or a mysterious stranger to these lands, here are the five Denver events you can’t miss before football season.


  1. Denver Mart Drive In(seasonal)


The legends are true: Once upon a time, motorists could stare at screens without endangering their fellow man. In fact, they would actually congregate and gaze--in unison--at big, fat ones playing Hollywood movies while their dominant hand fished for popcorn. All of this and “more” characterized the drive in experience of yesteryear. In fact, some of you owe your very conception to its all-American magic.


Whether you’re a novice to the experience or want to reconnect with a convention of the past, the Denver Mart Drive In season runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend and screens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets for evening double-features are $10 per person (that’s two movies for the price of one) and the Mart Café serves up ballpark-esque fare—and yes, that does include beer.

 Tickets to the Denver Mart Drive In must be purchased in advance on their website. Children seven years and under are admitted for free.


  1. Denver BBQ Festival(June 14-16 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High)


There’s much to love about living in Denver, but our historically lackluster BBQ is perhaps the best reason to skip town. But we’ll get a merciful breather from the status quo when the second annual Denver BBQ Festival blankets the south parking lot of Broncos Stadium at Mile High over Father’s Day Weekend.


With visiting pitmasters from Texas (Salt Lick), St. Louis (Pappy’s Smokehouse), Mississippi (The Shed) and more, the profusion of sensory stimuli will assuredly send dear old dad into a heavenly fugue of meat-induced catatonia. It’s our recommendation you splash his face with beer if he starts going cross-eyed.

  1. Underground Music Showcase (UMS)(July 26-28 along South Broadway)


Denver’s special micro-version of Austin’s famed South By Southwest music festival enters its 19th edition this July with a diverse lineup of national and local indie bands performing across three days on South Broadway.


The UMS is a hive of the grittiest music and art you’ll find in an increasingly-gentrifying and homogenized Denver. With an emphasis on rock in a spectrum of styles, over 240 artists will play the event’s network of indoor and outdoor stages amid the corridor’s ensemble of alternative restaurants, bars, clothing and book shops.


Three-day weekend tickets are available for $50. The three-day weekend tickets include general admission access to all musical performances and stages, all weekend long.


  1. Denver Summer Tequila Tasting Festival(July 27 at Blake Street Tavern)


We all have that friend who disavows tequila because it unleashes their inner party-jackal. This state produces wildly out-of-character behavior and a table-pounding insistence on--you guessed it--more tequila. To their credit, this normally level-headed pal wouldn’t dare attend a humiliation trap like the Denver Summer Tequila Festival--but plenty others would. These are the “Vitamin T” aficionados in our midst.


Sip after sip, shot after shot: Somehow these people can hang at no expense of their dignity. But in case any unseasoned buffoons go modeling that old “One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, FLOOR” chestnut, you’ll wanna be on hand live-tweeting the body count.


Note: If you end up going too hard, too soon, you can bail and cool your jets at The Denver Summer Brew Fest at Mile High Station or the UMS the same night.


  1. The Rolling Stones(August 10 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High)


No pressure or anything, but at age 75 and just four months removed from heart surgery, Stones’ frontman Mick Jagger is risking his life for rock and roll. So yeah, I think you can swallow the ticket cost and muster the strength to catch the band’s potential final show in Denver.


Don’t misunderstand: The band reportedly wouldn’t dare break themselves up at this late juncture. After all, they’ve been thrilling global audiences since 1962 with 23 studio albums and thousands of live shows. It’s just that, well, the fine wine has to eventually leave the bottle one way or another.


And as their upcoming No Filter Tour includes Denver as one of just 15 cities the band will visit this year, what say you join the Mile High Club and show these septuagenarian blokes some love?


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