As a music lover, Denver is the perfect home for me. When I first moved here three years ago, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into in terms of the music industry. But Denver is where I first fell in love with dance music and found my place in the scene. The diversity and enthusiasm of the electronic community here is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Denver is known for being the “Bass Capital” of the world for the heavy emphasis on bass music, but there is so much more going on here than just dubstep. I’ve put together a guide for where to check out great music in Denver. Whether you live here or you’re just visiting, this guide will help you navigate the city for the best music in town!
A relatively new venue, Temple has exploded in the Denver scene over the last couple of years. This club came to Denver after the Temple Nightclub in San Francisco had already developed a name for itself in the northern California music scene. It’s definitely become one of the leading venues in Colorado for electronic music, bringing in the best of house, dubstep, and even trap. Most recently I’ve seen artists there such as Pegboard Nerds, EDX, and Boombox Cartel. The venue has a super unique vibe with lights all over the walls that set the ambiance of the room, several floors, and multiple rooms and stages.
Image Courtesy of Temple Nightclub
The Ogden is one of the smaller, more intimate venues in the Capitol Hill area of Denver. This venue is where I’ve seen some of my all-time favorite Colorado shows, as its size and setup make it easy to see the stage no matter where you are. A lot of big artists have some of their early shows here right before they blow up, so you’ll always hear people in Denver saying things like: “I saw them back when they played the Ogden!”
For upcoming shows, visit the Ogden's website.
Club Vinyl has been around a bit longer, and has been featuring way more than just EDM artists. Hip-hop, R&B, and reggaeton are all thriving genres here as well. However, the electronic scene has seen a huge increase in population at this location in the last year or so with the beginning of “Bass Ops”, a show in the Vinyl Basement every Saturday night. Tickets for this event start as low as $1, and huge dubstep artists come through to perform such as Trampa and Protohype. Oh, and did I mention there’s free pizza?
For upcoming shows, visit Club Vinyl's website.
The Fillmore is near the Ogden and has a lot of similar shows, but on a larger scale. As the name says, this venue is more auditorium-style and is therefore larger and more open. It doesn’t possess the same intimate feeling, but allows for much more space for larger artists and shows. I’ve seen some pretty big artists here like Yellowclaw and Adventure Club, and most recently attended Dirtybird BBQ where they actually blocked off the entire street next to the venue to give the show both an indoor and outdoor experience.
For upcoming shows, visit the Fillmore Auditorium's website.
Tracks is a gay bar that also has seen an increase in popularity from the electronic scene recently. “Techno Taco Tuesday”, an event that used to take place at another smaller bar, was recently moved to Tracks due to an increase in the amount of attendees each week. This event features talented techno artists like Mark London, Lea Luna, and many locals making an imprint on the Denver techno scene. This is one of the more underground events around town, but that’s not to say it’s not extremely successful. With great techno and free tacos for the first people through the door…what’s not to love?
For upcoming shows, visit Tracks' website.
THE CHURCH NIGHTCLUB
The Church is a venue I’ve been going to since I first moved to Denver. It’s 18+, so it brings in a younger crowd and a wider variety of people. It’s home to Ritual Fridays, put on by Global Dance, which features all kinds of huge electronic artists. A lot of the big-name trance artists tend to come through here like Ilan Bluestone and Gareth Emery. Also taking place here is the Desert Hearts Takeover, which has all of us house-heads buzzing. The venue is literally an old church, and is known for its beautiful architecture and incredible sound system.
For upcoming shows, visit Church's website.
Ah, Red Rocks. Last, but easily the most iconic venue in Colorado. This beautiful outdoor amphitheater is world-famous, and for good reason. Besides the gorgeous landscaping in the rocks on the side of a luscious mountain, Red Rocks is home to some of the biggest and most noteworthy shows in Colorado. This venue has everything from raves to folk concerts, and its wide variety of genres bring in all kinds of music-lovers from all over the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some big electronic artists here such as Jauz, Slander, Disclosure, Nghtmre, Zedd, Illenium, and lots more.
Check out this summer's Red Rocks calendar here.
Seeing Nghtmre b2b Slander at Red Rocks was amazing!!
Believe it or not, this list is actually just scraping the surface of Denver electronic music culture. While the commercial electronic scene is huge here, what’s equally thriving is the underground and warehouse rave scene. In addition to the venues listed above, there are also dozens of clubs, bars, and warehouses that hold huge events each week. There are also some kick-ass denver festivals, such as Global Dance Festival and Decadence Colorado. There’s never a dull night here, and it’s certainly hard to get bored. The only problem you’ll ever have here is picking which events to attend on any given night! Whether you’re a native, a transplant, or a visitor, I hope you’ll find this list helpful, and I certainly hope to see you at a show out in Denver in the near future!