Any venue is lucky to make it through 20 years, 50 years is definitely a feat, but the famed Red Rocks Amphitheater is celebrating its 110th birthday this year. This venue has seen The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, and this year for the 13th year in a row it saw Global Dance Festival, a festival where both rave booty shorts and hiking boots are realistic.
This festival brings people from all over the world together in what many would consider (myself included) as one of the most beautiful venues in existence. I said hiking boots are appropriate because from the first step of the venue to the top is 380 steps… and that’s just one side. This festival features a main stage, a stage at the top, and another on the other side. However, the higher you’re willing to hike up, the more beautiful the view gets, and when you’re at the top you can see both the park and Denver. The photo above is of the stage at the very top.
This festival had some of the most driven fans I’ve ever seen; you really have to love an artist to hike up and down 380 steps repeatedly to see them and these fans did just that for not just one day, but three. In the gallery you’ll see people with Colorado flags as capes, various light-up items, from shoes to wings, and lots of kandi (the beaded bracelets people trade at EDM music festivals). This festival is something very unique, filled with the love of those around you, the want to share, and the passion for music.
I made it to each of the five artists that were highlighted in the preview coverage: Troyboi, Bear Grillz, Brillz, Hermitude, and Ephwurd. This was my first time seeing all of these artists live with the exception of Hermitude. I was truly impressed with their live sets which included everything from mixes of Rhianna’s “Work,” to Justice’s “We Are Your Friends,” which has been made popular again with the movie by the same title. I’m so surprised that Bear Grillz manages to stay in the bear outfit through his entire set (which is an hour long), but he did, and he absolutely killed it on top of the Red Rocks mountain. Troyboi actually comes out from behind the DJ stand quite a bit interacting with the crowd. Ephwurd had some pretty amazing graphics and had the whole crowd “throwing up their W’s,” which is always fun to see. I also discovered Tritonal, Cash Cash, Fbomb, and Terravita at this festival, all artists to add to the Artists On The Rise list!
Global Dance Festival is special for many reasons: the venue, the music, the people, the list goes on. This is a one of a kind experience around that 10,000 people get to experience each year and it’s an experience anyone interested in the EDM music scene should attend at least once. The hiking is completely worth it, and when you finally reach the top there’s a great artist playing and a cold beer.
Check out the full gallery on MEB’s Flickr