DENVER -- On Friday, AEG Live Rocky Mountains and Bernard Hurley hosted the inaugural RiNo Music Festival in a vacant lot next to the newly opened Blue Moon tap room.
The vision of the festival was to cement the six-acre lot for music and artist scene for the River North neighborhood. Ticket sales benefited the RiNo Arts District as it has been undergoing a transformation from a warehouse art music district to make room for more condominiums in Denver.
Gentrification impacts the cultural identity and as the RiNo District undergoes changes to its cultural identity, it’s important that Scott Campbell and Bernard Hurley recognize the struggle between galley spaces for artists and a need for housing in Denver.
Recently, Rule Gallery had to relocate from RiNo district because the whole block is being leveled for condominiums.
The dirt grounds in the industrial area provided an interesting backdrop for headliners Silversun Pickups, who have gained some serious cred in the alternative-indie scene since the first time I saw them perform at the Monolith Festival in 2008.
St. Lucia had bought a dance party on the polo grounds of Coachella, but as I stood on the dirt grounds Friday night, I wondered if they would have the same effect. I did see people in the crowd react and was grateful that Colorado has a vibrant music scene.
Openers 888 sounded great and had a large crowd for their set. Unfortunately, I missed the other two openers, Bishopp Briggs and A Silent Film.
The venue layout was hard to navigate by concertgoers as the beer garden was in the middle and took some people 45 minutes to get a beer. Some logistics for next year’s festival will need to develop further but I look forward to seeing the transformation that Bernard Hurley has for the RiNo neighborhood.