That huge music festival proposed at Denver’s Overland Golf Course just might happen

Denver officials announced Thursday they will “move forward with a process” to bring a major music festival to the city’s Overland Golf Course.

A preliminary diagram of a music festival proposed for Overland Music Festival, which would be modified based on community feedback. (AEG, Brungardt Enterprises)

Denver officials announced Thursday they will “move forward with a process” to bring a major music festival to the city’s Overland Golf Course.

This idea has been in the works for months. Organizer Superfly (Bonnaroo and Outside Lands) want to put on a three-day music festival at the golf course in southwest Denver. They’ve been meeting with neighborhood groups and laying out plans to deal with noise, trash and parking.

According to a city survey of roughly 1,500 residents, a majority felt that their concerns had been addressed, at least somewhat.

“The community process highlighted the values, interests and concerns of a diverse community,” Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation, said in a press release about the decision. “In the next stage of the process, our commitment is to fulfill the guidelines we set forth during the community input process. We are confident that we can reach an agreement that accomplishes that goal. We pledge to hold the event organizers accountable to protecting that which is valuable to our city, its residents and neighborhoods.”

Councilman Jolon Clark, who represents the area, said the community input was “key in the decision” to move forward.

“We learned so much about what is important to our neighborhoods and that protecting them from impacts like trash, sound, and parking are as vital as protecting the landscape, turf, and wildlife that we so value about our green spaces,” Clark said in a statement.

AEG, major players in the concert world and the force behind Coachella, had been one of the organizers, but they’re out now. In a press release from Superfly, AEG executives said they would continue to focus on their other events and that Superfly has their support.

And Superfly said it’s really excited to keep working on the Overland site.

“We’ve spent the past three years exploring the Denver market, experiencing the city’s vibrant culture and
developing relationships with community leaders and local officials,” Rick Farman, co-founder of Superfly, said in a statement. “The passion in this area for great music, art, food and an active outdoor lifestyle is incredibly inspiring and we are 100 percent committed to delivering an experience that matches the energy of this creative community.

“After thorough discussion and analysis, we are thrilled to be focused on the Overland Park Golf Course site as we continue our outreach and work with the City to develop a landmark festival in the heart of Colorado.”

So what happens now?

The city will negotiate a contract with Superfly that should include requirements around all those issues of community concern. That contract will be subject to the same review process as other special events and will require approval from City Council. There will be a public hearing on the contract, as well.

The proposed festival would be an annual event, starting next year, and feature musicians from a variety of genres on multiple stages, as well as food, art and culture It’s supposed to be family-friendly and highlight Denver artists and Denver culture. The expectation is that it would attract between 30,000 and 60,000 people.

This story has been updated to reflect that AEG is no longer involved in organizing this event and to include comment from Superfly.

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, emeltzer@denverite.com or @meltzere.