Denver’s competition for the multi-day music festival: Westminster

“We have discussed a multi-day event with attendance in the range of 30,000 people.”

The Madness at Main stage festival in 2009, which has no relation to the event proposed for Denver or Westminster. (Exit Photo Team/Wikimedia Commons)
The Madness at Main stage festival in 2009, which has no relation to the event proposed for Denver or Westminster. (Exit Photo Team/Wikimedia Commons)
The Exit festival in 2009, which has no relation to the event proposed for Denver or Westminster. (Exit Photo Team/Wikimedia Commons)

A massive music festival could bring tens of thousands of people for multiple days to Denver’s Overland Park Golf Course next year in an event modeled after San Francisco’s Outside Lands.

Or they could end up in Westminster, as we’ve confirmed.

As we reported earlier, the festival organizers AEG and Superfly are considering multiple cities for the music bash. They respectively are responsible for Coachella and Bonnaroo, two of the largest music events in the country.

Following a tip, we asked our neighbor to the northwest whether they were in the running for a large music festival too.

Yep. Westminster city officials confirmed that they have indeed heard from both AEG and Superfly.

“We have discussed a multi-day event with attendance in the range of 30,000 people. We are currently evaluating the feasibility of such an event from a variety of perspectives, including the venue,” wrote Ryan Hegreness, operations manager for Westminster parks, recreation and libraries, in an email. Westminster later clarified that to be 30,000 per day.

“Westminster has not received a proposal and no final determinations have been made about the feasibility or location of such an event. Once this is further studied, and if there is interest from all parties, Westminster will engage the community in a thorough public input process.”

David Ehrlich, representing AEG, confirmed that Westminster and Denver are in consideration for the same event. A “couple” other cities are in consideration too, “but they’re even earlier in the process,” he said, declining to confirm the other potential locations.

The organizers are targeting 30,000 to 40,000 people per day.

The event would stretch over a three-day weekend, running from a Friday to a Sunday in September 2018, Ehrlich said.

It could include four to six performance stages, plus smaller non-music stages.

“It’s a celebration of everything that’s great about Denver and Colorado,” Ehrlich said. “It’s not just music – it’s art, culture, outdoor lifestyle, food, drink.”

If it happens in Denver, the organizers would rent Overland from the city for five weeks, but the course might only close for three or four weeks, he said.

Helene Orr, a neighborhood advocate who has been involved in the discussion in Denver, said that the organizers have talked about a three-day event with four or five stages and a total of 200,000 people. For her part, she thinks the event would be “devastating” for Overland Park Golf Course, and questions whether parks should be used for private businesses.

AEG would limit damage by fencing off sensitive areas, such as the golf course greens, Ehrlich said. AEG and its partners would commit to paying to repair any damage to the course, he said.

City officials and organizers in Denver have insisted that the potential festival would go through an extensive community process, including a community meeting last night. The contract for renting the golf course would have to be approved by the city council and signed by Mayor Michael Hancock, according to Ehrlich.

The city is accepting comment by email to Grace.Ramirez@denvergov.org or anonymously at denvergov.org/specialevents. Additional community meetings will be scheduled, Ehrlich said.

AEG and Superfly need to choose a facility within the next few months, as many performers must be booked a year in advance, according to Ehrlich.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.