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Pack your bags the summer music festival season is upon us and as usual the state of Colorado has a fair share of entertaining musical junkets.  Some offer a low price per band and ideal  camping opportunities while others may require a hotel stay, but all in all there is just about something for everyone.


The summer season starts this weekend with Campout For the Cause. This local event at State Bridge  promises an array of activity beyond barefoot dancing in the sand.  Yoga classes and water activities will compliment the finest group of musicians the organizers have ever booked for a single event at the mini arena I like to refer to as ‘Baby Rocks.’ The event runs this Memorial Day weekend.


For those willing to take a little longer jaunt while staying in the confines of  the Centennial State there are these fine options:


Snowmass Mammoth Fest-The fine folks at SBG who run the numerous musical happenings in Telluride have taken over management of this event for the first time and promise some positive additions.   Camping at the festival, which begins Friday June 7th, is as cheap as $15 a night and the Project Shelter partnership allows you to pre-order tents and other gear, so you have more room in the car for your buddies.  Headliners include a special Dub version of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon and AWOLNATION fresh off their appearance on Jay Leno. For me though the best performances will be the undercard as JJ Grey and Mofro are always entertaining and The Joy Formidable are touring in support of one of the strongest new releases of the year.


The Telluride Festivals– As usual the small community with a rock and roll heart is throwing a number of shindigs beginning with the famous Telluride Bluegrass Festival starring Mumford & Sons, Jackson Browne and Feist on the weekend of June 20th. Then a couple of weeks later in mid July, it’s the Ride Festival with David Byrne & St. Vincent, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, plus Rodrigo y Gabriela and others. And finally one of the better small festival line-ups in any state will be on hand for the September 19th start of Telluride Blues & Brews.  Headliners The Black Crowes will be joined by Melissa Etheridge and My Morning Jacket’s frontman and growing legend Jim James.


Americana Music And Arts Festival– This event caught my eye for two reasons -reasonable price and a solid up and coming line up in an intimate setting.  The festival is down in Florence CO just outside of Canon City.  In only its second year, the hoedown is showing tons of promise with headliners Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside plus a not to be missed performance by The Greencards. The Australian band has opened for Bob Dylan and performed at Lollapalooza.  They also can be heard with regularity on KZYR.  Last year, the fest featured over 25 acts and this year will be even larger at a new location. They have moved the proceedings to a tree lined (read shaded) park in Florence. An easy three-hour drive from Vail, it offers one of the best bang for your buck with $40 early bird passes.  Taking place August 23rd-25th, The AM&A Festival has the potential of being a premiere happening for Southern Colorado and music lovers throughout the state.