Big Sam's Funky Nation has the crowd on its feet at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater's Hot Summer Nights.

Image: Zach Mahone

Concerts By The Creek

Every Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. throughout summer, families converge on Creekside Park in Beaver Creek Village and gather on a lush green lawn around a bright green gazebo to listen to live folk and old-timey music, simultaneously serenaded by the resort’s namesake water feature. The best part? An on-site playground populated with little ones who redefine the notion of swing music.

When it is:

Every Wednesday, July 10 through August 14

Where it is:

Creekside Park, Beaver Creek Village

What it costs:

Free

Who goes there:

Acoustic-music lovers looking for a laid-back crowd

More info:

beavercreek.com

Vail Summer Bluegrass

Old-timey finger-pickin' finds a home at the tent raised in its honor in Arrabelle Square four Wednesdays throughout the end of June and the month of July in Lionshead Village. Bluegrass bands from around the country jam out to a packed house of après-hikers, with this year’s Fourth of July performance by Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (best enjoyed with a pint of local craft brew by the same name) set to bring down the house.

When it is:

June 26 (Trout Streak Revival), July 3 (Jeremy Garrett), July 11 (Hackensaw Boys), July 17 (The Lonesome Days) 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Where it is:

Arrabelle Square, Lionshead

What it costs:

Free

Who goes there:

Crowds of dancing locals and hikers fresh off the mountain

More information:

vailbluegrass.com

Whistle Pig Vail

The latest addition to the valley’s summer festival lineup? Whistle Pig Vail, a mountain music collaboration between the Vail Valley Foundation and music industry magnate AEG. Our pick for August? Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. 

Where it is:

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

When it is/What it costs:

August 12 & 13: Trey Anastasio Band, 7:00 p.m. $55-$88

August 14: Steve Miller Band & Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, 7:30 p.m. $65-$199

August 19: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, 7:30 p.m. $55-$89

September 2: Bon Iver, 7:30 p.m. $75-$119.50

September 5: Gary Clark Jr., 7:30 p.m. $69.5-$114

September 18: Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, 7:00 p.m. $49.75-$95.75

Who goes there:

Young locals and Front Rangers who’ve never been to Bravo! but want to experience the same venue with a rock band instead of a philharmonic orchestra

More information:

grfavail.com/whistlepigvail

Peter Frampton at the Vilar.

Image: Zach Mahone

Vilar Summer Concert Series

The Vilar is hosting another summer line-up of bands you won't want to miss. Think: the Punch Brothers (July 29), Buddy Guy (July 30), and José Gonzales (August 24) in the intimate setting of the Vilar Center—a perfect refuge to avoid evening Colorado thunderstorms—and soak in some tunes.

When it is/What it costs:

July 17: Michael McDonald, $125

July 26: Toots & The Maytals, $52

July 30: Buddy Guy, $108

August 15: Asleep at the Wheel, $48

August 21: Jon Anderson of Yes, $75

August 24: José Gonzales, $48

August 30: Billy Strings, $36

Where it is:

Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek

Who goes there:

Glammed-up music lovers looking to spend a night out on the town

More information:

vilarpac.org

Hot Summer Nights

on Tuesday nights, the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater shifts musical gears from classical to classic rock and funk, with bands like the Wailers and Big Something—among many, many others—headlining free concerts that, once the pints poured at the concession stand kick in, often evolve into a venue-wide dance party, sometimes including the stage. After the music ends, concertgoers migrate over to Bridge Street, where an after-party jams all night long.

Whether you’re coming from the East or the West (Vail), forgo fighting for a coveted spot in the Vail Village parking structure and cruise the bike path along Gore Creek to the amphitheater (and let the venue’s free, on-site bike concierge handle the parking). You—and your bike—can always hitch a ride back on the bus at the end of the night. 

Where it is:

Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

When it is:

Tuesdays (June 18, 25; July 2, 16, 17; Aug 20, 27)

What it costs:

Free

Who goes there:

Young locals and seasonal workers looking to let down their already let-down hair

More info:
vvf.org

And if you’re looking for a free evening concert with a somewhat less-ebullient local crowd ...

Showdown Town, the Town of Eagle’s weekly free summer concert series staged in the bandshell on the great lawn at Eagle Town Park Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m., featuring an eclectic mix of hip-hop, blues, reggae, rock, and funk bands from around the state and across the country (eagleoutside.com); and similar events in Minturn (Thursdays at 6 p.m. at Little Beach Park; minturn.org) and Avon (Avon Live, July 10, 17, 24, 31; Aug 14, 21, 28 at 5:00 p.m., at Nottingham Park; avon.org)

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