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Pop / Rock 30/05/2019

Denver's Iconic Westword Music Showcase Celebrates Its 25th Year

Denver's Iconic Westword Music Showcase Celebrates Its 25th Year

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts / Westword Music Showcase) On June 29, 2019, Westword, Denver's iconic alt-weekly turned digital powerhouse, will present its 25th Westword Music Showcase, the city's largest single-day music festival and, for the past quarter-century, the first big party of the summer in a city that's become a magnet for millennial music lovers. This festival has been a launching pad for many local artists while also highlighting national and international talent.

The Showcase has changed dramatically since it was founded in the fall of 1995 with just a handful of bands playing around the city's LoDo neighborhood. It has become a nationally recognized festival and a launching pad for many local artists. National acts were added when the Showcase moved to the Golden Triangle area, and the 2019 event will boast the biggest lineup yet, with more than 75 local bands playing at venues throughout the area, as well as headliners such as CHVRCHES, Jai Wolf, lovelytheband, Jauz, Bishop Briggs, The Knocks, Crooked Colours, The Wrecks and SHAED on the two main outdoor stages.

In addition to supporting the local music and arts scene, the Showcase has been a boost to the local economy. Over the course of a decade, the Music Showcase has pumped more than 3 million dollars of revenue into the Denver area.

Many of the artists who've participated in Showcase have gone on to worldwide success. Andy Guerrero, a founding member of the Flobots, whose funk band Bop Skizzum was also popular, remembers the shot of confidence he got when he was first invited to play original music at the Showcase.

"In the mid-to-late '90s, I could count the number of bands and artists making original music and getting recognized for it on one hand," Guerrero recently told Westword. "If you wanted to be a gigging band in Denver, you pretty much had to be a cover band that could play for three hours a night."

The band DeVotchKa made waves nationally when it was selected to score the film Little Miss Sunshine. The group went on to collaborate with the Colorado Symphony, and its music has been featured in many films and TV programs. But it got early recognition from the Showcase.

"Man, that was a romantic time in our lives," Nick Urata, the band's lead singer, said last month. "We had just released our first album on an obscure Russian label. No one knew who we were, but Westword gave us our first good review and a Showcase spot at the Soiled Dove. We were on cloud nine."

Hundreds of other local bands have their own memories of the Showcase. So do thousands of fans, who've partied with many of their favorite national acts and helped launch the careers of local heroes.

"I think the success of bands like the Fray, One Republic, Flobots, 3OH!3, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Trev Rich has made the local music community see that Colorado artists can accomplish great things," said Guerrero. "We have a city truly flush with talent."

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