Lafayette’s first music festival ‘a long-awaited idea’ puts dozens of bands on local stages – Boulder Daily Camera

Bringing the music festival experience out of a wide open field and into different venues – some unconventional – has grown in popularity over the years.

Card Catalog members from left to right, Rob Spears, Brooke Holman, Jenn Tatro and Kevin Kirkpatrick. Card Catalog will perform at the new venue The End on October 8 at 5 p.m. during the premier Lafayette Music Festival. (Gary Sheer/courtesy photo)

South by Southwest (SXSW)—Austin’s music, film, and tech juggernaut—allows attendees to travel to different locations throughout the event to catch a slew of diverse acts.

Longmont’s winter and spring rides followed a similar pattern, with bands plugging into breweries and even a record store.

On October 8, the first annual report La Fayette Music Festival will present more than 25 numbers in five main rooms, including The enda space that opened its doors last week — owned by Kenny Vasko, founder of the Lafayette Music Festival.

Ms. Amy & The Jet Set will perform Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. at The Muse during the inaugural Lafayette Music Festival.  (Ms. Amy & The Jet Set/Courtesy Photo)
Ms. Amy & The Jet Set will perform Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. at Muse Performance Space during the inaugural Lafayette Music Festival. (Ms. Amy & The Jet Set/Courtesy Photo)

“We definitely see this as an annual event,” Vasko said. “It was last year that we realized that with the grand reopening of Nissi’s, the capacity of the Lafayette concert hall would be over 1,000 people in total.”

In addition to Nissi’s and The End, other Lafayette music festival venues include The Arts Hub, Tier Two Live and Muse Performance Space.

Performances will also be on the program at The District, a community-inspired shopping and gathering spot in Lafayette. District shows are free during the festival.

“Most of the venues are places that go under the radar, which is crazy because it’s not uncommon to see a Grammy winner or an up-and-coming band from Denver or Fort Collins playing Lafayette at each of the five venues” , Vasko said.

From a nine-piece soul outfit to bluegrass, blues and indie pop, all the artists at the festival truly offer something for everyone.

Electro-pop artist Neoma will perform at 8:30 p.m. on October 8 at the Arts Hub as part of the first Lafayette Music Festival.  (Juli Williams/courtesy photo)
Electro-pop artist Neoma will perform at 8:30 p.m. on October 8 at the Arts Hub as part of the first Lafayette Music Festival. (Juli Williams/courtesy photo)

The list was a combination of the five sites bringing our heads together and coming up with a style that would help each site shine,” Vasko said. “One hundred percent of the bands that play are from Colorado, and we’re extremely proud of that. I’m especially thrilled to have The Burroughs headlining the festival, because the event is all about fun, and that’s what they bring to every stage. It’s also exciting to see bands like 2MX2 and Neoma on the Arts Hub stage.

Wristbands, which have one at all festival locations, are on sale now. Advanced general admission is $45 per person. There will also be an option to purchase tickets on the day of the festival on October 8 for a walk-in price.

Currently, shoppers can also choose to purchase two wristbands at the “Buddy System” price of $40 each or four wristbands at the “Fabulous Four” price of $37.50 each.

Going on stage at Nissi from 2:30 p.m. will be the blues band Cass Clayton and friends.

Cass Clayton and Friends will perform at Nissi's at 2:30 p.m. on October 8 as part of the inaugural Lafayette Music Festival.  (Cass Clayton/Courtesy photo)
Cass Clayton and Friends will perform at Nissi’s at 2:30 p.m. on October 8 as part of the inaugural Lafayette Music Festival. (Cass Clayton/Courtesy photo)

“Lafayette has been my hometown for 17 years, and it’s a great place for me and my family,” Clayton said. “You’d think we’d play a lot in Boulder County, but most of our shows are in other parts of Colorado. When we’re in our backyard playing music for our friends and family, it’s great and it’s very special.

Clayton is thrilled to see this new musical offering taking place near his home.

“Lafayette has a strong arts culture with galleries, Art Night Out events and music venues, and that’s part of what makes it a cool place,” Clayton said. “At the same time, there’s nothing that puts a city on the map like a big music festival. People will definitely cross state lines to hear their favorite bands, so I think it’s good for Lafayette.

Clayton enlisted a handful of local creatives to bring the heat to the band’s afternoon slot.

“We have a bunch of special guests, so it’s going to be awesome,” Clayton said. “The whole band is invited – Cody Qualls from Face Vocal Band, Jessica Rogalski from Mojomama, Caton Sollenberger from The Jauntee and the list goes on. We’ll be playing new music, crowd favorites and mixing it up. Can’t wait .

The Cass Clayton Band poses for a photo.  Cass Clayton and Friends, a group of guest artists Cody Qualls Jessica Rogalski, Caton Sollenberger and others will perform at Nissi's on October 8 at 2:30 p.m. as part of the inaugural Lafayette Music Festival.  (Cass Clayton/Courtesy photo)
The Cass Clayton Band poses for a photo. Cass Clayton and Friends, a band featuring guest artists Cody Qualls, Jessica Rogalski, Caton Sollenberger and others will perform at Nissi’s on October 8 at 2:30 p.m. as part of the inaugural Lafayette Music Festival. (Cass Clayton/Courtesy photo)

When she’s not singing with the group, she looks forward to reveling in performances from her peers.

“As far as artists I want to check out, there are so many and a lot of my friends are playing — The Burroughs, Pamlico Sound, Gabe Mervine,” Clayton said.

Mad Dog Blues, led by Mark “Mad Dog” Friedman.

“I believe live music brings people together, so I would love to see more of these community-wide festivals everywhere,” Friedman said. “With all the venues cooperating and local businesses helping to sponsor the events, this is not only a long overdue idea, it’s especially suited to a community like Lafayette where local art and music is enjoyed by so many. of people.”

Kenny Vasko and his wife Liz Vasko run Dog House Music Studios in Lafayette, a location they purchased in 2019 that has allowed musicians to create tracks in a fun and professional environment. The End – the couple’s final location – is actually located inside Dog House Music Studios.

To mark
Mark “Mad Dog” Friedman, center, performs with his band The Mad Dog Blues Experience at Moe’s Original BBQ, Englewood, in March 2022. (Charla Harvey/Court Photo)

“We recorded our epic pandemic double album, ‘Family Reunion 2020,’ at Dog House Music and we love practicing there regularly,” Friedman said.

On October 8, attendees can expect to hear a variety of tracks from Friedman and his team.

“Audiences will hear our signature acoustic-country-blues-jam-grass fusion sound,” Friedman said. “Like all of our shows, we will be offering something new for fans. Since this is more of a concert, we’ll be leaning heavily on original tunes and primarily featuring songs from our latest album, “Gratitude,” as well as fan favorites from our previous four albums. We’re also likely to spend a lot of our time jamming, because our fans love the music of jam bands as much as we do.

Like Clayton, Friedman is thrilled to discover must-see programming.

“I will definitely be using my wristband to see some of my favorite blues, funk and jazz bands including Cass Clayton, Karen Finch, Pamlico Sound, The Burroughs and Lewis & Church,” Friedman said.

To mark
Mark “Mad Dog” Friedman performs with his band The Mad Dog Blues Experience at Moe’s Original BBQ in Englewood in March 2022. The band will play The District on October 8 at 5 p.m. during the inaugural Lafayette Music Festival. (Charla Harvey/Courtesy photo)

Vasko is thrilled to bring Lafayette its first official music festival, but he acknowledges that it couldn’t have been done without the help of many members of the community.

“I thank Dave Heinrich of Tier Two Live for carrying the torch and fully believing that we can put on this event,” Vasko said. “We were the two dogs pulling the sled, so to speak. But we were overwhelmed by the support we received from the community, local businesses and volunteers. Every time we say a music festival is happening in town, people are gobsmacked, usually can’t believe it, and then once they believe it, they want to help make it a reality.

Providing memorable live musical experiences and helping artists shine is something Vasko is truly passionate about, and it’s something he hopes to continue for the foreseeable future.

Last week, The End hosted Fort Collins funk band Hand Turkey and Denver soul rockers Bear and the Beasts when it opened to nearly sold-out crowds.

“Opening The End Lafayette as a liquor-licensed venue has truly been a labor of love,” Vasko said. “The atmosphere of the space is one of comfort. We have a beautiful chandelier and purple sofas, and the walls are adorned with velvet. We want to give local music fans a real VIP performance. Since it is a 75 cap, it will be one of the most intimate musical experiences you can have in the Front Range.

Jessica Rogalski of Mojomama sings a song during the Spring Walkabout in Longmont in April 2022. (Dona Laurita/Courtesy Photo)
Jessica Rogalski, of Mojomama, sings a song during the Spring Walkabout, in Longmont, in April 2022. She will join Cass Clayton and Friends for the first Lafayette Music Festival. (Dona Laurita/Courtesy photo)

Following the end of the Lafayette Music Festival, The End will hold a pop-punk concert with Dayshaper on October 28.

“The most rewarding part of doing all of this is that we’re making it all possible for the burgeoning music community here in Boulder County,” Vasko said. Liz (Vasko) and I used to have corporate jobs, but we found that being a vessel for the artistic community here was our true calling. I believe Lafayette is the best town in Colorado to try your luck. We did, and are forever grateful for how the community welcomed us.

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