Levitt Pavilion Free Summer Concert Series is a gift to local music lovers, and the nonprofit venue just announced some of this year’s lineup, as well as some of its ticketed concerts.
Mark your calendars: VIP tickets (which cost between $35 and $50 and include early entry, access to a VIP lounge area and a free drink) go on sale Friday, February 25 for the 2022 concert season , which will begin on May 13. admission to the free concerts can be booked one month before the show date, but RSVPs are not required.
Here are the free concerts Levitt has announced so far (note: * indicates support to be added; lineup may change. ^ indicates performance in Spanish):
May 13: Son Rompe Pera*^
May 20: Black Uhuru with Dylans Dharma plus special guest Selasee & The Fafa Family
May 22: La Santa Cecilia*^
May 26: Los Amigos Invisibles*^
June 3: Marc Farina*
June 9: Della Mae with Jacob Jolliff Band
June 10: Steep Canyon Rangers*
June 11: Calexic*
June 12: Kutandara with Maputo Mensah and Logo Ligi
June 15: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force*
June 19: Blitzen Trapper with Laney Jones
September 24: Cool Vibes Reggae Fest
September 25: Viva Southwest Mariachi Festival^
Paying concerts, organized in partnership with nation liveinclude:
May 14: Big Head Todd & The Monsters with The Samples & Freddy Jones Band
May 29: Tears for Fears with Garbage
July 24: STS9: Walk in the Sky
August 16: Big Time Rush*
August 23: Elvis Costello & the Imposters with Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets
Levitt Pavilion also launched its annual fundraising campaign, aiming to raise $25,000 to help support its fifty free concerts. Contributions can be paid through the donate button on the Levitt website; those who donate during the fundraiser will receive a thank you note on the venue’s LED screen, and those who donate over $100 will also receive a free t-shirt designed by local artist Joe Murray (Auberon design). Fundraising will end on May 13, or when the goal is reached.
“We are thrilled to kick off our annual fundraising campaign to support all of the amazing musical nights under the stars we have to look forward to this summer,” said Jessi Whitten, Director of Marketing and Development, Levitt Pavilion. “Music lovers know that concerts can be prohibitively expensive, but Levitt seeks to make music accessible, not only by making them free for all Coloradans, but by placing the act of giving at the heart of our process for those who seek to give back. Whether it’s the equivalent of the cost of a regular concert ticket or a major philanthropic gift, donors can enjoy a summer of music knowing they made it possible.
The outdoor amphitheater, an arm of the Levitt Foundationmade its debut at Ruby Hill Park in July 2017. Since then, the organization has offered around fifty free concerts each year, as well as around twenty paid shows that take place throughout the summer (with the exception of 2020, during the pandemic closure).
From the start, Levitt emphasized that the venue is designed to provide a platform for local musicians. “Emerging Colorado-based musicians will be paid above the current local scale, and half of the gigs will be dedicated to these Colorado-based artists, with the remainder featuring emerging national and international bands,” said the place website promises.
The Levitt Pavilion also offers community programs geared towards educating and inspiring emerging artists. In partnership with Swallow Hill Music and Big sharing, in 2016, he launched Bandstart, which offers free music lessons to children in the surrounding neighborhood; Guitar Center then joined the partnership to donate free instruments to students. Another program, Colorado Music Collective, includes local artists, venues and concert workers hosted by Levitt Pavilion; he hosts monthly networking events while advocating for independent venues.
This summer will also see another upgrade to the Levitt music system. “After a series of production upgrades proved beneficial in 2021, Levitt has again decided to upgrade its sound, lighting and LED display equipment to a state of the art Meyer “Panther” systemone of the first to be installed in the country,” according to the statement announcing the new season.
“After going through a year without live music in 2020 and then an extremely arduous but rewarding comeback season in 2021, we are thrilled to embark on our fifth season of outdoor concerts for families where our friends and neighbors can reconnect” , says Levitt Foundation Executive Director and Founder Chris Zacher. “With the precarious economic situation facing our country, free concerts for all ages are an essential meeting place for our community to come together without financial barriers. This year, we are focusing on ways we can provide our audience with truly exceptional live music experiences that would otherwise pose a financial challenge. We don’t just offer free concerts; we’re working to put on some of the best gigs around, period.”
VIP tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 25; you can RSVP for a free concert starting one month before the show date. Learn more here.