A little over a year has passed since Breckenridge Music had to cancel its plans for the summer and the rest of 2020. Now, as capacity restrictions loosen, the nonprofit is gearing up for a busy summer with tickets to the Indigo Girls and Asleep at the Wheel on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, May 14.
The two indoor, Riverwalk Center concerts — part of Breck Music’s Presents series — are just the tip of the iceberg. Outdoor concerts, educational workshops and a fundraiser are also scheduled.
“We have a bunch planned for the winter, and we’ll just see how everything rolls,” Executive Director Tamara Nuzzaci Park said about the organization’s event planning.
The organization will announce programming in waves, but for now, eager concertgoers can mark a few dates on their calendars.
Asleep at the Wheel returns to Breckenridge on Aug. 13. Winning 10 Grammy Awards throughout its 50-year history, the country and Americana band has released over 30 albums. An extended play was released in February 2020, but the most recent studio album, “New Routes,” came out in 2018.
Doors open at 7 p.m. with the show beginning at 7:30, and tickets range from $30 to $50.
The following week, indie folk duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, known as the Indigo Girls, perform at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18 with doors opening at 7. Their self-titled album won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Recording. “Look Long,” the 16th studio album by the Indigo Girls, came out last May. Though from Atlanta, the group released a live album with the University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra in 2018.
Tickets to see the Indigo Girls start at $65.
“These are bands that we have had in the past; they’re some of our local community’s favorites,” Nuzzaci Park said. “Just to bring back the familiar is exciting.”
While those concerts are inside, Breck Music’s signature fundraising event of the year will happen outdoors at the Country Boy Mine on July 16. Called Gold Fest, doors open at 6 p.m. and dinner begins at 7:30. The goal is to raise at least $80,000 through table and ticket sales. VIP attendees can enter an hour early to enjoy a listening session with Breckenridge Music Festival Artistic Director Steven Schick.
The evening also features mine tours and acoustic tunes, but the highlight is three-time Grammy nominee Pat Green performing at 8:30. Green has co-written with artists such as Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton and Rob Thomas, and he has toured with Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban and Dave Matthews Band.
Before any of those performances, however, is Breck Music’s free neighborhood block parties hosted on a modified Airstream trailer. Dubbed the AirStage and born out of pandemic-related creativity, the 23-foot trailer features a 14.5-by-9-foot stage that can hold up to six musicians. A battery system can support a four-hour, mobile, off-the-grid performance throughout the county.
Block parties have yet to be announced, but the AirStage will arrive in Breckenridge on June 1. Silver Bullet Trailers from Vancouver, Washington, has worked on adjusting the 1975 Airstream Ambassador Travel Trailer since January.
Visual arts will be just as prominent on the AirStage as the sonic shows. Knowing that WAVE: Light + Water + Sound and Breckenridge International Festival of Arts aren’t happening this year, the AirStage will function as a sort of alternative with three art pieces from Justin Gitlin, also known as Cacheflow.
An alum of WAVE, the Denver artist, coder and musician has worked with companies such as Nike, Google and the Denver Art Museum. The first piece, called “Swell,” was meant to debut at last year’s WAVE festival in the Old Masonic Hall. It has since been reimagined to use a portable 5-by-8-foot LED wall that reacts to people’s movement, creating sounds in conjunction with digital patterns.
The second piece, “AirViz,” transforms the LED wall into a backdrop that acts similarly to a visual equalizer. Themed colors will move to songs from AirStage performances to complement the sounds with light.
Lastly, Flail or Fail is a video game where audience members can compete against one another without the need for console controllers. Originally installed for Two Parts’ Collaboration Fest in Denver in 2019, people move around and the winner is whoever flails the most.
“This AirStage was a great solution to transition those major festivals into something equally as spectacular but much more hyper-local in terms of our target to reconnect neighbors,” said Nuzzaci Park, who is also the acting CEO and president of Breckenridge Creative Arts.
The AirStage will additionally be home to performances by iZCALLi and The Reminders in collaboration with Denver-based nonprofit Youth on Record. Spanish rock band iZCALLi and The Reminders, a duo consisting of emcees Big Samir and Aja Black, will both perform at Upper Blue Elementary on June 25 and Summit Cove on June 26.
Co-founded by Stephen Brackett of the Flobots, Youth on Record is hosting a series of educational events geared toward adults and kids before the concerts. From 4-6 p.m. June 21, Brackett and Youth on Record Program Director Brent Adams will lead teachers during a workshop about diversity, equity and inclusion through the lens of music at the Riverwalk Center.
Then from 1-4 p.m. June 22-24, students can choose from three workshops. Elijah Lynch, also known as Smiley Gatmouth, will teach about writing for spoken word and spoken word performance skills at Old Masonic Hall. Mona, or Monalicious, will teach music composition at the Riverwalk Center. Finally, rapper and artist Devin Urioste, who goes by Mace Windu, will teach participants about collaging at the Fuqua Livery Stables.
The Breckenridge Music Festival will use the AirStage, as well, but the free festival will predominately be indoors at the Riverwalk Center. The festival runs from Aug. 5-15 and the schedule will be announced Tuesday, May 18. People who donate at least $50 to Breck Music by Monday, May 17, can reserve seats before the general public.
Registration for Youth on Record programs opens Tuesday and people can reserve a spot for block parties and other free community events starting June 1. Visit BreckMusic.org to register or purchase Presents tickets.