Imagine listening to your favorite bands in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, music echoing off massive natural rock foundations. That’s exactly what will be happening Sept. 14 and 15 at the Monolith Music Festival in Morrison, Colo. But the present-day program has old-time roots: In the early 1900s, John Brisben Walker, then editor and publisher of Cosmopolitan, had a vision of artists performing on a stage positioned between the monoliths at Red Rocks in the Rocky Mountain foothills. With the 300-foot protrusions forming an unmatched acoustic environment, he went on to produce numerous concerts there. In 1927, Walker sold Red Rocks to the city of Denver, which enlisted architect Burnham Hoyt to design an amphitheater in the space, now known as Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Fast-forward to 2006. Erik Dyce, chief marketing officer of Denver’s Division of Theatres and Arenas, approaches concert promoters Josh Baker and Matt Fecher about doing an event at Red Rocks. “After months of contemplation, we decided to go for it,” says Baker. The modern festival has four other stages in addition to the original main one and will feature more than 50 bands, including Cake, Kings of Leon, The Flaming Lips, Spoon and The Decemberists. “We could hardly believe that an event of this nature has never been attempted at Red Rocks. We’re all fans of the outdoors, it seemed like a logical progression for us to present an amazing festival experience at the best live music venue in the world,” Baker adds.
And there’s no need to be concerned about how such an event might affect Mother Earth. Organizers have made the event eco-friendly by taking action to become certified carbon neutral through energy conservation, implementing recycling programs and printing 95 percent of festival materials in a sustainable manner.
Monolith Music Festival
Red Rocks Amphitheatre