Grandoozy, 1:30 to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Overland Park Golf Course, 1801 S. Huron St., Denver; tickets start at $99; grandoozy.com.
The Mile High City is welcoming a new music festival that creators say has been years in the making.
Grandoozy is the brainchild of Superfly, the production company behind Tennessee’s Bonnaroo and San Francisco’s Outside Lands, both of which are more than a decade old. Superfly co-founder Jonathan Mayers said he’s spent years scouting the Denver area to get a feel for its outdoorsy culture and build connections.
“I went to school in New Orleans, and I fell in love with the city,” Mayers said. “I interned at one of the great festivals down there, which really was an inspiration to me for why I chose this path, the New Orleans Jazz Fest. It’s one of the great events. It celebrates New Orleans and southern Louisiana in the food, the music. The audience that attended, the diversity that attended, it was all faces from the community. It was wonderful.”
Chasing that same feeling, Mayers said he wants Grandoozy to bring together diverse people and capture Colorado’s essence. The fun runs from 1:30 to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday at the Overland Park Golf Course in Denver, featuring the legendary Stevie Wonder, rapper Kendrick Lamar and Florence and the Machine, among other big names.
Music will flow from three stages (see the schedule here), and The Break Room stage will serve as an all-day dance venue after morning yoga. Mayers said he hopes bringing together older and newer artists will draw a mixed audience that can bond over the experience.
“To us, the music was about positivity,” Mayers said. “With Kendrick, there’s a positive message. With Stevie, there’s a positive message.”
Besides the music, he said, he hopes the Rocky Mountain spirit of the space will hook attendees, too.
Also at Grandoozy will be an ‘80s Ski Lodge, with DJ sets, a hair metal cover band, a Goth night, panels featuring athletes and activists, dancing and concessions. Microbreweries will serve suds beside displays at the arts and crafts area. Local chefs will serve food. And at The Backyard, outdoor companies will sell exclusive goods.
“One thing that we learned from spending time here is that there are a ton of entrepreneurs here,” Mayers said. “We’re working with about 10 independent brands in the outdoor apparel and equipment industry. … They’ll be selling limited-edition items, collaboration pieces. We’re working with the likes of Topo bags and Icelantic Skis.”
While attending all three days is a much richer experience, one-day passes can be purchased too.
The festival’s urban setting precludes camping and official parking. Festivalgoers are encouraged to take public transportation, bike or ride-share. A shuttle is offered from Colorado Springs, Boulder and Fort Collins. The local pick-up will be at the Woodmen Park and Ride at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., and it costs $125 for the weekend.
Mayers said choosing the festival’s name was difficult, but Grandoozy reflects its personality.
“The word ‘doozy’ is a little over the top, and so is ‘grand.’ It captures the spirit of what we want this to be: just fun. Maybe a little weird, a little funky, and you know what? That’s cool. Own it.”
Haley Witt, The Gazette,