Fun at A Taste of Colorado Music Festival

I am hanging out in Denver, Colorado this month. As I learned from several Uber drivers in my first few days in town, “A Taste of Colorado” is a Denver tradition not to be missed. I looked up the event on Facebook and saw that it was a free event over Labor Day Weekend.

I saw that they had several bands of interest playing some classic rock. I was most excited about seeing one of my old favorites, REO Speedwagon! In the 1980’s I frequently listened to REO Speedwagon via 8-track tapes. I spent my teenage years regularly singing along loudly to their many hits, including “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and “Keep on Loving You.” 🎶

The festival has a free admission. It has over 200 booths of local crafts, services, food, and drinks. There were family/kid zones, and the beer flowed in the rest of the areas. It was a lively atmosphere, and the weather on Saturday was pretty ideal: moderate temperatures with a slight breeze and cloud coverage, but no rain.

Libby at the Taste of Colorado festival

2018 is the first year the festival has offered a “VIP Experience”. I decided to pay the VIP cost of $119 (actually, around $130 after an online mandatory “convenience” fee). It provided some nice benefits for one full day – on Saturday, September 1.  Was it worth it? Definitely! Here’s why….

My top 5 favorite things about the VIP Experience:

1. Clean, indoor bathrooms

The indoor VIP bathrooms were kept clean, and there was almost always a stall open. The alternative was long lines at what I imagined as “heavily used” port-a-potties on the street.

Non-VIP bathrooms were port-a-potties

2. Separated, elevated platform near the front of the main concert stage

I was close enough to where I could see the main stage bands, without having to be squished into the very crowded area in front of the stage. I liked the freedom of listening and dancing, but walking back indoors for a bathroom break, for example. Here is my view from the covered section:

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3. Air conditioned seating

Since I was enjoying the festival for many hours, it was nice to be be able to take a rest in a quiet, cool area now and then.

4. Free meal and 2 free drinks

The barbecue meal was excellent quality. (Fortunately, I am not a Vegan anymore, or my options would have been quite limited.) There were lots of great drinks to choose from; I enjoyed a delicious “Peach cobbler” drink. For those who arrived early enough, there were also free snacks.

There was also a fun booth from Patrón Tequila, which gave me a free yummy Mai Thai and a kiwi-lime-strawberry tequila popsicle. Mmmmm.

Libby and Patrón Tequila
Enjoying the Patrón Tequila VIP experience

5. Free drinking water

The official V.I.P. benefits list didn’t include drinking water as a benefit, but it was a significant bonus. Because of the high altitude and the dry air in Denver, it’s extra important to stay hydrated.  I appreciate when good drinking water is simply available for people as needed, rather than only for purchase in a bottle. Without my VIP ticket, drinking water was only available via plastic bottles, the cheapest was a 1/2 liter Aquafina that cost around $3.50.

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Each ticket costs 67 cents. (15 tickets for $10). Inside the V.I.P. area, a beer was $6.70, a standard cocktail was $7.30, and a water was $4.70.

Overall, I had tons of fun at the festival, and the VIP experience made a huge difference. I would definitely purchase it again, especially if staying more than a couple of hours.

However, VIP or not, I felt the best aspect was the great music, such as:

Police Tribute band, called Message in a Bottle:

Led Zeppelin Tribute band, called Zeppelia:

The classic rock band George Thorogood & The Destroyers:

The classic rock band REO Speedwagon!

 

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