Festivals & Events

21 Awesome Aspen Festivals! Music, Art, wine!

Aspen-Festivals
Written by Town & Tourist

Aspen Festivals & Aspen Music Festivals are epic events throughout the year! Aspen, Colorado is a unique town. A rocky mountain sweetheart filled with high end restaurants and boutiques.  Home to 6400 year round residents, many of them celebrities, tourism is very high throughout the year especially during the ski season! This causes the daily population to explode to 20,871, people! 

But Aspen is not just a fancy Ski Resort, it’s a diverse town with many awesome festivals, from music & craft beer to theatre, film, food & wine…the list goes on! 

Aspen

Aspen is such a diverse town! 

Popular Aspen landmarks include, the Wheeler Opera House, built back in 1889 when Aspen was having it’s silver mining rush!

Another popular landmark is Wheeler-Stallard House, a local history museum which is set in a 19th-century, Queen Anne design style home. Then of course you have Aspen Art Museum which displays many fantastic and awe inspiring contemporary artworks.

Planning your trip to Aspen to coincide with a festival definitely makes sense! 

21. Snowmass Craft Beer Festival

Having been run for four years now, the Snowmass Rendezvous Craft Beer Festival is the perfect place to quench that thirst for tremendous craft beer.

30 Colorado Breweries come together in the Snowmass Mountains for fun packed weekend of beer drinking & live music.

Aspen-Beer-Festival

Aspen-Beer-Festival. Source: www.snowmassbeer.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

Sample the many craft beer varieties to the sound track of many local & national live bands. 

When is the Aspen Festival?

 Tbc (June 2020)

20. Aspen Fringe Festival

We’ve heard of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, but now it’s coming to a state near you! The Aspen Fringe festival is dedicated to celebrating great art, dance, theatre and music. The art in particular is designed to “stimulate cultural discussion” on a range of topics from abuses of power to cultural identity confusions. 

In Dance, PUSH Dance Company performs
“vibrant contemporary dances which examine issues of identity & intersecting cultures that surround us all”

Aspen-fringe-festival

Aspen-fringe-festival. Source: aspenfrindgefestival.org [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

A popular event this year was called “codelining” which uses new media tools such as wireless sensors, motion capture and projection mapping to explore many cultural issues from racism to gender divides. 

According to San Francisco Guardian the event was “Emotional and Kinetic” 
​- San Francisco Guardian

When is the Aspen Festival?

 Tbc (June 2020)

19.Winterskol – Aspen 

Winterskol is a community festival with an artistic, family vibe. Originating back in 1951, it has become a real Aspen community tradition.

These days many schools get involved and competitions can be seen such as Winter Sculpting awards to even a canine fashion show! 

Winterskol_wintersculpt Aspen Festivals

Winterskol Awesome Winter sculpting! Source: stayaspensnowmass.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

When is the Aspen Festival?

 Tbc (January 2020)

18. Annual Aspen Ruggerfest

The 52nd Annual Aspen Ruggerfest is set to take place in September 2019. An annual Rugby festival which celebrates the exciting & brutal game of Rugby, with tournaments and exciting events throughout the day. Many call the game of Rugby like “Football without the pads”…so expect some great action. 

Aspen-Ruggerfestival-Rugby-festival

Aspen-Ruggerfestival-Rugby-festival. Source: Aspentimes.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

The Rugby festival was established 52 years ago, by Eastern Rockies Ruby Football President President Terry Fleener and a local Aspen ski-instructor named Steve Sherlock.

They put there heads together in order to create a fantastic event and they realised where better place to hold it then at Aspen. Where there diverse community would appreciate such an event. 

When is the Aspen Festival?

September 19-22 2019 

(Annually in September) 

17. Aspen Snowmass Music Festival

The Après /Aspen snowmass is a fantastic winter music festival, partnered with the live music venue “Belly Up Aspen”. Located at the same venue as the gigantic X games, this is a three day celebration of the ski season end. 

Apres-Snowmass-Music-Festival-Aspen

Apres Music Festival Aspen. Photo by Doug Fondriest Photography. Source: musicmarauders.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

Popular attractions, this year included: Elk Camp surf & snow beach party. Which has live DJ’s ,a swimsuit ski parade, hot tubs and lots of fun giveaways!

When is the Aspen Festival?

September 19-22 2019 

(Annually in September) 

16. Audi Power of Four Events

If your an outdoors enthusiast who likes mountain biking or trail running, then these two Audi power aspen festivals are great for you! 

Audi Power of Four Trail Run and the Audi Power of Four Mountain Bike  are a 2 day festivals, which cover some exciting trail races including a Altra U.S Skyrunner Series and some awesome mountain bike events over 29 miles suitable for both professionals and hobbyist riders. 

Audi-Power-of-FOur-Ski-Festivals

Audi-Power of Four Ski Mountaineering.  [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

When is the Aspen Festival?

(Annually in July) 

15. Bud Light Spring Jam Festival

The annual Bud Light Spring Jam, is the ultimate spring festival in the Rocky Mountains. This event has a wide selection of great live music, parties and competitions at Aspen Snowmass. 

Bud-Light-Spring-Jam-Aspen-Music-Festival

Bud Light Spring Jam Aspen Music Festival. Source: Aspensnowmass.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

When is the Aspen Festival?

March 2020 (Exact date tbc) 

14. Aspen Mountain Film Festival 

The Mountain summit: Mountain Film Festival, is a 5 day event which acts as a platform for many intriguing documentary films about the natural world.

Topics include, the environment, climbing, Sustainability, fishing and even social in justice. 

Aspen-Mountain-Film-Festival

Aspen-Mountain-Film-Festival [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

When is the Aspen Festival?

August 21-25, 2019

13. Aspen Food & Wine Festival

Aspen Food & Wine Classic is a epic culinary festival which brings together celebrity chefs, winemakers and a host of enthusiastic wine & food connoisseurs (like me & you!) whom wish to get involved in a this tasty festival. 

Aspen-Food-Wine-Festival

Aspen-Food-Wine-Festival! Is a great community event!  [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

With wine tasting, cooking demonstrations and even a Q & A panel with the best chefs and wine makers from around the world you won’t be disappointed. 

When is the Aspen Festival?

JUNE 19-21, 2020

12. Sunset Skiing & Sundeck Party

Who doesn’t love some magical Sunset Skiing?? With extended ski hours you will be a fool not to take full advantage! Afterwards head to the Sundeck party hosted by Apres Ski Cocktail Classic.

Where the party will be rocking under the stars till 9pm. With food, drink, DJ’s and live music at this is a great twilight event. 

aspen mountain sundeck party m

aspen mountain sundeck party. Source: thelittlenell.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

Ski Lifts & Tickets:

The Silver Queen Gondola and Ajax Express Lift will be open for skiing and riding until 6 pm.

The festival is free for kids ages three & under as well as Aspen Snowmass season passholders.  

When is the Aspen Festival?

Friday, March 15th (3pm-9pm) For more details, call 970-429-6971

SUNDECK ATOP ASPEN MOUNTAIN

11. Aspen Music Festival & School

Aspen Music Festival & School  is ran over eight week and brings together a community of over 500 of the best music students from all over the world!

If you have an interest in classical music or even just fancy a unique cultured music festival then you should definitely attend. Expect to see everything from Opera to Orchestras! 

Aspen-Music-Festival-School

Aspen-Music-Festival-School. Source: www.aspenmusicfestival.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

When is the Aspen Festival?

June 28-August 19, 2019

10. Aspen 80’s Prom Closing Day Party 

Aspen Ski Season closing parties are world renowned! With many running back to back it’s hard to choose the perfect one to attend. The 80’s prom closing day party is perfect for those who wan’t a fun packed 80’s style festival! 

With a DJ playing classic 80’s hits and even a prom King & Queen to be crowned, this sure is a throwback special! 

Aspen-Closing-Day-Party

Aspen-Closing-Day-Party [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

When is the Aspen Festival?

Sunday, April 21 | 11am – 4pm (Sundeck)

For more details, call 970.429.6971.

9. Aspen Fourth of July Celebration

Aspen celebrates Independence Day with a unique & quaint twist. The Aspen community flocks together to honor the birthday of the United States, with a variety of quirky family fun events.

Festivities include, a colorful parade, live music, a kids bicycle rodeo and even a spectacular fireworks display over Aspen Mountain! 

Aspen-4th-July-parade

Aspen-4th-July-parade. Source: www.outtherecolorado.com Todd Powell [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

The day after, check out ACES Raptor Fair for a fascinating event on magnificent birds of prey from Golden Eagles to Red tailed hawks. 

When is the Aspen Festival?

July 4-5, 2020

8. Aspen Backcountry Marathon 

Aspen backcountry Marathon and heavy half Marathon are thrilling events, which put the brave runners bodies to the test. The mountainous terrain of Aspen, makes this event more challenging than your average marathon.

Aspen-Backcountry-Marothon

Aspen-Backcountry-Marothon [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

Believe me you will sweat just watching the grueling race! This years event (2019) was sponsored by Adidas. If you wish to take part, check out here for further info. As for prize money there is $8,000 in cash & prizes, on offer! 

When is the Aspen Festival?

August 10, 2019

7. Freestyle Friday – Aspen Highlands

Aspen Highlands is home to Freestyle Friday, a coveted event which brings the best freestyle skiers together for an elimination style competition. The thrilling tournament crowns it’s winners based upon fastest time down the slope and overall trick impression! 

Prizes range from $250 for the adults to $150 for below 16. 

Freestyle-skiing-festival-aspen

Freestyle-skiing-festival-aspen [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

When is the Aspen Festival?

Late March, date tbc. 

22nd March 2019 (previous) 

6. Mountain Harvest Festival

Mountain Harvest Festival is an annual celebration of local music, food, farms, wine and the arts. Organized by the nonprofit organization Mountain Harvest Creative.

There are two editions to the Mountain Harvest festival one in Aspen and one in the quaint town of Paonia around 2hrs drive from Aspen (following CO 133 route).

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Mountain Harvest Festival (@mtnharvestfest) on

 

I personally prefer the Paonia version as it’s larger with a craft fair and many great activities like a Epic Chili Cookoff, a grape stomping competition, and of course Farm tours. On the Saturday there is a Sundown Swing Music, Dance event. For more info see.

When is the Aspen Festival?

Sep 26-29 2019

Paonia, Colorado 81428

5. Aspen Jazz Festival

Labor Day weekend welcomes the Aspen Jazz Festival to town! This hipster style three day festival offers fantastic star studded music from a range of genres. Previous events such as in 2018 have seen big named stars from Lionel Richie to Stevie Wonder and even Sting! 

Aspen-Jazz-Festival

Aspen-Jazz-Festival. Source: msretailer.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

Fun fact: The Aspen Jazz festival even offers cool events like a “Silent Disco” 

When is the Aspen Festival?

August 30-September 1, 2019

(Sting is playing September 1st!) 😉 

4. X Games – Aspen 

X Games is an adrenaline pumping Extreme Winter Sports monster combined with a great winter music festival. Established in 1995, 500, 000 people attended it’s first event, which then just got bigger & badder! 

Hosted & broadcast by ESPN, also show on ABC network, X games is like the winter olympics on steroids! A highly recommended winter festival to check out, what other place on earth could you see “the worlds first Snowmobile front flip” and even the first ever triple corkscrew in Snowboarding!! Done by Torstein Horgmo. 

Xgames Aspen Festivals

Xgames [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

Even other extreme sports get involved with Tony Hawk revealing his newest trick the 900 and Travis Pastrana executing a double backflip in freestyle motorcross. 

When is the X Games Aspen 2020? 

January 23rd-26 2020.

Where is the X Games? 

Mount Snow, Aspen, Colorado, United States of America. 

Other editions: Include an event in Minneapolis and even a world tour which goes to Shanghai & Norway! 

3. Aspen Ideas Festival

Aspen ideas festival is a creative hub in the rocky mountains! Attracting top rated professionals, entrepreneurs and the greatest business minds. A wide variety of topics are discussed from art to foreign policy, science and of course business. 

Aspen-ideas-festival

Aspen ideas festival. Source: Politico.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

When is the Aspen Festival?

Late June 2020 (Date tbc) 

2. Elk Mountain Grand Traverse

The Ultimate endurance ski race, Elk Mountain Grand Traverse. The 40 mile routes connects Aspen to Crested Butte town on a historic 1880’s mail route.

Starting in Crested Butte at midnight, the endurance race then climbs up to a whopping  7800 feet! Since 1998 the Grand Traverse has been a challenging test of an athletes mental & physical strength. 

Elk Mountain Grand Traverse

Elk Mountain Grand Traverse- Aspen Source: www.land.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

There is also a Mountain run and Mountain bike version of the festival, ran in late summer and August. If thats not challenging enough there is even a Grand Traverse Triple Crown a competiton for the ultimate mountain athlete. 

When is the Aspen Festival?

Grand Traverse (Ski): MARCH 27 – 29, 2020

Grand traverse (Mountain Run): AUGUST 31, 2019

Grand Traverse (Mountain Bike): SEPTEMBER 1, 2019

1. Snowmass Balloon Festival

At the end of the summer festival season, Snowmass Balloon Festival is a great event 

The summer festival season closes out with the Snowmass Balloon Festival! One of the highest altitude hot air balloon festivals in the world! Over 3 days, 30 skilled pilots take to the skys in this immense display of Hot air balloon races & challenges. The best thing is the entire event is FREE & open to all ages so a great one for the family! 

Snowmass-Balloon-Festival

Snowmass-Balloon-Festival Source: www.gosnowmass.com [Best Aspen Festivals/Aspen Music Festivals/Aspen Events]

That whole weekend is action-packed Aspens Snowmass Village with the Balloon Fest in the morning, Cidermass happening in the afternoon and Septemberfest in the evening.

Cidermass: Is a tasty hard cider tasting event, featuring vendors such as Big B’s Hard Cider, Stowe Cider, Anna’s Cider, Snow Capped Cider. 

When is the Aspen Festival?

SEP. 6-8, 2019 | 6:30 AM – 12:00 PM

2909 Brush Creek Rd Snowmass Village, CO 81615

Want a Bigger Balloon Festival?

Check out this great article: 20 Golden reasons to Visit Albuquerque Balloon Festival.

For the Best Balloon Festivals from around the World check out: 

30 Most Extravagant Hot Air Balloon Festivals in the World!

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Town & Tourist

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