Denver’s biggest independent music festival returns to South Broadway

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The 2022 Underground Music Showcase is a heartwarming reminder that life goes on, even amid the tornado of trash that has been the past few years.

And by comforting, we mean ready to test our eardrums and our endurance to live music in the most excellent way. Returning with three full days of live performances from over 150 local and national artists, the event takes over three outdoor stages and even more indoor venues in the Baker neighborhood from Friday, July 29 through Sunday, July 31.

The lineup is also more diverse than ever, featuring indie rock, folk, hip hop, pop, EDM, and other emerging and established bands from around the world. Highlights include Audrey Nuna, The Knocks, Faye Webster, The Beths, Seratones, Sudan Archives, Jawny, Bully, The Beths, Companion, Brasstracks and many more.

There are too many local acts to count, and we recommend popping in and out of whatever feels good to you, as your wristband grants you access to all locations, south-by-southwest style. Day one alone features highlights (in no particular order) such as Los Mocochetes, N3PTUNE, Izcalli, Pink Hawks, Schama Noel, Jen Korte & the Loss, Kid Astronaut, Nina de Freitas, Big Dopes, Kayla Marque, Destino , Lady Denim, Ray Reed, Wes Watkins, Don Chicharron, Fast Eddy, Tres Leches, Flaural and Hex Kitten.

Visit denverpostmusic.com for archived profiles of many artists from this year, and Colorado Public Radio’s Indie 102.3 for expert picks.

See the complete and interactive list and the schedule on undergroundmusicshowcase.com/lineup.

As a general rule, remember to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated, and be patient with venue and festival staff, as this is all more like a jog than a sprint, with around 10,000 participants over the three days. Whether you’re new to this sprawling, walkable event or a festival veteran, here’s how this year’s updated UMS works:

  • Tickets can be purchased for the entire festival or for individual days. A full weekend pass is $100 (a bargain, if you ask us), while single-day tickets are $50 for Friday and Sunday and $65 for Saturday. Children under 10 are free. Children 10 and over are full price. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times, “without exception”, organizers wrote. Many stages and venues are 21+, so call or Google ahead. Visit bit.ly/3z52yDq for tickets and more details.
  • Venues are spread along the South Broadway Corridor between Sixth and Alameda Avenues, just south of downtown Denver, where scooter and bike rentals are available. Discover the best bike rental shops on bit.ly/3OyLz2l. RTD Route 0 runs the full length; see the program on rtd-denver.com/app/route/0/schedule. There is no on-site parking.
  • The largest festival areas are between East First Avenue and West Third Avenue, where the UMS Outdoor Stage and Oasis Stage are located, and the Showcase Outdoor Stage, between Ellsworth and Bayaud Avenues. Closing of outdoor stages at 10 p.m.
  • This year’s event has a new nonprofit component and low-key bars at every outdoor stage. Denver’s music education organization, Youth on Record, now co-owns the festival, along with current owner and producer Two Parts. He instituted higher pay rates for performers and coordinated a number of kiosks offering mental health resources. His impact show, at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday July 30, takes place on the Showcase Stage. To learn more, visit bit.ly/3S6vVhn.
  • For all this, the full day-to-day schedule, and much more on your smartphone, download the UMS app for free from App Store or Google Play at undergroundmusicshowcase.com/app. And good UMS!

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