Music City, Colorado
by Tim Van Schmidt
Such sweet victory.
That’s the satisfaction I felt after seeing March 15′s front page story about the Fort Collins music scene in the Denver Post. There it was- a headline proclaiming Fort Collins “Music City, CO.”
This is something we have working on for a long time in Fort Collins. Many like-minded people here have known that music- particularly live music- is a valuable resource in Fort Collins. Back in 1993, a number of these like-minded people founded a local music festival called the Northern Colorado Musicfest and in 1997, and for several years afterwards, the festival was called the “Music City of the Rockies Festival.”
Finally, 16 years later, the Denver Post has got it right.
But the Denver Post doesn’t know any of the long history of music activism in Fort Collins- they know what’s happening now- with Spokesbuzz, FoCoMX and Bohemian Nights and much more. That’s because some pretty powerful people have stepped up and propelled the Fort Collins music scene into another higher gear.
But these people and the people before them and the people before them built a solid reputation for Fort Collins as a great music town because the town just attracts musicians like crazy and everybody else likes hearing them play.
It’s like Pat Stryker says in the Denver Post article, “music is simply everywhere” in Fort Collins. I laugh to myself that you cannot go down to Old Town Fort Collins without stepping on a musician- they seem to be under every rock around here.
In his article, writer Ricardo Baca goes so far as to say that Fort Collins has surpassed Boulder as the most significant music producing town in Colorado- outside of Denver, that is.
This comment is also sweet victory.
When I first moved to Colorado in 1980, my first job was as a clerk at Rocky Mountain Records. It was the quintessential record store job. Rockmo had several locations throughout Colorado- including Boulder- but the owner of the chain lived in Fort Collins. So, that year I worked at the record store, the Rockmo company party was held in Fort Collins. The Boulder employees in particular made it known what a chore it was to come to a “cow town” like Fort Collins.
Fort Collins doesn’t seem to be a cow town anymore.