Grandoozy might be the new festival on the block, but the brainstorming duo behind it — the co-creators of massive fests Bonnaroo and Outside Lands — are old pros. Setting Grandoozy in sunny Denver means stretching summer out just a bit longer and their experience booking big bills at other heavy hitter festivals means strong instincts for acts that will blow attendees away. Their inaugural lineup, for instance, includes Kendrick Lamar, Florence + the Machine, Sturgill Simpson and even the legendary Stevie Wonder.
Overland Park, Denver, Colo.
WHERE TO STAY
There are plenty of chain lodging options near Overland Park, but if you want to splurge just a little, you get a lot more for your money. Appointed with modern furnishings, the HALCYON is a calm retreat after the chaos of a music festival. Taking its cues from the nearby Denver Art Museum and Colorado History Center, the ART hotel has a cosmopolitan vibe. Or find a crash pad through a home rental site. Local residents are notoriously cool.
It’s Grandoozy’s first year, so there’s no “in crowd” yet. Denver is a city of laid-back outdoorsy types, so if the locals are curious about Grandoozy it will encourage a very chill vibe. Expect the co-creators to bring a bunch of summer festival-savvy friends with them, too.
CLAIM TO FESTIVAL FAME
That’s up to you! This is Grandoozy’s first year. You create its legacy.
SKIP IF …
You prefer the familiar. Grandoozy is the brainchild of two event producers with tons of experience, so you can bet they’ve considered every possible summer festival scenario, good and bad. But still, this festival is brand new.
“Paramedic,” Kendrick Lamar ft. SOBxRBE
“Big God,” Florence + the Machine
“Boogie on Reggae Woman,” Stevie Wonder
“Fior de Latte,” Phoenix
“Something New,” Ty Dolla Sign and Wiz Khalifa
WHAT TO WEAR
Because of its low-key location, Grandoozy will probably attract the type of hippie chicks who invented the summer festival outfit — crop top and sweeping floor-length skirt — as well as hiking shoes and cargo shorts. Feel free to don your Coachella best, or just stay comfy.
Quench your thirst with a Lemon Doozy (Deep Eddy Original Vodka with fresh lemonade) or come to the Deep Eddy Backyard and enjoy a variety of delicious hand crafted Vodka cocktails while you nosh on a paper sack full of crisp, freshly fried Rocky Mountain Oysters with a side of spicy cocktail sauce. Wait till you finish, then ask a local what exactly you just ate.
Kendrick Lamar has become not only the king of rap, but with features for everybody from Taylor Swift to Imagine Dragons, the king of music, period. Don’t miss a chance to say you saw him when he left his heart on the stage. Stevie Wonder is one of our living legends. Enough said. As for other must-sees, De La Soul will put on a fun and lively set that’ll leave you dancing, Snow tha Product will rap so fast your head will spin and St. Vincent will rock your face off.
TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME
The Mile High City is ripe for exploration even if you aren’t into hiking and biking. Wander the Denver Art Museum’s collections and gawk at Vincent Van Goghs and Winslow Homers. Take the kids to the Denver Zoo or a baseball game. One must-do for anybody visiting? Catch a sunset or sunrise at the Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, which is worth way more than the price of admission — free.
GRANDOOZY IS FOR YOU IF …
You love adventure. With miles of mountains to trek and Grandoozy, a brand-new festival to break in, you’ll find plenty of thrills both indoors and out. Grandoozy is the baby of this bunch of summer festivals but having co-creators from Bonnaroo and Outside Lands means it couldn’t be in better hands. The guys have made sure the lineup will please as many attendees as possible, and Denver’s plethora of activities will keep you happy when you aren’t onsite. Take a chance on the newbie, and chances are you’ll be an icon in 15 years when you say you were at the first Grandoozy.