Let’s face it, the music scene here in Boulder is, well, lacking. Okay even that is being a too nice. The music scene here sucks. There is no community for bands and artists, and even if there was a small, supportive one, there are no venues to accommodate local bands.
When I think of venues in Boulder, I think of the Fox Theatre, Boulder Theater, Club 156 and maybe the Brick House at Lazy Dog. Both the Fox and Boulder theaters are too big for most local artists and likely too expensive to them as well. I have never been to Club 156, and the few times I have been to the Brick House, I was not impressed with their staff and the sound. The Fox Theatre had been booking the same bands since I interned there back in 2004 and does not seem to want to change or expand the genre of bands they attract. Boulder Theater books similar artists to the Fox, although they do occasionally book a wider genre, but usually just when it comes to national acts, not local.
So where do local bands go to perform? Seems like most of them opt to travel for shows, going to Denver, Fort Collins or farther. Why doesn’t Boulder have a local music scene? Can Boulder support a local music scene? The community is very good about assisting the growth of startups, but are we so ingrained and involved in the tech scene that we cannot support another local culture?
I asked this question to Ef earlier and at first he responded “Maybe it’s because music doesn’t make much money anymore. Less of a drive to feature new artists.”
I do not believe that is the case as Fort Collins has done a great job of cultivating and growing its local music scene with the assistance of the Bohemian Foundation, the Fort Collins Musicians Association and events like Bohemian Nights at New West Fest and FoCoMX.
Are we pushing artists in Boulder to places like Fort Collins where there is a community that is growing and supportive? Or are we just pushing the bands that call Boulder home to Denver for performances? I honestly wish I knew the answer, but I also wish that every time I wanted to go see a local band play, I didn’t have to travel so far to make that happen.