2019 Underground Music Showcase Lineup Revealed

The 2019 Underground Music Showcase has revealed their lineup today. The festival takes place in a multitude of venues along Broadway, in Denver, Colorado. More details on specific stages and locations will be announced closer to the festival.. Supporting artists include Empress Of, Yves Tumor, DRAMA, Sophie Meiers, LEIKELI47, Y La Bamba, Gardens & Villa, William Elliott Whitmore, Miya Folick, Tessa Violet, Haviah Mighty, Liza Anne, Spooky Mansion, Greyhounds, Dressy Bessy, DBUK, SWSH, Kainalu, Jackie Mendoza, Clavvs, Rapperchicks, Rich Jones, Divino Niño, Parallelephants, Deezie Brown, Garrett T Capps and more and more than 200 acts from across Colorado. Three-day weekend tickets are now available for $50. The three-day weekend tickets include general admission access to all musical performances and all stages, all weekend long.

“UMS is a strong representation of all types of music. This year’s lineup of national and local bands was strategically designed to showcase the volume of musically talented individuals Denver has grown while also inviting some national acts to crash the party” said Tobias Krause, Event Director of Underground Music Showcase. “Denver’s music scene is growing and shaping into something special, something worth putting Denver on the map as a nationally recognized ‘music city.’ We have put our heart and soul into ensuring UMS helps grow that positive image for all Denver artists while keeping the soul of this underground music community alive.”

We are very much looking to cover the amazing lineup once again and stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the festival.

The Underground Music Showcase Shines Under New Leadership

Crowds Enjoy The Underground Music Showcase. (Photo Credit: Aly McClaran)

Another year and another Underground Music Showcase in the books. The funnest weekend of the year for us once again had us scouring the streets of South Broadway taking in some of the best national and local acts in music today. Under the new ownership of Two Parts, the festival took on its own identity while keeping the traditional elements of the long standing institution. For us it was our eighth year in a row covering this festival and quite possibly the funnest. Each year brings new memories and discoveries, this year was no different. The festival switched from a four day format to a three day format this year and added a slew of bigger stages tucked away among the gritty yet majestic Baker neighborhood. (Scroll Down For More)


Gallery by Aly McClaran (All Rights Reserved)


Los Mocochetes playing to the Sesh Stage crowd at The UMS. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

With three main stages this year attendees had more opportunities to see more than just music. A beer-centric stage that combined Two Parts's successful Sesh Festival combined with a music stage adequately named the Sesh Stage gave us an opportunity to enjoy our favorite session beers all while listening to the likes of bands such as The Velveteers, Slow Caves, and Los Mocochetes.

The Imagination Stage provided with some adequate amenities during the fest. (Photo Credit: Aly McClaran)

Another crowd favorite was the Imagination Stage tucked inside Import Mechanics. The area was a delightful oasis with an array of activities, murals, and shaded lounges to enjoy. Modular music installations as well as a record shop on wheels were amongst the favorite attractions. An El Camino with a ball pit in the the bed made for some rather interesting moments all weekend as well. 

Friday night headliners The Overcoats got things started off. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

PPL MVR (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

After dusk the streets of Broadway turned into a music lovers paradise with venues such as Three Kings Tavern, The Hornet, Illegal Pete's, Gary Lee's Motor Club and The Skylark hosted a who's who of some of the most talented bands in our city and surrounding areas. Although crowded and sometimes impossible to get into, it was the sidewalks where conversations and yearly reunions took place all while the blaring sounds reached far beyond the the clubs and into the streets.

The Denver All-Stars (Photo credit: Robert Castro)

Wes Watkins of The Other Black. (Photo Credit: Aly McClaran)

The buzz amongst festival attendees was pretty consistent as many enjoyed this year and had nothing but praise for the new direction the festival is headed into. As for us we cannot wait until next year to celebrate once again one of the best weekends our city has to offer. 

Words - Robert Castro


UMS AWARDS

1. Best Dressed Band: Tyto Alba (matching baseball tees), Wildermiss (dem gold jackets), iZCALLi (Karate Kid themed ensembles) The Corner Girls (prom dresses) Parallelephants (fringe on fleek) Yasi (denim queen) Madge (boxing outfits).

2. Best performances: Madge, Panther Martin, Nasty Nachos/Rumtum, Optycnerd, Tyto Alba, Hot 8 Brass Band, ALVVAYS, Bud Bronson & The Good Timers, Bison Bone, The Guestlist.

3. Best use of advertising: iZCALLi (wood screen printed signs, and numbered) Honorable Mention: The Trujillo Company, The Hollow (don't ask).

A pool full of teddy bears. (Photo Credit: Aly McClaran)

4. Best venue: Imagination Stage

5. Best place to grab a bite: Illegal Petes (a lifesaver every night)

6. Most common phrase: "Where are you?", "Is there a line?".


Gallery by Robert Castro (All Rights Reserved)

Q & A With The Talent Team Behind The Underground Music Showcase

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The 2018 edition of The Underground Music Showcase is mere days away and set forth to take over the streets of South Broadway once again. Under new leadership by Two Parts the festival is one of the ever-growing music events in our country. The talent team behind the event has been hard at work booking bands, creating daunting schedules and working on making it one of the most exciting years for the fest itself. Introducing new elements while maintaining the core of the music festival will be one of the highlights this year. An array of new stages are set to debut and provide for a true music festival experience. We had a chance to chat with the amazing team behind bringing and coordinating the amazing talent we will get to see. Tickets are still available and we also have a discount code for your three day pass. Use code: ULTRA5280 for $25 off a three day weekend pass.


TOBIAS KRAUSE / UMS EVENT DIRECTOR

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U5280: Who are you excited to see this year? 1 local and 1 national.

TK: National - I am over the moon excited about seeing Parallelephants and Deezie Brown. Both from Texas, they are two of the most unique acts on the bill. Locally, Motion Trap, RUMTUM, Nasty Nachos, wait... you said one? 

U5280:  Moving from a 4 day fest to a 3 day fest, did that make it easier for
booking?

TK: Not necessarily. With shortening the festival a day, we also decided to grow and expand within the three-day period. The allowed us to focus our efforts on packing in programming within those three days!

U5280: What new elements is UMS bringing this year as opposed to years past?

TK: Stay tuned... there will be a ton of new features, activations, pop-ups and more. But, we have a dream partner in Oskar Blues -- they are an ideal partner for the UMS, and have been incredibly helpful and supportive throughout this process.

U5280: Is there plans to feature music panels, guest speakers, workshops in the future?

TK: Yes. Hell yes.

U5280: In the past it seems like crowds wouldn’t venture farther north than say The Hornet, what do you haven place that will make them want to go further out this year?

TK: Multiple venues, and two outdoor stages. There’s a ton of stuff to do up North, and I encourage EVERYONE to check out what we’ve got in store. (See map layout info here)

U5280: How has the Baker community response been to this years festival and what are some of the more common issues you face with putting a festival of this nature in the neighborhood?

TK: They’ve been great, and super supportive.

U5280: With Two Parts taking over now, what does the future of The UMS look like going forward?

TK: Stay tuned...


JAMES IRVINE / HEAD TALENT BUYER / THE UMS

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U5280: Who are you excited to see this year? 1 local and 1 national.

JI: Tough call choosing one band out of this meaty lineup…but…I’m excited to see Alvvays headline our main stage on Sunday. They were the first act we confirmed this year.  Personally I’ve been following the band for a few years now.  Their trajectory is astonishing; selling out 1,000 cap rooms across the country.  I think their vibe and aesthetic fit UMS to a T.  Also, they’re Canadian.  I love hockey. 

Hands down the local band that I’m dying to see is Tarmints.  I was very excited when Kurt Ottaway reached out for a reunion performance at UMS; anything Ottaway touches is gold.  This band blew me away when they played Larimer Lounge.  I expect nothing less.  I hope I have the legs to make their performance at Hi-Dive on Sunday night.

U5280: What challenges do you face when booking the national acts?

JI: Our biggest challenge this year was simply the shortened timeline that was given to book the nationals.  Previous years we start the booking process in October/November, but with the transition over to Two Parts, we had only 3 months to pull it off.  Even with those time constraints, we all feel extremely proud with the work we have done.

Another challenge worth pointing out is we are throwing a summer festival not on a coast.  99% of bands/agents aren’t routing thru Denver in July. They typically hold off on summer touring, to focus on soft ticketed and/or festival plays. Meaning we are booking one-offs, which can really raise the price tag to make it worth their while. However, bands/agents WANT to play the festival, so that can also even things out.  Denver in late July is an attractive destination for a band. 

U5280: What new elements is UMS bringing this year as opposed to years past?

JI: Two Parts added three additional stages this year, “Imagination Stage”, “Sesh Stage” and, “Comedy Stage”.  These stages are loaded with both national and local talent including White Denim, Night Beats, Kadhja Bonet, Holy Wave, Brothertiger, Slow Caves, Casey James Prestwood & the Burning Angels, Duckwrth, Oka Tygra , The Builders and the Butchers and many more.  I’m excited to see the footprint of this festival grow, and see how it’s received.  

U5280: In the past  it seems like crowds wouldn’t venture farther north than say The Hornet, what do you have in place that will make them want to go further out this year?

JI: See question #6. 

U5280: With Two Parts taking over now, what does the future of The UMS look like going forward?

JI: Very, very bright.  The entire Two Parts team is dedicated, ambitious, incredibly intuitive, and responsible.  It’s been a pleasure working with them this year.  I truly see this becoming a national destination festival on a larger level very soon.  If we keep doing things the correct way, the press will catch up.  UMS is unique; I don’t know of any other festivals that combine a hard ticketed main stage, with a street fest.  I see it as a mashup of Northside Festival or CMJ (RIP), and a traditional fest such as Hopscotch or Osheaga.  It’s really ‘the best weekend of the year’.  I’m honored to be part of it. 


KENZI EVERITT / TALENT BUYER / THE UMS

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U5280: Who are you excited to see this year? 1 local and 1 national.

KE: Locally, I can’t wait for Wheelchair Sports Camp. It’s their first time playing the festival in quite a few years, and they are such a Denver staple. Rapping over electronic beats, a trumpet run through countless FX pedals, and live drums makes for an incredible show. Catch them playing at 12am on Saturday night (technically Sunday) at Gary Lee’s!

Nationally, PPL MVR is going to be wild. If you’ve ever wanted to see three people in the Denver heat wearing yeti suits, shredding, and head banging, then you’ll want to be at the Main Stage at 4:20pm (yes) on Sunday. 

U5280: What challenges do you face when booking the national acts?

KE: We work to provide them with some extra resources especially since this isn’t a typical show on a tour – What does lodging look like? How can we get them a burrito at Illegal Pete’s? How can we help with backlining gear so they don’t have to lug everything they have with them to the venue? And what can we do to make this experience special so they come back to Denver? 

U5280: What challenges do you face when booking the local acts?

KE: There are SO MANY incredible bands in this state. I am always blown away by how much talent there is, and how many bands/musicians I discover on a consistent basis. I wish we could put everyone into UMS, but I think it would literally be two weeks long. On that note, scheduling is a whole beast because of how active all these musicians are. I’m calling you out, Carl Sorenson. We have a whole google doc just with bands Carl is in. 

U5280: How many bands are playing this year?

KE: Somewhere between 300 – 350 bands/artists. We’ve still got some surprises coming your way!

U5280: Is there plans to feature music panels, guest speakers, workshops in the future?

KE: The intersection of music with other art forms is always incredible, and it’s going to be a focus this year. Stay tuned for more schedule details!

U5280: How has the Baker community response been to this year’s festival and what are some of the more common issues you face with putting a festival of this nature in the neighborhood?

KE: One of the main goals of UMS across all parties that have directed it has been to work with the neighborhood. We couldn’t do this without the support of the Baker neighborhood, and I think everyone involved has worked hard to make it something that is kind and welcoming to its neighbors through everything from neighborhood discounted tickets to cleanup crews leaving the grounds better than we found them. 

U5280: With Two Parts taking over now, what does the future of The UMS look like going forward?

KE: UMS has always been such a unique opportunity for music discovery, and I think Two Parts has fully embraced that idea while adding in food, beer and spirits, even more visual arts, comedy, with even more to come. The festival feels like it has an incredible energy backing it up, and the future looks pretty swell. 


KYLE HARTMAN / TALENT BUYER / THE UMS

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U5280: Who are you excited to see this year? 1 local and 1 national.

KH: Local- The House of Aura. Losing Trish Keenan was a huge loss for music culture, and the shadow of Broadcast still looms large over modern indie rock. Everyone from Melody’s Echo Chamber to Toro Y Moi was influenced by her. Deerhunter’s own Bradford Cox (headlining this year’s UMS) considered her his mentor. On a personal level, I’m constantly looking for artists who capture her spirit and continue building on the path she started. After hearing The House of Aura’s debut album that’s due in the fall, I think I’ve found an artist who is interested in going deeper into some of the realms she visited. The new project from wunderkinds Derrick Bozich (Sound of Ceres), Anna Smith, and Julia Mendiolea is an ethereal beam of light straight to the brain that will send you floating off into a crystalline dream. Do not miss their debut performance at UMS. 

National- Kainalu. Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, is the recording project of Trent Prall, a former research geneticist who started Kainalu as a way to regain control of his own identity. His unique blend of tropidelic space funk crafted around masterful songwriting makes the pleasure center in your brain explode and creates a headrush that captures what it might feel like to walk into the ocean and suddenly find yourself not in the water, but flying through space. He’s assembled a four piece act to bring these songs to life on stage and the results are spellbinding. His first ever performance in Colorado is going to be something you won’t be able to get out of your head. 

U5280: What challenges do you face when booking the national acts?

KH: Booking national acts usually adds some additional hurdles as you have to figure out a lot of logistics that are not as big of a deal with local acts. For example, transporting tons of gear across the country can be tricky and requires working with our production team to figure out what gear we can provide to make it easier for artists everywhere to come out for the festival.

U5280: What challenges do you face when booking the local acts?

KH: Always and forever scheduling. We are so lucky to have an abundance of talented musicians in our Colorado community. The biggest double-edged sword is that many of them play in multiple bands. When we are scheduling performances we always have to take this into account. We want to ensure that musicians in multiple acts have enough buffer in between sets to relax and not have to worry about rushing their gear from one venue to the next. 

U5280: How many bands are playing this year?

KH: The number is in flux as we are still adding a few more acts, but we’ll have around 330+ artists this year. 

U5280: In the past it seems like crowds wouldn’t venture farther north than say The Hornet, what do you haven place that will make them want to go further out this year?

KH: This year we have two additional outdoor stages, the Imagination Stage on 2nd ave at Import Warehouse, and the Sesh Stage on 4th ave at Fentress Architects. This is going to create a very cohesive festival footprint for UMS this year. On every block from Alameda to 6th there will be something exciting happening. People are going to want to check out the beer festival happening inside the Sesh Stage, while others will be entranced by the art installations that will be springing up all around the Imagination Stage. Around the Sesh stage we have Moe’s BBQ, Banded Oak Brewing, and Baere Brewing, all fantastic venues that are going to see a lot more foot traffic

U5280: With Two Parts taking over now, what does the future of The UMS look like going forward? 

KH: It looks unbelievably bright, Two Parts creates experiences that are so intertwined with the identity Colorado is cultivating. UMS has always been a celebration of Colorado’s music and a DIY festival created by fans and artists who are truly passionate about music. These guys are master craftsmen at making DIY style events with character and that fill you with a sense of discovery. This was such a perfect fit for what UMS is about.  They can make people say, “I’ve never seen this before and it’s wonderful.” With Two Parts helming UMS, the possibilities are limitless. 

Robert Castro / Editor in Chief

Our 2017 UMS Highlights

Friday at Dirty Few. Photo by Alyson McClaran.

When the last weekend of July rolls around, restaurants start rearranging their tables, bars gleefully claim the phrase “You A Mess” and local music fans start loading up on the PBR. This is a familiar sight for those along South Broadway--when the Underground Music Showcase hits town, there is no holding back. Ultra5280 was able to attend the most recent rendition of the festival, taking place along along South Broadway and now, in the Kmart parking lot. July 28-31 was truly a whirlwind, but don’t worry--we’ve got the recap for you. 

DOWN TIME

Since Ultra5280 featured Down Time in one of our UMS spotlights, it was a no-brainer that we had to catch this crew, and we are sure glad we did. Alyssa Maunders has the perfect amount of sweet and sour, puncturing sugary vocals by fondly telling members of the crowd to shut up between songs. We’re looking to see more sets from this Denver band soon.

Best moment: Davey shredding those drums, oh boy.

SLOW CAVES

We are no strangers to Slow Caves here at Ultra5280--but that’s because no matter how often we see them, they kill it, every damn time. There is no other band that can compare to the energy of these four guys--singer, Jakob Mueller, is one of the most enigmatic performers coming out of Denver. It could be a Sunday at 11 AM at a nursing home, and they could still get the crowd going.

Best moment: Seeing so many other local bands come to this set. Who doesn’t love Slow Caves?

LORETTA KILL

Loretta Kill was an incredible stand out from the weekend--the band is comprised of three teenage boys who, despite their age, know how to captivate an audience, These boys are ones to watch--they’re only going to get better, and they’re already at a fantastic place to start. Loretta Kill had a strong showing at this year’s festival, but we know we’re going to be seeing them pop up everywhere now.

Best moment: A long-haired guy in the audience dancing the entire time and going...Nuts. Seriously, the entire time.

Photo by Kelly O'Keefe.

Bud Bronson & The Good Timers

Not only are these guys a freaking delight off stage, their live sets are always not one to miss! The college, garage band rock vibe has us reminiscing our days of beer bong tourneys and passing out with our shoes on. Right away we were hit with the classic "Good Timers Theme" that got everyone fired up. Bassist Luke and lead guitar/lead singer Brian are always sure to go at it duel style with their guitars. They finished their set Friday at The Three Kings with their own rendition of "Teenage Wasteland." Everyone sang along as UMS is our adult wasteland. Well done guys. 

Best moment: The whole damn set was the best moment, grow up!

The most photogenic! Photo by Robert Castro.

Sur Ellz

It's hard to determine if Sur Ellz stole the entire UMS festival with his set on Friday night at Hi-Dive. We're saying, fuck yes. Usually we see Sur Ellz on stage solo with his experimental vibe. Friday night he had the homies from Air Dubai backing him. It allowed Khalil to be more animated, it really felt like a production and we lived for it!

Best moment: His Chester Bennington/Lincoln Park tribute. 

Darling Esme. Photo by Alyson McClaran.

ESME PATTERSON

If you missed this set by hometown hero, Esme Patterson, then you are out of luck. Donning a bright pink wig and a vibrant, sequined dress, Patterson is an equally vibrant performer.  This singer-songwriter that Denver can certainly be proud of. She ended her set with a touching tribute to her friend, Tyler Despres, who passed away last year. Inviting Jessica DeNicola and Maria Kohler on stage, the group sang “Beautiful Beam,” a song originally written by Tyler. 

Best moment: Esme ripping off her wig in the most dramatic fashion to reveal those iconic short locks.

 

UMS just keeps getting better and better. Despite the longer walk to the mainstage at Kmart this year, the new location allowed for more booths and moving room. There was also a shuttle offered (courtesy of Meow Wolf,) though this writer did not take advantage of this. Dozens of local favorites, as well as national acts such as Benjamin Booker, led the bill--to put it easily, it’s like Christmas in July, and us locals got a lot of presents this year. We already know that next year will somehow be even better.

Check out more of our favorite UMS photos from Ultra5280 staff Alyson McClaran and Editor in Chief Robert Castro!

 

Final Wave Of The Denver Underground Music Showcase Announced With Schedules

Like the finishing touches on a well smoked brisket, The UMS has released their final wave of acts to perform at this years showcase. Latino rockers and Ultra5280 favorites iZCALLi round out the list with many more. The festival is a mere weeks away and if you haven't purchased tickets you probably want to pretty soon.

This years festival boasts headliners such as Benjamin Booker, Aldous Harding, Zola Jesus and Red Fang. Expect some of the best local bands/musicians in Denver to participate such as CRLCRRLL, The Still Tide, Edison, Dragondeer, Slow Caves, and The Velveteers to pack the streets of South Broadway. Stay tuned to see who we name as our "Must See" acts of the 2017 edition of this amazing festival. Check out the schedules below!

Schedules:

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday