Another year of New West Fest (23rd to be exact) and Bohemian Nights at New West Fest has passed and with it another excellent time! With the downtown streets full of food, vendors, carnival rides and nine stages of entertainment it was another weekend jam packed with excitement! You could have started at the Creative Garden, described as a café-style oasis it took over the parking lot behind The Aggie Theater with hands on arts demos, gourmet food and specialty beer. The Garden also included many artists and hosted The Bohemian Nights Singer/Songwriter stage as well as a family friendly Performing Arts stage. From here it was just a short walk to the Dance Showcase Stage, a stage dedicated to anything dance from cultural and belly dances to jazz and hip hop this tent kept things moving all day Saturday and Sunday.
After moving your hips a little it might have been time to let the kids indulge in their very own stage, the Kid’s World Stage in Library Park. Host to a list of kid friendly activities from magic and comedy to martial arts, tumbling and weapons demos even an adult might get sucked in at this stage for a bit. If not, Library Park also offered one of the primary music stages and played host to many great bands including SHEL a group of four sisters that have already rocked SXSW in Austin this year (see video of SHEL’s 2011 Bohemian Nights set at hyphytek.net) or the Emmitt-Nershi Band a forward thinking modern blue grass band including Drew Emmitt of Left Over Salmon and Bill Nershi of The String Cheese Incident.
Once done hanging in the park one might have wondered through downtown Fort Collins enjoying the multitude of vendors that filled the streets, everything from feather earrings and extensions to massages and sunglasses. After getting your fill of Monkey balls, meat on a stick or Gyros and finding everything your heart desired it was time for more music and this time it was your turn. Just pick one of the many beautifully painted pianos hanging around Old Town and play, maybe some Chopsticks or that Elton John song that you just can’t seem to remember the name of. No matter what tune you play, nothing’s better than karaoke on the streets. But before your throat goes rasp and you lose your voice, it’s time to move on for more music and eighty Colorado bands!
Next it’s on to the Old Town Square Stage, a permanent stage nestled in the middle of Old Town Square it plays host to music year round. This year many great Fort Collins bands played the Old Town Square Stage including The Grippe, Dead Floyd, Sour boy Bitter Girl, The Nu Classics and Fierce Bad Rabbit (see an interview with Fierce Bad Rabbit and video from their 2011 Bohemian Nights set at hyphytek.net) as well as two stellar bands from Boulder, Supercollider and The Widows Bane (see an interview with Jon Gray of Supercollider and video of both Supercollider’s and The Widows Bane’s 2011 Bohemian Nights set at hyphytek.net). After enjoying the music in Old Town Square it’s time to move on to the Linden Street Stage. On your way you’ll have your choice of stopping by the beer garden or refilling your water bottle at the free refill station. With plenty of beer in the multiple beer gardens it’s always good to see plenty of water available and free! At the Linden Street Stage you’ll find some more great Colorado bands including The Motet, The Rewards, Elway, Air Dubai and The Wire Faces (see video of Air Dubai and The Wire Faces 2011 Bohemian Nights set at hyphytek.net).
By now it could be late and the headliner Tedeschi Trucks band might be found at the Mountain Avenue Stage. Or you might find one of the many Colorado bands raging from the Mountain Avenue stage like The Dovekins, The Lionel Young Band, White Water Ramble, Musketeer Gripweed, The Patti Fiasco or The Big Motif (see an interview with The Big Motif and video of both The Big Motif and The Patti Fiasco’s 2011 Bohemian Nights set at hyphytek.net). No matter which way you choose to experience Bohemian Nights and New West Fest this year, you had a great time and most likely experienced something new and worth coming back for!