If you go
What: Winter Walkabout Music Showcase
When: 2-9 p.m. Saturday; ticketed after party 9-10:30 p.m.
Where: Twelve venues around downtown Longmont
Cost: $25 general admission ticket, $50 VIP ticket with access to afterparty
Jessica Carson, the founder of Longmont rock band Clandestine Amigo, says she has seen the city's music scene come a long way since she arrived in the city in 2009.
"There were only two places that hosted live music in Longmont back then," she said. "But there were a lot of musicians and artists around, and as time went on, you could find music somewhere every night. People love their music in Longmont and especially their local bands."
Even as the city's music scene has continued to broaden and develop, it has still lacked the kind of local music festival that could be found in bigger cities like Denver and Fort Collins, where Clandestine Amigo has played in the annual FoCoMX event with hundreds of other local bands.
"I thought Longmont should totally have something like that where there's multiple shows happening in the span of a day," Carson said. "We are really set up for that, and I thought people will go."
On Feb. 2, Carson will put that theory to the test as the Winter Walkabout Music Showcase, the result of a collaboration between Carson and the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, makes its debut.
The event will feature over 30 artists playing at 12 venues scattered around downtown Longmont over the course of one Saturday afternoon. So, why winter?
"I thought it would be cool to do it in the middle of winter, when there's nothing to do and everybody's home, and then have it all be venues in walking distance so it kind of gets people out of the house when it's getting a little cabin fevery by February," she said.
Longmont's Bonnie and the Clydes will bring the country rock sound they call "Rocky Mountain Country Soul" to Dickens Opera House as the festival's headliners with an opening set from Boulder Gypsy jazz band Banshee Tree.
Longmont Downtown Development Authority said the appeal of the event is in the diversity of its offerings.
"What I am most excited about is just the variety," event coordinator Colin Argys said. "We've got the Longmont Choral and Longmont Symphony ensembles for the classical music crowd, and we've got rock bands, we've got jazz artists, blues music, singer-songwriters playing all originals and then cover bands playing classic hits."
Those artists were all selected for the festival by Carson, who curated each venue for a specific genre. Most of the artists live either in Longmont or elsewhere in Boulder County, with all coming from Colorado, Argys said.
"For this first year, to kind of start things off and maybe build it for future years, we thought it would be really cool to showcase all the local talent that we have and have that be the basis for it," he said.
Though admission is not required for every venue, the festival is currently selling $25 tickets that will provide admission to all of the venues, including Dickens and others that will require a ticket. Ticketholders will also have access to food and drink discounts and other special offers at each of the venues during the event, Argys said.
Those wanting to make the most of the experience will want to spring for the $50 VIP tickets that include admission into an artist afterparty, from 9 to 10:30 p.m., where some of the most interesting musical collaborations of the event will likely take place.
"From my past experience with musicians, if you've got an open stage set up and there's amplification, then they are going to jam together," Carson said. "It will probably be really cool people from other bands coming together and having a jam session, so if you have a VIP ticket, you'll be able to see that."