GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. CLICK HERE TO TURN ON NOTIFICATIONS.

X

Rhythm on the River drops stage tent, raises fence for ‘music festival feel’

Festival-goers can roam grounds with beer in hand and rock out under the sky

Rhythm on the River, pictured in 2017, brings a new year of food, music and fun this weekend to Roger’s Grove in Longmont.
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

When the members of Longmont pop-rock band One Flew West were high school students playing shows at the city’s library, and anywhere else that would have them, there was one gig they always had their eyes on.

“Growing up, we saw the Rhythm on the River festival happening every single year and when we were in high school we would try to play it,” said Jonah Bartels, a vocalist and drummer in the band. “But we never got taken for it, so we stopped even thinking about it at all.”

Longmont-born pop-punk band One Flew West will perform at Rhythm on the River Friday. (Courtesy of One Flew West)

The tables turned earlier this year when the festival’s organizers contacted One Flew West, which is recently coming off a swing through several states in the Midwest, and invited them to take to the festival stage.

Bartels and the band, now based in Denver, promises festival attendees a high-energy show — even if he isn’t always sure how to describe the band’s sound.

“I guess the best way to describe it would be pop rock with a bunch of different influences on top of it,” he said. “But then there’s some punk or some folk or some greater rock, all kinds of stuff like that going into it.”

One Flew West’s unique take on pop rock garnered the band a crowd favorite award at KTCL Channel 93.3’s Hometown for the Holidays in 2018. After performing last year at the final Vans Warped Tour and sharing a stage with some of music’s biggest names, this weekend the band joins other local bands — like Tenth Mountain Division, Taylor Shae, Clandestine Amigo and more — as it helps kick off the two decade-plus old Rhythm on the River. One Flew West performs at 5:30 p.m. Friday on the Sunset Stage.

New this year at Rhythm on the River is organizers’ decision to free the festival’s main music stage from the enclosed tent that it sat under in years past, so revelers can rock out under the blue (or night) skies.

“It’s going to give it a traditional music festival feel, which I think people are going to be really excited about,” said Sam Calhoon, recreation manager for the City of Longmont.

Dreyson Blase, 6, tries to climb the Jacobs Ladder while his brother Jaxson, 8, at left, waits his turn at Rhythm on the River in 2017. (Jeremy Papasso/Boulder Daily Camera)

Also new will be a fence that will enclose the entire festival grounds. This decision will allow attendees to walk freely through the entire festival with beer and liquor in hand for the first time in the festival’s history. Another new addition will be a Nina Warrior wall that will allow both kids and adults to compete on a course packed with challenging obstacles, similar to the courses seen on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” TV show.

Of course, much of the appeal of Rhythm on the River is not what is new, but rather the established traditions that attendees look forward to year after year. Those include activities like a climbing wall, kayak tank and the ever-popular human gyroscope (a ride that flips participants around in different directions), and, of course, the two music stages that are the festival’s focus.

Calhoon said this year’s lineup consists of 12 bands that “play everything from country and Americana to alternative” and has “something for everybody as a result.”

However, she said she is particularly excited about Denver country singer Buckstein’s headlining set on the Grove Stage at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, as well as the return of Taylor Shae, a Longmont-raised musician who belts out a bluesy style of Americana. Shae will take the festival’s Grove Stage at 5 p.m. Friday.

Of course, any self-respecting summertime festival also offers plenty of good eats and drinks. This year’s Rhythm on the River promises to be no exception with such food vendors as Fuzzy’s Tacos, Cowabunga Creamery and Passport Food Truck which are scheduled to be serving up fare.

There will also be several Longmont breweries, including Pumphouse Brewery and 300 Suns Brewing, on tap at the festival along with Longmont’s Dry Land Distillers, which will be mixing up a variety of liquor drinks at their first year at the festival.

Saturday night will also feature one of the area’s best opportunities to glow and sweat at the same time, the Roger’s River 5K run.

“There are a lot of runs, but this one is super fun because there is a glow paint station,” Calhoon said. “So before the start, people can get their glow paint on and then they finish right into the festival, which is pretty cool.”


If You Go

What: Rhythm on the River

When: 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: Roger’s Grove Park, 220 Hover Road, Longmont

Cost: Free

More Info: longmontcolorado.gov/departments/departments-n-z/recreation-services/rhythm-on-the-river


Music lineup Friday

Sunset Stage

Redamancy Band 5 p.m.

Card Catalog 7 p.m.

Tenth Mountain Division 8:30 p.m.

Grove Stage

Taylor Shae 5 p.m.

Stillhouse Junkies 6:30 p.m.

The Burroughs 8:30 p.m.

Music lineup Saturday

Sunset Stage

One Flew West 5:30 p.m.

Edwards and Company 7 p.m.

Write Minded 8:30 p.m.

Grove Stage

Clandestine Amigo 5 p.m.

The River Arkansas 6:30 p.m.

Buckstein 8:30 p.m.

blog comments powered by Disqus