NedFest is a bakcyard keg party gone wild
BY Brian F. Johnson
August 26 – 28
Barker Reservoir, Nederland, Colo.
NedFest is a testament that a labor of love can be a successful endeavor, if you just stick with it. For 13 years, the festival has made it through all of the hiccups a festival could have, from bad weather to typical political battles that arise in small, opinionated towns.
But what makes NedFest continue to survive and thrive is the fact that each August the festival gives its family a reason to celebrate. NedFest truly is a family event, with many of the same bands returning each year. But that’s not to be confused with a stale lineup, it’s simply continuing on the original formula that made it work in the first place — the area’s top bands, mixed with a couple of national headliners, on the banks of the reservoir in Nederland. Festival director “Michigan” Mike Torpie has said that the event started as a backyard keg party, and to this day, that’s pretty much what it still is, just with a much larger, and much more accomodating back yard.
You’re going there to see: David Grisman Sextet and Steve Kimock & Friends, featuring the Grateful Dead’s Bill Kretuzmann, George Porter, Jr. and Kyle Hollingsworth.
You’re going to come home talking about: The surprise headliner, and Denver’s soulful roadhouse blues, rock, funk collection the Fox Street Allstars.
(As calculated by maps.google.com from
Denver, Colo. to Nederland, Colo.)
Total Est. Time: 1 hour, 7 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 48 miles
YOU NEED TO KNOW: NedFest can sometimes overwhelm the little mountain town. Simply put, parking can be a bitch. But NedFest has something few festivals can offer — RTD bus service. Those who are wise will park in Boulder and take a short, and very cheap bus ride right into downtown Nederland. For less money than you pay to park at regular concerts, you can park and be chauferred to your destination. Barring that, though, sticking your thumb out at the bottom of the canyon usually works just as easily.
Camping: Not on-site, but family camping is available in Chipeta Park and several other off-site locations, many of which are free.