Acclaimed indie acts Audrey Nuna, The Knocks, Faye Webster, Jawny, Sudan Archives, The Beths, Kooze, Brasstracks and at least 100 more will play the 22nd Underground Music Showcase, organizers announced this week.
The July 29-31 festival returns to multiple venues along the South Broadway corridor near downtown, in the historic Baker neighborhood, with prominent national and local punk, indie, hip hop, folk, electronic and R&B acts. Founded in 2001 by Denver Post music writers John Moore and Ricardo Baca, it’s grown from a single-day, single-venue event into the largest indie-music fest in the region.
A newly diverse list of Colorado-based artists playing this years’ event includes The Still Tide, N3PTUNE, Holdfast., Companion, The Milk Blossoms, Big Dopes, Joseph Lamar, Los Mocochetes, Pink Hawks, Flaural, Rarebyrd$, Schama Noel and Wes Watkins. The event will feature more than 150 acts total.
The festival will this year also include a renewed emphasis on younger, all-ages and sober artists and fans thanks to its new ownership stake by Youth on the Record, the longtime Denver music organization teaching music to underserved youth communities in the metro area, and its partnership with existing owners Two Parts.
The social justice-based Youth on Record has long been a UMS beneficiary — and a contributor to its lineup of local and national indie artists — and helped make the event more equitable and diverse. Two Parts bought The UMS from the Denver Post Community Foundation in 2018 for an undisclosed sum. The money for Youth on Record’s stake is being taken out of a $1 million, unrestricted gift from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and husband Dan Jewett in June, Denverite’s Kyle Harris reported in March.
The idea came into focus when Duffy met with Casey Berry, the founder of Two Parts, last year. They quickly bonded over “the challenges of leading forward-looking organizations during the pandemic, a time of uncertainty for both the nonprofit and music industries,” Duffy said in a press statement.
Festival passes for The UMS are $100, with single-day and individual tickets available at a later date. Visit theums.com for more and see the full lineup below, and stayed tuned for the full list of venues and an hour-to-hour schedule.