New Concert Venue Elevates Concerts and Culture in the Pikes Peak Region
COLORADO SPRINGS – Hello, Red Rocks. Greetings, Telluride. We’d like you to meet anew outdoor music venue in Colorado, one that is striving to become every bit as world-class as the state’s favorite outdoor stages. Aspen Valley Ranch, in Woodland Park, just a short drive west of Colorado Springs, boasts stunning views of the rugged north face of Pikes Peak; a covered 24’ x 32’ stage with a phenomenal sound system; and a natural, acoustically spectacular grassy meadow that can hold upwards of 4,000 people with plenty of room to dance.
Aspen Valley Ranch inaugurated its stage less than a year ago, hosting the first Mountain of the Sun Music Festival. More than 600 people attended the day-long Americana and roots music festival, most from the local community, but some traveling several hours from other Colorado towns to see event headliner Crooked Still. This year, Aspen Valley Ranch hosted an incredible festival in late July, produced by the Coalition of the Upper South Platte to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Hayman Fire and to raise funds for the Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund.
Now, the ranch bustles with preparations for the second annual Mountain of the Sun Music Festival, slated for Saturday, Sept. 8th, from 9:30am to 8:00pm. Improvements to the stage are being added; the sound system is being perfected to world-class levels; space is being cleared to accommodate plenty of vendors around the upper edge of the meadow; and volunteers are making careful plans for kids’ activities,the robust beergarden, and music workshops in a nearby yurt. This year’s festival brings even more national acts to the stage, with headliners The Greencards closing out a phenomenal day of performances by Sierra Hull & Highway 111, Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband, the Dixie Bee-Liners, Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rollers, and the Kailin Yong Peace Project.
“It’s a huge challenge. Our new venue will make tremendous impacts on the Pikes Peak region far into the future. We realize that the Ranch will become much more than a concert venue,” said Michael Hannigan, executive director of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation (PPCF), which owns and operates Aspen Valley Ranch. “We love our natural amphitheatre because it provides a perfect place to give the community a place to celebrate the good things in life: great music, incredible scenery, creative artistic and musical activities for kids and adults alike, locally-grown healthy food and locally crafted beer… the list goes on and on. What better place to share good things with our community?”
Aspen Valley Ranch also boasts a beautiful house concert space, called Raven Nest, with stellar acoustics and a seating capacity of about 90 people. The ranch hosts a monthly house concert series from May through September; remaining shows in 2012 include the Key of Joy on August 24th and Yer Mom on September 7th.
In addition, PPCF is working closely with Teller County and the City of Woodland Park to ensure that the Ranch will serve for years to come as a center for high quality music and art events, a wide range of educational classes and workshops, a field station for the art of high altitude gardening and greenhouse growing, innovative cordwood masonry buildings, forest management and fire mitigation, and other important life skills.
For more information about Aspen Valley Ranch, the Mountain of the Sun Music Festival, or the Raven Nest House Concert Series, please visit www.ppcf.org or call (719) 389-1251.