PHOTOS: Chive Fest Denver gets weird, keeps it chill

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DENVER — Despite a handful of unhappy neighbors, Chive Fest Denver went off as planned at City Park on Saturday night. That plan included two stages, eight bands, some quirky games such as giant Jenga and giant Connect Four, and God’s own amount of branded merch.

What the show didn’t bring was anything for locals to complain about — or even to comment on, really. Many folks don’t seem to realize just how large City Park is. Chive Fest’s few thousand attendees virtually disappeared into the park’s southeastern corner, literally invisible from most of the surrounding streets. The music could be heard a few blocks away, of course, but let’s be clear: This was no Riot Fest in terms of traffic or noise.

What Chive Fest was, was a baby festival that wouldn’t have filled up Red Rocks Amphitheatre. That was in many ways a good thing — there was plenty of room to lounge on the grass, and despite the stereotypes about dude-bro Chivers, the crowd was largely pleasant, positive and chill. Nicer, generally, than the crowds at most festivals.

But somehow, the event seemed like a bit of a fizzle. From the odd, county fair-like booths and concessions to the schizophrenic slate of performers (political activist wordsmith Talib Kweli went on shortly before foul-mouthed L.A. rockers Steel Panther, who led into dreamy folk band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), it was never entirely clear who this festival was supposed to be for, except for people who like The Chive.

So call it a Chiver convention. Call it a solid first attempt. Call it a great day at the park. But, at least in a city that has seen the real thing, calling it a festival was a bit of a stretch.

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