Northern Colorado’s Live Music Hot Spots

September 25, 2020

One of the most enticing aspects of living in Northern Colorado is its thriving music scene. As a hub for the musical arts, there are endless ways to get your groove on. Whether you’re searching for a music venue, concert series or music festival, Northern Colorado’s live music hot spots have you covered. 

Live Music Venues 

In the mood for a melody while you enjoy a bite or beverage? Then check out one of Northern Colorado’s live music venues. Each offers an inviting ambiance and incredibly talented musicians. 

Paddler’s Pub, Fort Collins 

Paddler’s Pub is the perfect place to enjoy a Rocky Mountain sunset while listening to live music. Open at 2:00 pm from May through the end of rafting season, the pub is a family-friendly establishment with a myriad of games, local brews and delectable dishes. 

In addition to its enticing everyday offerings, the pub also features an awesome end-of-season party to bid farewell to summer. Count us in! 

Washington’s, Fort Collins 

Located in Old Town Fort Collins, Washington’s is a 900-person venue offering general admission tickets to a plethora of contemporary music acts. Its state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems coupled with an intimate setting and tiered balconies ensure every guest has an incredible experience. 

Plus, its prime location and rich history make it a great spot for a night out on the town! 

The Armory, Fort Collins 

The Armory offers patrons an intimate setting to enjoy acoustic acts that pair nationally known artists with local talent. The listening room seats 225 and features outstanding acoustics and impressive lighting. 

All of that adds up to memorable performances and a place where talented artists can be discovered. 

The Music District, Fort Collins 

As a gathering place and creative playground for musicians, The Music District is a hub for musical happenings. It offers local talent a place to practice, collaborate and create in a warm, inviting atmosphere. 

In addition to serving musicians of every genre and skill level, The Music District also hosts a number of community events that bring live music to the masses. 

The Elizabeth Hotel, Fort Collins 

The Elizabeth Hotel has tons of music amenities for artists and music lovers alike. If you’re interested in hearing live music over a cocktail, then check out The Magic Rat. Open Tuesday through Saturday, this eclectically refined venue showcases up-and-comers and well-known acts to dazzle your eardrums. 

Prefer a swanky feel with stunning vistas? Then, head over to the Sunset Lounge Wednesday through Saturday for live jazz music with panoramic views of Old Town Fort Collins. 

Are you a budding artist with a room key? You’ll love their Instrument Lending Library located in the hotel lobby. From banjos to mandolins, you’re sure to find an instrument to complement your unique sound. 

Rialto Theatre, Loveland 

Opening as a silent movie theater over a century ago, the Rialto Theater is now a premier Northern Colorado live music venue. The Rialto also boasts a variety of of theater, film and community events that bring art lovers together. 

In keeping with tradition, the 446-seat theater also features monthly independent films and twice-yearly silent films with musical accompaniment. These kinds of unique experiences set the Rialto Theatre apart and create lasting memories for its patrons. 

Foote Lagoon Amphitheater, Loveland 

With cement stairstep seating for up to 300 people, the Foote Lagoon Amphitheater is an unbelievable outdoor venue for concerts, shows and weddings. The captivating location features beautiful landscaping, walking paths, sculptures and mature trees for shade on sunny days. 

It’s also the location for the Rialto Summer Concerts (but more on that in a bit!) 

Swing Station, Laporte 

Located just off the Poudre Bike Trail, Swing Station is a local pub and concert venue with both indoor and outdoor stages. You can purchase show tickets with cash one hour prior to the performance. Then while you wait for the show to start, enjoy one of Swing Station’s many games or just kick back with a beverage. 

Love channeling your inner rock star? Then check out open mic night every Wednesday for the chance to stretch your vocal cords. 

Plus, you can enjoy $1 off all draft beers when you ride your bike there. Just one more perk to enjoying Northern Colorado’s great outdoors! 

Concert Series 

Nothing says summer like an outdoor concert. So, why not enjoy some live music at one of Northern Colorado’s many concert series? 

Downtown Summer Sessions 

Craft beer and concerts? Yes, please! The Downtown Summer Sessions pair two of Northern Colorado’s best attributes – local craft beer and gifted musicians. 

Located in Old Town Square Fort Collins every Friday night during the summer, the Downtown Summer Sessions feature small to medium-sized local talent along with beer from Odell Brewing and High Country Beverage. Shows are free to the public and appropriate for all ages. 

Bohemian Nights Thursday Night Live 

The Bohemian Nights concert series is held in Old Town Square Fort Collins every Thursday night in the summer. The events showcase both established and emerging Colorado bands in an electric atmosphere that’s fun for the whole family. 

With a focus on sharing live music with the Northern Colorado community, Bohemian Nights is a perfect backdrop for a Fort Collins date night! 

Lagoon Summer Concert Series 

Every Wednesday night throughout the summer, Colorado State University hosts the free Lagoon Summer Concert Series. Here, Northern Colorado music lovers can enjoy different musical genres in an inviting outdoor atmosphere. Plus, local food trucks are brought in to provide delectable eats and sumptuous treats. 

So grab your lawn chairs and head down to CSU for one of the seven shows! 

Noontime Notes 

Not a night owl? No problem! The Noontime Notes series has you covered with great musical performances over the lunch hour. Held in Oak Street Plaza every Tuesday in June and July, shows are free to the public and wonderful for all ages. 

So grab your PB&J and jam out over your lunch break! 

Rialto Summer Concerts 

Located at the Foote Lagoon every Thursday evening, the Rialto Summer Concerts feature fantastic music, family-friendly activities and tasty food trucks. Free and fun for all ages, get there early to claim your spot with a blanket or lawn chair! 

Music Festivals 

Looking for live music with a side of celebration? Then check out one of Northern Colorado’s music festivals! Each offers tantalizing melodies with a little something extra. 


The Fort Collins Music eXperiment (or FoCoMX) features over 300 musicians at over 30 venues for a weekend celebrating Northern Colorado’s music scene. Founded in 2008, it has grown to receive national recognition and the unofficial title of “The Biggest Little Festival in America.” 

Want to get involved? The volunteer-run festival is always looking for people to help (and anyone who volunteers for at least four hours receives free admission for the whole weekend!) 

Bohemian Nights New West Fest 

Bohemian Nights New West Fest is a free family-friendly musical event that spans three days in August every summer. Held in Old Town Fort Collins, the extensive line-up features many Colorado artists in addition to renowned headliners to dazzle the crowd. 

Feel free to bring the kiddos! The festival features a Kids’ Music Adventure where children can play different instruments, make their own instruments and participate in a variety of music workshops. 

Taste of Fort Collins 

The Taste of Fort Collins is a three-day musical event that’s a treat for the senses. Not only does the festival feature local and nationally prominent musical artists, but also an array of food vendors, artisans and crafters. Plus, the event even includes kid-friendly activities including a human gyroscope ball, trackless train and 3-piece obstacle course inside the Kid Zone. 

Located in Washington Park in Old Town Fort Collins, the Taste of Fort Collins benefits the Eyeopeners Kiwanis Club of Fort Collins Foundation and all the good work the nonprofit does for our Northern Colorado community. 

Northern Colorado’s live music scene truly has something for everyone. So, whether you enjoy casual background music or immersive concert experiences, you’re sure to find it here! 


Learn more about why the lively music, arts and culture scene make Northern Colorado one of the best places to live. 

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