The Scene: Five Don't-Miss Cultural Events in August

July 31 2014, 9:00 AM

—Image courtesy Lovemore Photography

If your summer calendar isn't filled yet, we have five suggestions for getting your entertainment fix in August. 

1. Denver Vintage Jazz Festival
When: Now, through August 3 
Where: Mercury Cafe, the Irish Snug, and Castle Events Center at the Doubletree Inn in Northglenn
Cost: $30 (one-day pass), $109 (weekend pass)

Celebrate the jazz of the '20s, '30s, and '40s—with or without the flapper dresses and finger waves—with live performances by jazz, swing, and blues musicians including Denver's own Gypsy Swing Revue and Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles

2. Distilled: Shift
When: Friday, August 8, 5–8 p.m.
Where: Clyfford Still Museum
Cost: $10 to $20

This 21+ event combines three of our greatest loves: art, bikes, and beer. View works created by Clyfford Still during his shift from representational painting to abstract art, sip on brews from New Belgium Brewing, and check out custom two-wheelers created by Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop and Alchemy Bicycle Company. Did we mention there will be live tunes by Denver pop group Sarah & the Meanies and snacks from the Populist and City, O' City

3. ARISE Music Festival
When: Friday August 8, through Sunday, August 10
Where: Sunrise Ranch, Loveland
Cost: $79 (one-day pass), $175 (weekend pass)

Despite its name, this three-day festival (pictured) is about more than just music. ARISE—which stands for Activate/Reconnect/Interact/Synchronize/Empower—features yoga classes, organic food vendors, belly dance workshops, a mini documentary film festival, and more than 50 bluegrass and reggae bands and electronic DJs performing on four stages. Your best bet: Set up camp in Sunrise Ranch's grassy meadows and stay all three days.

4. Colorado Independent Women of Film
When: Friday, August 15, and Saturday, August 16
Where: the Bug Theatre
Cost: $10 to $15

The fourth-annual Colorado Independent Women of Film festival will make you think twice about using the term "chick flick." The two-night event includes narrative and documentary shorts, animated films, music videos, and trailers made by and starring Coloradan women. Our top picks: Mayan Renaissance, the story of Mayan activist Rigoberta Menchu Tum, and Aryl & Ybur, a six-minute dark comedy, which will both be followed by talkbacks with the filmmakers. 

5. High Plains Comedy Festival 
When: Friday, August 22, and Saturday, August 23
Where: McNichols Civic Center Building3 Kings TavernHi-Dive, Mutiny Information CafeIllegal Pete's, and TRVE Brewing
Cost: $10 to $30 (individual event pass), $100 (weekend pass)

In need of a good laugh? This comedy marathon is your answer. Work out your laughing muscles during two days of local and national comedians performing improv, stand-up, and variety shows along the South Broadway strip. Appearances by Denver comedy giants such as Adam-Cayton Holland, Chuck Roy, and Andy Juett showcase why the Mile High City is gaining national recognition for its growing comedy scene