It’s the summer of shows. That’s right: We’re calling it. Despite the pandemic’s screwy ups and downs, live music will rage across the Centennial State over the next several months—and we’re here for it. Not only will there be a Red Rocks concert almost every single day until the season ends in November, but there will also be dozens of music festivals, toe-tapping tunes at countless outdoor venues, and plenty of reasons to rock out at Ball Arena. No matter your favorite musical flavor, below are 10 must-see performances this summer.

49th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival

The venue: Town Park, Telluride
Why you should get tickets: If the beauty of the San Juan Mountains isn’t enough to bring you to Telluride, this legendary bluegrass fest might draw you in. Although there’s always a hefty dose of string pickin’ and twang—the Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, Molly Tuttle, the Punch Brothers, Rising Appalachia, and Nederland-based Elephant Revival, among others, will bring the off-beat lonesome sound this year—the festival is known for its genre-defying lineup. To wit: Tenacious D is taking its hilarious brand of rock to 8,750 feet in 2022. Don’t miss NightGrass, the nocturnal addition to the festival that kicks off at 10 p.m. and requires separate concert tickets. NightGrass acts in 2022 include Greensky Bluegrass and Elephant Revival as well, among several others.
When: June 16–19

Dead & Company

The venue: Folsom Field, Boulder
Why you should get tickets: If you’re not a certified Deadhead, you might not know that Dead & Company is no tribute band: Comprised of three former Grateful Dead musicians, this jam supergroup has a cult following like no other. In 2022, the band—which was born in 2015 and includes John Mayer on guitar and vocals—will do two shows at Folsom Field. It might not be Red Rocks, but this 50,000-seat stadium nestled at the base of the Flatirons holds roughly five times the audience of the legendary Morrison venue, so your chances of snagging a ticket are much higher.
When: June 17–18, 6:30 p.m.

Country Jam Colorado 2022

The venue: Jam Ranch, Grand Junction
Why you should get tickets: It’s summertime, y’all. For a certain set of Americans, that means cold beer, pickup trucks, cowboy hats, and a good old-fashioned country song. Colorado’s Country Jam, a 30-year-old, three-day festival, has all that plus a picturesque red rock landscape. This year’s batch of 10-gallon wearers includes heavyweights like Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, and many more acts spread across three stages.
When: June 23–25

Widespread Panic

Widespread Panic at Red Rocks. Photo by Joshua Timmermans @NobleVision

The venue: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison
Why you should get tickets: Even if you’re not a patchouli-wearing, pot-smoking diehard fan, seeing Widespread Panic at Red Rocks is a Colorado bucket list item. These rockers out of Athens, Georgia, hold the record for the most concerts in the venue’s history, with 63 total appearances as of June 2021. Another three-night run in the heart of summer means you have a chance to see one of the greatest live acts of all time in one of the greatest venues for live music ever.
When: June 24–26; 7 p.m., 7 p.m., 6 p.m.

Global Dance Festival

The venue: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver
Why you should get tickets: Since the early 2000s, the Global Dance Festival has provided some of the best hip-shaking, fist-pumping, transcendent tunes for dancing in the Mile High City—and apparently the vibes are contagious. In 2017, the festival opted to move from Red Rocks Amphitheatre, its original home, to Empower Field to meet the growing demand for a full and immersive festival experience. Noteworthy acts for 2022 include wubby powerhouse Excision, bubbly deejay Blossom, and countless others. Bring your fellow tailgaters, glitter and glow sticks, and an appetite, because this fest is loaded with local food trucks as well.
When: July 15–16

Global Dance Festival at Empower Field at Mile High. Photo by Chief B

Red Hot Chili Peppers

The venue: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver
Why you should get tickets: Prepare to be Californicated: The Peppers are back. The 2012 inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will bring their particular brand of funk rock to Empower Field in late July for their first U.S. concert after a lengthy stint in the U.K., and they’re bringing some heavy hitters with them. The pop trio HAIM and funkmaster Thundercat will open the show in a fitting kickoff for a band that crosses genres on a song-to-song basis.
When: July 23, 6:30 p.m.

The Chicks, Jenny Lewis & Patty Griffin

The venue: Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison
Why you should get tickets: Nothing screams nostalgic summer more than The Chicks (née Dixie). The all-female country trio rose back into prominence in 2020 after releasing Gaslighter, the group’s first studio record since 2006, and are embarking on a massive nationwide tour, stopping at Red Rocks for some…um…wide open spaces (see what we did there?). Jenny Lewis opens on August 2 and Patty Griffin takes the concert stage to open for night two.
When: Aug. 2–3, 7:30 p.m.

The Weeknd

The venue: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver
Why you should get tickets: The After Hours Til Dawn Tour is coming to the Mile High City in support of the Weeknd’s fifth studio album, Dawn FM, released in January. The versatile Canadian singer-songwriter became a star in 2013 with his first studio album, Kiss Land. Since then, the Weeknd has released a pop-y second album, a trap-leaning third, and a new-wavey fourth. But this Starboy isn’t just a musician; he’s an advocate for racial equality and food security. Really, what’s not to like?
When: Aug. 18, 6:30 p.m.

Kendrick Lamar

The venue: Ball Arena, Denver
Why you should get tickets: The one indoor concert on this list is sure to be a banger. One of the most influential rappers of his generation, Lamar will arrive in Denver in August in celebration of his first album release since 2017. The Pulitzer Prize–winning rapper’s most recent album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, is enjoying near universal critical acclaim, and the show—opened by recent sidekick Baby Keem—is sure to pair bouncy classics like “HUMBLE” with new head-bobbers like “N-95.”
When: Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Jack Johnson & Ziggy Marley

The venue: Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater, Englewood
Why you should get tickets: This island-dwelling songwriter (and former pro surfer, born in Hawaii) has released seven solo albums, mostly full of carefree tunes about the sun, sand, and surf. He’ll be stopping in Colorado on a 30-date 2022 North American tour and bringing fellow islander Ziggy Marley along for the ride. If you can’t be on the water, this outdoor show may be your best bet for a true beach party vibe this summer.
When: Aug. 31–Sept. 1, 7 p.m.

(Read More: The Best Colorado Tribute Bands to See This Summer)