High Ground Festival Takes Denver To A Higher Level

Denver’s High Ground Festival debuted on October 2nd. It blended music, nature, and local vendors and artists. The day was sunny as High Ground opened its gates at noon. Summer was certainly not ready to say goodbye. Soon after, downtown Levitt Pavilion was alive and vibrant with electrifying techno.

The festival boasted two stages. The main High Ground Stage overlooked Levitt’s massive grassy amphitheater. Several Denver-based artists including Jacklndn and Bass Physics performed there until midafternoon.

Festival Main Stage

Los Angeles DJ Pluko graced the stage. I’ve wanted to catch a Pluko show for years! Saturday’s set did not disappoint. Pluko matched infectious heavy bass with a delicate sonic texture. Hearing his hit “Breath” was a highlight of the festival. If you like ODESZA, you’ll love pluko

After, Chet Porter followed. Festivalgoers went crazy for his remixes of San Holo and Flume songs. Finally, Chet Porter performed his recent release “Life’s So Good”. The rock/EDM fusion is beautifully on-trend and frenetically unique. 

As dusk fell on Levitt Pavilion, Louis Futon took the stage. Denver’s skyline glowed behind the main stage. Louis Futon‘s set was utterly unique. His visuals were reminiscent of the 70s/80s psychedelic era. Truly iconic EDM sets always have live instrument features, and Louis Futon ‘s guests did not disappoint. Dreamy saxophone and flute complemented Futon’s electronic tunes. The refreshing harmony took High Ground’s energy to the next level.

Levitate Stage

On the other side of the park was the Levitate Stage. It showcased several Denver musicians. The smaller stage was made even more intimate by it being literally filled with trees. Setting a rave stage in a mini forest made this stretch of the park its own little world. High Ground Festival was truly a special experience. 

My favorite of the Levitate performers was LYFTD. Their show transformed the lush green stage with wild sounds and lights. The Denver duo produced unique futuristic melodies. Notes of funk, rock, and soul dotted the electronic wubs. Andrew Scully killing it on the electric guitar perfected their set. Be sure to check out LYFTD‘s latest single “Can’t Stop”.

Local Art, Food, Culture

High Ground Festival was full of local vendors. Dozens of local merchants sold fashion, CBD, food, drinks, and more. I especially appreciated the Denver Chip Co’s 5$ chip/dip deal.

High Ground Festival is now home to the Transcendome. Festivalgoers meditated and relaxed in the massive tent. Further along the park, graffiti artists spent the day tagging the festival logo onto a massive temporary wall. Several painters overlooked the main stage, creating and selling pieces for the whole day. It was a fantastic showcase of Denver culture.

The Festival Headliners

Raver favorites Kasbo and Snakehips co-headlined the night. Their two sets were colorful and energetic. 

This was Kasbo‘s first headlining festival. He delivered flawlessly! Kasbo‘s music is entrancing and minimalistic. Chelsea Cutler’s delicious vocals echoed across Denver’s downtown amphitheater. The hit song “Found You” was definitely an audience favorite.

After, Snakehips took the stage. The audience’s energy was ethereal and exciting. Snakehips is an iconic duo hailing from the UK. Their atmospheric beats were soon filling the park. The crowd went wild for their global hits “All My Friends” and “Don’t Leave.”

Til Next Year!

The High Ground Festival was an environment, unlike any festival I’ve attended. It was intimate and relaxed yet wild and energetic. Keep an eye out for next year’s experience here!

Photos by Tony Moore