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With the advent of legalized marijuana in Colorado, cannabis is the hot, new feature at local events, and each innovation quickly draws national attention. The next big thing is the South Park Music Festival, the first large-scale concert and camping festival of its kind, in the free-cannabis state.
Unlike the pageantry of similar big-name events like Bonnaroo and Coachella -- increasingly corporate and not without a commercial drumbeat -- organizers are pushing to make this a stripped-down, music-focused affair, albeit with cannabis on a pedestal.
“There’s something for everyone,” says David Kowalsky, CEO of Cannabis Network Radio, the concert’s sole presenter. “It’s Woodstock-esque in that we offer such diverse genres. This festival comes from a love of music.” Likewise, Slightly Stoopid, Tech N9ne, Matisyahu, The Flobots, Kottonmouth Kings and Blackalicious lead the strong and varied line-up to perform on four stages over three days. Concert officials started the weekend passes out at a generous $50, and even day of festival general admission tickets are capped at a mere $149.
But unlike any other summer event, attendees will be able to enjoy cannabis in the open, without any reservations. It will be welcomed on-site, given away, and consumed. A shuttle service will connect visitors to local dispensaries in neighboring towns (if they haven’t already filled up in Denver before hitting the road). Even out-of-state visitors may partake; the laws permit anyone over age 21 to possess, share and use cannabis, and to purchase it at approved dispensaries.
With over 200 arrests made at each of the most recent aforementioned festivals (mostly for simple cannabis possession), South Park Music Festival looks to prove music and cannabis really do go hand-in-hand... not “hand-in-cuffs”.
An “Underground Cannabis Cup” is also scheduled to allow dispensaries and growers to showcase their wares. ”This is our way of saying thanks to Colorado for leading the country with their vote to legalize,” Kowalsky says. “We’ll be in the mountains celebrating actual freedom on the fourth of July.”
For the holiday weekend, both laser show and “massive” fireworks are planned, plus an “epic” new production piece from the same special-effects crew behind Coachella’s now-infamous Tupac hologram performance. Concert-goers will camp out in the vast 3000-acre American Safari Ranch, located in Fairplay, about an hour scenic drive from Denver.
For tickets, more information and the full lineup visit southparkfest.com.