Event company, Two Parts, has purchased Denver’s Underground Music Showcase from the Denver Post after the SXSW-like festival’s director stepped down in September. With a new emphasis on food and wine, Two Parts plans to elevate the customer experience while maintaining the same craft spirit of the music festival.
“The Underground Music Showcase is and has been a discovery festival. It is primarily focused around the Denver music scene. It is an amazing music scene that we got here and it is our goal to showcase that in front of the entire world,” said Two Parts Events Manager Tobias Krause.
Since 2001, the Denver Post has curated the music festival that grew from a single day event to sprawling four day festival with 100 acts. The festival was most recently helmed by director Kendall Smith who left the Post in September to join Denverite, an online-only news startup.
The sale of the Showcase last week comes after the departure of Smith, as well as other staff shakeups at The Post which has seen its newsroom downsized by two-thirds in recent years according to Denver alt-weekly Westword.
“It is our every intention to continue build upon the foundation that was laid over the last 17 years of the festival,” Krause told Amplify.
Krause worked as a talent buyer and showcase organizer for the event last year and will take over as director of the festival.
“Two Parts as a company is a huge supporter of the craft movement in and around the Denver area. We’ve always sprinkled in a bit of entertainment here and there at just about every single event or festival that we produce,” Krause said. “Now we get to do the opposite as far as running a music festival and then getting to sprinkle in all of the other experiential pieces in the food and beverage world and the arts world, education and things of that nature to really elevate the attendees experience when they come to the UMS.”
Started in 2013, Two Parts is a boutique events company based in Denver that has produced craft beer and food events throughout the city including The Denver [Only] Beer Festivus and food truck festival Truck Stop.
“UMS is a big celebration and we want to continue providing that for the city of Denver and making all that much better for everyone who comes to it. Whether that is just someone coming to watch music, but especially the bands as well. It’s my goal to really take care of these guys and show them a good time and showcase them the best I can,” said Krause.
Krause added that Two Parts plans to keep the showcase in the South Broadway neighborhood of Denver. Pending permit approvals, they expect to house the events in roughly 15 venues in the area with a main outdoor stage for headliners. The festival has traditionally focused on indie rock, folk, and singer/songwriters with Colorado headliners like Nathaniel Rateliff, The Lumineers, and Tennis in addition to national names such as Blonde Redhead, Thee Oh Sees, and Real Estate. Last year’s festivals featured headlining performances from Benjamin Booker and Zola Jesus.
This year’s event will be held from July 26-29 with lineup announcements expected soon.
“We really want to bring the Two Parts touch to this festival,” said Krause adding “Number one for Two Parts is the customer experience. We want people leaving saying ‘That was the best event I’ve ever been to. I can’t wait to go to this thing next year.'”