Mile High Music Festival canceled for 2011 - Reverb

News: No Mile High Music Festival in 2011

The Mile High Music Festival will not bring the rock this summer.

The annual event will take a hiatus in 2011, promoter AEG Live plans to announce this morning. The two-day festival brought the Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty, Tool, Jack Johnson, Widespread Panic and others to its Commerce City festival site over the last three years.

AEG is citing economic reasons for the break.

“It was not an easy decision to put the festival on hold,” said Chuck Morris, president of AEG Live’s local offices. “We are really proud of the event, and we’re not ruling out the possibility of bringing it back in the future.”

The news of Mile High’s hiatus comes less than a month after three high-profile sell-outs at other North American music festivals, including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, another AEG Live event.

The southern California-rooted Coachella sold 75,000 three-day passes in five days last month — a record for the mid-April event. Other record-setting 2011 sell-outs include Miami’s electronic-heavy Ultra Music Festival and central Washington’s Sasquatch Festival, which moved 50,000 and 25,000 multi-day passes, respectively.

But big numbers for more established music festivals aren’t a signal of automatic success for everybody else. Many promoters are still reeling from last year’s lackluster concert numbers. And for a youthful festival like Mile High, finding a successful musical fit for your location is a challenge, said Steve Knopper, a Denver-based Rolling Stone editor and author of music industry tome “Appetite for Self-Destruction.”

“If you took Arcade Fire and Kings of Leon and Kanye West and stuck them at the Mile High Music Festival in Denver, I’m not sure you’d sell out that festival,” said Knopper, referencing the headliners that helped sell out this spring’s Coachella. “Maybe it’s an issue of not having the right act? Maybe if Phish were available this summer the problem would be solved? I don’t know.”

Mile High tried experimenting with its booking — with radio-ready Johnson, jam band Panic, prog rockers Tool, piano popsters the Fray, heritage rocker Petty and live hero Matthews, who headlined the event twice (in 2008 and 2010). But the line-ups produced mixed results for the promoter.

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Ricardo Baca is the founder and co-editor of Reverb and an award-winning critic and journalist at The Denver Post.

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  • Anonymous

    Bring it to City Park in 2012 – Problem solved.

  • rock1

    the article moved to this online rag but lost all the previous comments nWHY ?

  • rock1

    the article moved to this online rag but lost all the previous comments nWHY ?

  • Guest

    Setting and Line up is most important.nDicks isn’t exactly a destination place for a festival nHuge costs, lackluster line ups, and after making the site slightly smaller last year, really did not make a difference in the end nThe event was on the road to fail, un-beknownst to the masses.nI have worked dozens of festivals around the world. nWhy is it that in…n Scotland: T in the Park,n Autralia: Day on the Green, nGermany Rock im Park, nIreland: Oxygene. nThey can produce successfully huge 100,000 + festivals year after year include camping, first run movies on large outdoor video screens at night if you do not want to see a particular band, Rave tents, Carnival rides etc.nMy point is they grew slowly but persevered. AEG Live- Nation et al.. could learn valuable lessons from the above international festivals.nbtw :that Rolling Stone mag dude Knopper mentioned acts like Arcade Fire, Kings, Kanye West -a has been. These bands barely sellout small arenas ! Great resource to quote for an article like this huh ?

  • Guest

    Setting and Line up is most important.nDicks isn’t exactly a destination place for a festival nHuge costs, lackluster line ups, and after making the site slightly smaller last year, really did not make a difference in the end nThe event was on the road to fail, un-beknownst to the masses.nI have worked dozens of festivals around the world. nWhy is it that in…n Scotland: T in the Park,n Autralia: Day on the Green, nGermany Rock im Park, nIreland: Oxygene. nThey can produce successfully huge 100,000 + festivals year after year include camping, first run movies on large outdoor video screens at night if you do not want to see a particular band, Rave tents, Carnival rides etc.nMy point is they grew slowly but persevered. AEG Live- Nation et al.. could learn valuable lessons from the above international festivals.nbtw :that Rolling Stone mag dude Knopper mentioned acts like Arcade Fire, Kings, Kanye West -a has been. These bands barely sellout small arenas ! Great resource to quote for an article like this huh ?

  • Marco Esquandolis

    The problem with the festival is the location, more than the acts. That said, I’d go if Phish was there.

  • Marco Esquandolis

    The problem with the festival is the location, more than the acts. That said, I’d go if Phish was there.

  • Sam Dawg

    Maybe if it wasn’t held in a parking lot…

    • aaaa

      It’s not a parking lot. It’s a soccer field.

  • Humper

    Location, location, location. Dick’s is perhaps the worst venue they could have possibly selected. Great for soccer or lacrosse; horrible as a concert venue. Literally an island in the sea of industrial ghetto known as Commerce City. Not a good place for a music festival.

  • Col. Forbin

    Marco Esquandolas (Nice name, BTW!), stayed tuned, I have a feeling Phish will be taking over this location for a few nights this summer. Lots of rumors swirling about the second leg of their tour and this is one of them. Fairly reliable sources with good track records.nSigned,nColonel Forbin

  • Ck5

    Maybe AEG should host Phish for a 3 night run at Dick’s over Labor Day weekend.

  • Monolithic

    Would love to see the powers that be make another attempt at Monolith this year. There is hardly a week that goes by where I don’t think about at least one of the wonderful bands I had the opportunity to “discover” at Monolith. It is a true enthusiasts festival.

  • Ring_of_Fire

    Won’t happen. 60,000+ people (the announced gate for Day 2 of the inaugural MHMF) in city park is a disaster waiting to happen. The necessary infrastructure to host that many folks in City Park just isn’t there…plus, you have concerns about effects on the animals in the zoo, the various surrounding neighborhood associations that don’t want the spill-over of drunken 20-somethings, and security concerns about “unsavory elements” from the East Colfax area migrating down to the park and causing trouble. nnDenver really doesn’t have a good venue for this sort of thing….

  • AJSTP

    Don’t be surprised if the Denver area is announced as a location for one of the four Dave Matthews’ three-day fests he’s holding across the country. That’s a sure-fire ticket seller in Colorado and AEG would be involved. My guess it will happen here and if so, they can’t also do MHMF.

    • Ring_of_Fire

      As an FYI, the rumors swirling are that Dave’s festivals will play:

      1) Atlantic City, NJ
      2) Chicago, IL
      3) Gorge, WA
      4) Atlanta, GA

      I have not seen a mention of a Colorado date in anything but the earliest rumors.

  • Clayton7

    Bring back Monolith!

  • Jmoore

    Dear rock1: A. The article was not “moved”; the original version on denverpost.com is still live, as are the comments below it. (http://www.denverpost.com/music/ci_17506325). This is a duplicate posting, not a replacement. nnAnd, B: If you think this heyreverb online site is a rag, you’re an incontrovertible moron. Reviews, photos, news, live exclusive recordings, downloadable tracks, columnists and other original content … maybe you should look around before you stroke your keys, because in one sentence you made two erroneous comments.

  • Guest

    ‘Rag’ is slang for magazine. Maybe you should get a clue.

  • Ck5

    DMB has already announced the (general) location of their 4 festivals. Colorado is not on that list.

  • http://www.denvereverb.com Ricardo Baca

    Actually the three bands mentioned by Knopper are the headliners of April’s Coachella Festival, which sold out in record time (less than a week) at the end of January. So yeah, you’re right – he is a great source for an article like this!

  • http://www.denvereverb.com Ricardo Baca

    As Jmoore said below, the article still exists on The Post’s site. But we actually broke this story exclusively on Reverb – right here! – which is The Post’s music-only site. No comments were lost. No opinions were ignored. No animals were hurt in the reporting of this story.

  • http://www.denvereverb.com Ricardo Baca

    I’ll admit that I was curious when the location was first announced in 2008. But after three years of Mile High out there, I can think of worse places than those seemingly endless grassy soccer fields. I think they had other (read: bigger) issues.

  • Anonymous

    I agree I attended every MHMF and the location was fine. For an event of this magnitude there are not many venues able to handle the volume of fans and infrastructure for the concert. Now the Warped tour location kinda sucks, although I go every year the parking lot at Invesco is not as friendly as the grassy expansive fields of Dick’s. It’s too bad that MHMF is not coming this year, I hope they can work out the issues and bring it back.

  • Ring_of_Fire

    Hey Ricardo…nnI was just wondering if you’d be willing to share your speculation as to the reasons that the MHMF never really took off; and, in the end, cratered. I have my own theories, but since you’re far more “plugged in” to the music industry and what REALLY makes things like this go than I am, I was hoping you’d share your insights.nnThanks in advance!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=718490617 Jeremy Coss

    The main issue with MHMF is the price. You pay over $200 for very few bands while other festivals are offering more for less. Plus, what killed me about the festival is the overlapping of the bigger draws to the festival. If they weren’t adding more acts, I personally would have liked to have seen longer sets by the smaller artists. For example, a 90 minute set by Weezer would have been awesome. Same for Flogging Molly. I got to discover some great bands there and will be sad to not be able to go this year.

  • Jmoore

    Yes, rock1, “rag” is slang for a magazine – a magazine not worthy of your respect. So now you’re 0-for-3. Take it somewhere else.

  • Ring_of_Fire

    Flogging Molly makes everything better….

  • Experienced Music Fan

    Dave Matthews actually was an owner in Mile Hi Music Fest with his biz partner Coran Capshaw through their Starr Hill Presents Festival company–Coran, is the managing partner of Dave Matthews Inc, who runs Red Light Management, ATO Records, etc. So AEG Rocky Mountains put together a great team, and Dicku2019s is a great festival locale. But really hip cool festivals cost huge $$$ as the acts have to be paid a major premium. With no other major population area within 500 miles, no camping etc, Denver, in fact, cannot afford to stage a sold out u201cbigu201d festival. The folks at AEG could have built a sell out show, but the talent they would need to book to make it work here would make it a major losing proposition. Bottom line is that if these guys cant make it wok, it means Denver just cant support an event this large…

  • experienced music fan

    Odds are, as Phish’s management company co-owned the Festival, that they were approached…guess we know the answer…

  • Milehigh

    The Big Dick Sport Center is a terrible venue. Colorado has so much more to offer than that.