Vertex - A new music festival that celebrates the outdoors

​River rafting? Hiking? Astrophotography? Not your usual festival fare.

By: Kyle Frost

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River rafting? Hiking? Astrophotography? These aren't the usual activities you'd expect to find at a top-tier music festival, but Vertex is something new.

The first year festival is being put on by AEG Live and Madison House Presents, 2 music powerhouses in the Rocky Mountains that are together responsible for the recent Grateful Dead reunion, Electric Forest, and events at the Ogden, Gothic, Red Rocks, Pepsi Center and more.

The organizers have been trying to produce a festival that does justice to Colorado's diverse music scene and the outdoors lifestyle for nearly a decade. They think they've finally landed on the perfect venue and blend of bluegrass/rock/EDM that will keep festival-goers coming back for years.

Let's start with the location.

Beautiful Buena Vista, Colorado sits at the foot of the Sawatch Range in central Colorado, the gateway to a dozen 14,000 foot peaks. It's one of my personal favorite towns in Colorado. The sunsets here are some of the best in the state, and the town of BV is charming and still feels unsullied by too much development. Says Don Strasburg, Co-president of AEG Live Rocky Mountains, "We really wanted to do justice to the amazing landscapes, outdoor culture, and music diversity in Colorado." The grounds are just 10 minutes from downtown Buena Vista, a few hour drive from the Front Range.

I mean, we're talking about objectively gorgeous festival grounds here. Cottonwood trees, views of the Collegiate Peaks, a creek running right through the grounds, it's got it all.

The Lineup

The acts comprise an excellent blend of classic Colorado tastes, while also drawing in attendees of it's many EDM specific festivals. This isn't a Telluride Bluegrass, or an EDM focused festival. With headliners the Alabama Shakes, Odesza, Trey Anastasio, Gramatik and Lettuce, AEG and Madison House hope to pay respect to Colorado's diverse music tastes with a balanced lineup that has something for everyone, and might even introduce you to something new.

The Activities

Perhaps the most unique aspect is the variety of activities beyond music that are being offered. There's a real sense that there's something uniquely Colorado brewing at this festival. Daily rafting trips, hiking to a local ghost town, disc golf, and shuttles to nearby downtown Buena Vista aren't exactly typical festival fare. That said, we're excited to see this commitment to building a festival culture that celebrates the outdoor lifestyle.

Learn more at The festival is next week!

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.