So many community members from the greater Boulder area donated to the Future Arts Foundation’s instrument drive for Marshall Fire victims that the nonprofit gave away to donors $40,000 in tickets to Boulder’s Bluebird Music Festival on April 23 and 24 at Macky Auditorium.
The Future Arts Foundation, started by Travis Albright seven years ago, supports local communities through art and music and hosts the annual Bluebird Music Festival. Proceeds from the weekend festival go toward instruments and art workshops for Colorado schools.
Though the pandemic paused the festival in 2020, the year before and after delivered acts such as City and Colour, Gregory Alan Isakov, Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers and members of The Head & The Heart.
This year’s performers include:
Colin Meloy of The Decemberists
The Lone Bellow
Scott T. Smith
Travis says Colin Meloy of The Decemberists only plays a solo show every few years, and he’s excited to watch Colin perform different versions of his band’s well-known songs alone, as well as some of his own music.
Festival tickets are available for $29, $39 and $49 for afternoon and evening shows. Travis says the afternoon family-friendly Strings and Stories sets are “reminiscent of the VH1 Storytellers music series,” where artists play three or four solo songs intermixed with stories about their lives and songwriting process. The later concert usually includes artists playing a longer setlist with a full band.
The Bluebird Music Festival puts a little variation in the historic Macky Auditorium’s typically CU-related event schedule. Travis appreciates that the theater is authentic to the area, easier to work with than corporate venues and ticketing systems, and sets this gathering apart from the huge, crowded ones that people typically think of when they hear the word “festival.”
Travis says, “We like the sit-down theater aspect of the festival,” sharing music in an intimate space to highlight Bluebird’s grounded roots in Boulder.