Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest is revealing its national headliners for this year’s Colorado-centric music festival in Historic Downtown Fort Collins on August 16-18. The headliners are: The Samples, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, and music legend Leon Russell. The national headliners will anchor an exciting weekend of live performances by more than 70 new, emerging and established Colorado bands (see full lineup). This free, community music festival features a jammed-packed weekend of diverse offerings – everything from alternative rock to western swing – played across six music stages beginning Friday evening and ending Sunday night.
“As always, Bohemian Night is excited to present a varied and incredibly talented pool of Colorado bands and musicians and nationally distinguished artists who help to bring audiences out to support local music,” said Merry Hummell, Director of Music Events at Bohemian Foundation. “Headliner artists reinforce the Colorado lineup and give local artists the opportunity to share the stage with national music legends. We think it’s a terrific combination of music to offer the Northern Colorado community.”
The music kicks off Friday, August 16 at 5 p.m. at the Mountain Avenue stage with the reggae stylings of local artist Samuel Mouton, featured on NBC’s The Voice. Mouton’s performance is followed by Fort Collins bands SHEL and Fierce Bad Rabbit. Both bands have been growing their national reputations and Fierce Bad Rabbit recently signed with a New York publishing agency. At 8:30 p.m. at Mountain Avenue, audiences can enjoy a band that represents over 25 years of Colorado music, vibe and culture: The Samples. Fronted by lead singer and guitarist Sean Kelly, The Samples formed in Boulder in the late 1980s and their Colorado roots makes them the perfect band to launch a weekend of music celebrating the best of the state’s homegrown talent. The Samples, whose classic song “Could It Be Another Change” is featured on the movie soundtrack for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, will begin recording a new album this month.
On Saturday, August 17, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite take the stage at Mountain Avenue at 8:30 p.m. to wrap up a day of great Bohemian Nights performances. The show will be simulcast at the Library Park and Linden Street stages to accommodate a large turnout of music fans who want to hear the sweet combination of sounds produced by these two renowned music veterans. Simulcast locations offer an ideal opportunity to hear and experience the show either sitting on the grass at Library Park or enjoying the downtown vibe of Linden Street. Come early to listen to the incredible pool of Colorado artists and to make sure you’ll be able to catch the headliner show at one of the three locations.
Sunday, August 18 closes out an exciting weekend with a performance by music legend Leon Russell at the Mountain Avenue stage starting at 5:30 p.m. An industry influencer through decades of music collaborations, the Tulsa-based artist, arranger and producer was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011. Russell has performed and partnered with numerous other music icons, and is featured along with Elton John in the Cameron Crowe documentary, “The Union.”