Summer’s Streetmosphere: free, live entertainment

Streetmosphere
Branden Sipes performs at the corner of Olive and S. College as a part of Streetmosphere by Beet Street. Photo by Logan Martinez

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Streetmosphere, performing all over Old Town Fort Collins, returns for another round of spontaneous summer entertainment, providing everything from dance routines to live music, all for free.

Streetmosphere provides an outlet for talented artists of any medium to present their work in the open  This free event is every Friday from May through July at 4:30 p.m., it reveals the unique story of each artist performing, such as Matt Smiley.

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“For me, as a musician that loves variety, I use it to program more ‘experimental’ music works that I normally couldn’t play in a bar or standard club/venue,” Smiley said.

At this summer’s Streetmosphere, Smiley will perform John Zorn’s “Cobra”, an improvisational game as well as as a musical composition, he explained. Smiley’s fans are used to hearing him play his specialty – jazz; so this experimental approach might come as a surprise. But according to Smiley, “Nine times out of 10 they seem very supportive of it!”

Another unique music contribution to Streetmosphere’s performances is provided by The Honey Gitters, a new grass band that will get the crowd dancing.  Greg Simms, a member of the band, depicts Streetmosphere as, “Almost any type of performing artist that you can possibly imagine.”

Simms explains The Honey Gitters’ experience performing at Streetmosphere as, “We transform our stage show into a miniature sidewalk circus that includes the replacement of microphones for a bullhorn and so forth.  All we have to do is to show up and be ourselves for three hours.”

This summer extravaganza is funded by the Arts Incubator of the Rockies, a new organization dedicated to elevating the value of art in society as well as creativity in the arts, business and communities in the Intermountain West.

Due to this funding, “About 50 people circled around listening to our renditions of classic rock tunes last summer,” said Sean Waters, The Seers band member.  The Seers is a band of two fills not only the ears of locals as an electronic keyboardist and acoustics guitarist.

“Surprisingly, there are more tourists on the streets of Fort Collins during the day than there are locals.  The people from out of town really love being able to see music,” Waters said. Organizers say more than 150,000 residents and visitors took part in Streetmosphere in 2012, proof that Fort Collins is an artistic melting pot appreciated far and wide.

Streetmosphere provides a common ground for artists and audiences of all ages to interact unlike traditional, staged venue performances.  This years unique event is just beginning, and will persist until July 26, 2013.

Content producer Sarah Prinz can be reached at news@collegian.com.