FoCoMX is in the NoCo music scene spotlight this weekend

Erica Grasmick

What is Northern Colorado known for?

When I ask you this you may instantly think, as many would, about all the local breweries that serve up delicious craft beer. Or you may conjure up a picture in your head of a recent hike, since Colorado is nationally-recognized for its active lifestyle and beautiful mountainous views.

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But when I ask you what’s unique about this wonderful area, how likely are you to think, “The music scene. We’ve got a great one?”

If that wasn’t one of the first thoughts to pop into your head then I’ve got some news for you.

Northern Colorado, particularly the Fort Collins community and its surrounding areas, are home to some magnificently talented musical artists, many of whom are making an appearance this weekend at the seventh annual Fort Collins Music eXperiment, or FoCoMX.

Presented by Fort Collins Musicians Association, FoCoMX is an event spanning from Friday to Saturday with more 200 local musicians. For $30, you can purchase a wristband to the weekend festivities which includes performances from an extensive variety of artists and projects from every genre. Afternoon and evening shows offer family-friendly showcasing of talent while later-evening performances feature rock, singer-songwriter, bluegrass, funk, reggae and more. Worth mentioning are the new additions for this year which include chamber orchestra, burlesque and experimental/noise artists.

“Because of the huge diversity of artists from different genres that play each year, I think just about anyone could find some artists that they would really love,” said Kevin Micke, co-founder and vice president of Fort Collins Music Association.

Micke has been involved with the festival since its humble beginnings as an event in his living room/ makeshift office.

“I think this year is going to be even better than the last — we’ve got an amazing lineup, and I hope even more people come out to enjoy all the shows,” he said. “There are a ton of great performances to come, but I think some of our most popular ones this year are going to be Endless Monster, The 3 Twins, Johnny Hickman, Musketeer Gripweed, The Patti Fiasco, Stelth Ulvang and The Yawpers.”

Not only does the artist lineup make this festival unique, but also the fact that performances are scattered around various venues in Fort Collins, including local brewery favorites Equinox and Odell, as well as Refuge Tattoo, The Lyric Cinema Café and Hodi’s Half Note.

According to the event website, FoCoMX started in 2009 as a grassroots experiment in promoting local music. The festival has since grown in attendance each year and gained national recognition, as well as the unofficial title of “The Biggest Little Festival in North America.”

Greta Cornett, president and co-founder of Fort Collins Music Association, started FoCoMX in hopes that it would build support and networking opportunities for musicians in the Fort Collins community. A respected musician herself and a music graduate of Colorado State University, Cornett has played in the event every year as a member of numerous local groups including Fierce Bad Rabbit, 12 Cents for Marvin, the 3 Twins and Mama Lenny and the Remedy.

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“My favorite part of the festival is always the spontaneous collaborations that happen. Artists and the audience get to see special moments like this that you don’t see at a typical concert,” Cornett said. “Every year it’s also exciting to be around all the energy of the local community. People get really excited about the music scene here because there really is a lot of talent ranging from established artists to emerging local gems.”

If you want to attend the event, wristbands can be purchased online. You may also consider lending your time to this volunteer-run event and get free admission all weekend.  Make sure to view the complete artist line up and list of venues if you plan on going.

Collegian A&E Writer Erica Grasmick can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @E_Graz_.