Stadium Sessions showcases local music, community involvement

James Wyatt

Popular artists like Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones performed at Hughe’s Stadium. With a new wave of stadium-goers, Stadium Sessions aims to bring live music to the new on-campus stadium. 

Mackenzie Gault, a violist for the Flobots, plays for the Colorado State University Stadium Concert Sessions on the west lawn Aug. 27. Gault is a classically trained violist. (Seth Bodine | Collegian)
Mackenzie Gault, a violist for the Flobots, plays for the Colorado State University Stadium Concert Sessions on the west lawn Aug. 27. Gault is a classically trained violist. (Seth Bodine | Collegian)

Stadium Sessions is a series of concerts will be held across three different stages on campus during the weekend of every home game. Last weekend, during the first Stadium Sessions, Flobots and Kind Dub played on the west lawn of campus after Gasoline Lollipops played Friday in the Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center.


According to Tom Milligan, vice president of external relations at CSU, it was an idea CSU, the Bohemian Foundation and the Music District had been cooking up for over a year.

“It was really about creating something that was uniquely Fort Collins, and we knew that when it comes to this city, it has to have live music,” Milligan said. “We really wanted to have one of the best music festivals in the state every home game weekend,” Milligan said. “We have great national recording artists, and the best part is that people can see them on campus.”

While CSU has hosted live music before football games in years past, Milligan believes that these performances missed a large community aspect with so many students and alumni away from campus.

“Something was missing when everyone was out at Hughes Stadium,” Milligan said. “With the on campus stadium, we really wanted to make something unique and bring everyone back here.”

Jesse Elliott, director of the Music District, said Stadium Sessions embodies a way that community members can connect not only with the University but with each other. 

“When this idea first came up, I thought it was smart move to get folks around town connected and involved with some local and national music before heading to the game,” Elliott said. “I think it’s a really good time, and live music is great for building community.”

It’s the type of community that Elliott regularly sees in the interactions that take place at the Music District as the organization is focused on providing an environment for learning and supporting community members in their artistic endeavors. 

“We have professional musicians come over to the district but we also have amateurs in the best sense of the word who are just lovers of music and want to learn more,” Elliott said. “We really want to be an outlet for creative and artistic expression for the community. We hope to see more and more CSU students and staff.” 

For AnnieLaurie Vann, a third year journalism and communications major, community was a big aspect of witnessing game zero at the new stadium and attending the Flobots concert on her way to the game. 

“They were really rocking it,” Vann said. “I thought they were playing amazing. It was just crazy to say the least but really cool to see that many people on campus.”


A panorama of the new on-campus stadium during the game against Oregon State on 8/26/17. (Tony Villalobos May | Collegian)

Vann said a sense of community was present on game day last weekend. 

“The energy level was off the charts,” said Vann. “There was just always something to do, and everyone was so nice. We saw people passing out waters from their own coolers even.”

When it comes to Stadium Sessions as a whole, Vann is excited for the fact that so many Colorado bands will be featured during this year’s football schedule.

“I really like how proud Fort Collins is of its local music and just Colorado music as a whole,” Vann said. “I think that’s what we do here, advocate for each other.”

Bands like Slow Caves, Patti Fiasco and Danielle Ate the Sandwich have been announced as performing acts this year, but this is subject to change. You can view the most recent lineup information at

Collegian reporter James Wyatt can be reached at or on Twitter @jameswill_I_am.


Next Stadium Sessions:

September 8:

Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center

4:30 p.m. Holdfast, 5:00 p.m. Danielle Ate the Sandwich

September 9:

Lory Student Center West Lawn

9:30 a.m. Strange Americans, King Cardinal.