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Fort Collins music community

Geneva Mueller
Geneva Mueller

We’ve all heard it a million times; a phrase so overly assumptive and laden with hidden meaning depending on whose lips it escapes from: Fort Collins is a bubble. But when it comes to the music scene in our little sphere of influence, I wouldn’t really have it any other way.

I’m sure I’m not alone in the belief that music is an incredible unifier. It has the ability to start conversations, forge friendships, spark debates and create countless memories. Some of my best friendships began by finding common ground on musical interests and were strengthened by incredible experiences at shows almost tangibly ground-breaking, in venues with that Colorado-specific vibe. Music creates a soundtrack to your daily experiences—from the monotonous and everyday, to the experiences that are truly once in a lifetime. And often times, when we think back upon these memories, specific songs become inextricably linked with the overwhelming waves of nostalgia to which we must surrender and let wash over us.

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What I’m trying to say is that music is an incredibly powerful force. And here in Fort Collins, we sit in a basin of creativity. Our town has the perfect mix of talent, drive and organizational infrastructure for music aficionados and artists alike. Let’s be honest: we definitely have an attitude about Colorado music. We follow our musicians, support them unfailingly, constantly remind others of where their roots lie and claim our long-avowed support, regardless of all the band-wagoners out there.

But I’d venture a guess that it’s this attitude that has contributed to the success of so many Colorado musicians. And while Colorado is starting to garner national acclaim as a major music destination, Fort Collins remains a crown, albeit hidden, jewel packing some seriously untapped potential.  And since Fort Collins is a bubble, we get to claim it all as our own.

But more importantly, here in the Front Range, we sit in what could be considered an industry cluster. There’s a lot happening here in the music industry: between recording studios, a huge amount of music venues — each niche-like and offering something distinct — and the fact that you have a choice of where to buy your vinyl, we sit in a predominant position in the industry. And because of that, we have the ability to turn the local into the global. Other cities with music industry clusters are starting to take note of the way that we do things here in Colorado and before we know it, our region has revolutionized the way the industry works.

From Fort Collins locals like You Me and Apollo, Head for the Hills and Fierce Bad Rabbit achieving national acclaim, to the Colorado natives like Air Dubai, Pretty Lights and The Lumineers hitting the big leagues, it’s important to recognize the creative and collaborative basin within which we live our lives.

With music as the all-encompassing, all-inclusive, non-excludable frontier that it is, we are so lucky to live in a place like Fort Collins, Colo., that supports, produces and celebrates the talent that calls Colorado home. Our music scene operates within a unique framework of fan and foundational support; with backing from organizations such as the Bohemian Foundation, SpokesBuzz and FoCoMA, hailing from Fort Collins becomes quite advantageous.

And above all, the music industry operates like any other market. The inextricably competitive nature of the industry makes for some pretty incredible music coming out of our town. And that’s definitely something to be proud of.

Music creates community because of its inherently collaborative nature; it is a tangible product that can be shared, appreciated and celebrated in countless ways. We’ve got a lot of music floating around in our atmosphere, each day contributing to the branding of our town. And I’d say we’re pretty lucky to live in a place that builds community with community.

Geneva Mueller loves the music scene in Fort Collins. Feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com

In Brief:

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Fort Collins may be a bubble, but for music I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Music is the centerpiece for many friendships and relationships, and is an incredibly powerful force.

It’s a competitive market up here, and that’s something to be proud of.

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