FoCoMX is a genre-bending music event

Stelth Ulvang will be among the featured performers at FoCoMX in Fort Collins this weekend. (Denver Post file photo)
Stelth Ulvang will be among the featured performers at FoCoMX in Fort Collins. (Denver Post file photo)

(This story was updated April 23 to correct the cost of admission)

By Cassie Maack

Twenty-six venues, 263 local bands and two days dedicated to the Northern Colorado music scene.

Those are answers to some FAQs for the seventh annual FoCoMX, which will take place Friday and Saturday at various venues around Fort Collins.

Event organizers are proud to host various types of sounds, said Greta Cornett, co-founder of FoCoMX and a local musician.

“We try to include all those genres and just try to put a spotlight on Northern Colorado and that music scene,” she said, “because we do think it’s such a hidden gem and we do think there’s so much great stuff happening here.”

Cornell’s co-founder, Kevin Micke, said the large spectrum of genres offers something for everyone.

“It doesn’t matter what type of music you like,” he said, “there are definitely at least five bands you’ll probably love at the festival.”

Cornet said the festival takes a novel approach: no headliner, just a bunch of local bands, experienced and otherwise.

“It’s pretty unique that we don’t have a traditional type of headliner,” Cornett said, “With FoCoMx, it’s more about the community and musicians.”

Tom Werge, whose band, 12 Cents for Marvin, has played at FoCoMX since 2012, said the festival really showcases the talent in the area.

“It shows the strength of the creativity and talent coming out of Northern Colorado,” said Werge, whose group formed in 1996 as freshmen at Colorado State University.

Danielle Ate the Sandwich (aka Danielle Anderson, center), shown in Second Story Garage in Boulder, will be among the 263 acts at FoCoMX. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)
Danielle Ate the Sandwich (aka Danielle Anderson, center), shown in Second Story Garage in Boulder, will be among the 263 acts at FoCoMX. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

Feature performances at FoCoMx will include The Patti Fiasco, Stelth Ulvang (a graduate of Loveland’s Mountain View High School who plays with Denver-based The Lumineers), Wire Faces, Musketeer Gripweed, The Widow’s Bane, Post Paradise, The Yawpers, Arliss Nancy, The Holler!, Shatterproof, Danielle Ate the Sandwich and The Epilogues.

Though the two-day festival is heavy on bands from the Fort Collins area, Boulder County is well-represented. Beyond The Yawpers, who got their start in Boulder, and The Widow’s Bane, the B.C. contingent includes The Railsplitters, Arthur Lee Land, The Prairie Scholars, Dechen Hawk, Jami Lunde and The Longest Day of the Year.

Attendees can expect to see many bands they might not have otherwise known about, Cornett said.

“Sometimes it seems like bands come out of the woodwork for the festival,” she said. “It’s kind of fun to listen and find new music because sometimes you get in a rut — even I do — where you get hooked on your same old, same old.”

At FoCoMX, veteran bands share the bill with lesser-known bands.

“We tried to make a really well-rounded festival that included established acts, up-and-coming acts, those legacy groups,” Cornett said.

The shows take place at local businesses within walking distance from each other. The festival cut out the need for public transportation last year.

This year will be the second in which FoCoMX has partnered with its main sponsor, Odell Brewing Co., to brew a special golden ale for the festival.

The partnership works, Cornett said, because Odell and FoCoMX “share a lot of the same missions and goals in supporting local, and it’s just a way to embrace the community.”

The beer was created with the assistance of about 20 of the festival musicians.

“We thought it’d be cool to have the actual musicians who are playing the festival be part of the brewing process,” Cornett said.

Cornett said the festival has found success partially through community-oriented businesses such as Odell.

“It’s always been really welcomed by pretty much everyone in the community,” Cornett said, “like the businesses want to be part of it and the musicians are part of it, and all those things just attribute to making it more and more successful each year.”

Micke said he felt the pre-existing camaraderie between musicians in Northern Colorado Collins helped to make the festival as successful as it is.

“They see each other as collaborators, not as competition,” Micke said. “I think FoCoMx has helped foster that, and I think FoCoMx has also been successful, because that was already partially there in the music scene.”

Laniece Schleicher, lead singer of Mama Lenny & the Remedy, which started in 2012, said she enjoys the gathering of musicians:

“I’ve heard it described this way, and I like it: ‘It’s like prom for musicians.’ Because we all get to see each other and, a lot of times, you don’t always get to see your friends’ bands.”

FoCoMX is not only a way to see local music but to support the community, Cornett said.

“I think it’s just great all around, because you’re getting more people invested in the local music scene and the local businesses,” she said.

The festival will mark the final live music shows at Surfside 7’s long-held North College Avenue location. Endless Monster (featuring Karl Alvarez of the Descendents) will be among the 10 bands that will perform at Surfside before it moves to its new digs, 238 Linden St. (former home of The East Coast bar).

Besides the music, FoCoMX will offer a ProDev session (noon- 2 p.m. Saturday, Armory Event Hall, 314 E. Mountain Ave.) where musicians can learn how to successfully run their bands. RSVP at

Cassie Maack: 970-635-3691,

If you go

What: FoCoMX music festival

When: 3:30 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, April 24, and 1 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Saturday, April 25

Where: Multiple venues in Fort Collins

Tickets: Wristbands are $30 at the Will Call & Ticket Booth on Linden St. in Old Town


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