Thousands of music fans will descend on Dolores June 10 for the 14th annual Dolores River Festival.
The all-day concert at Joe Rowell Park features 11 local and national bands, including headliner Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons.
Tickets are $25 the day of the show, or $20 in advance. Tent, car and RV camping are available on or near festival grounds.
This year, the concert will go later into the evening. Also, the traditional post-festival concert at the Dolores River Brewery will now be the night before, Friday, June 9, and will feature the Durango Funk All Stars.
“We have a great lineup again,” said concert promoter Ryan Robison. “The bands are a mixture of different genres, from gypsy and funk, to punk-Americana and rock ’n’ roll.”
Jerry Joseph fronts a well-known national and international jam band and has written songs for Widespread Panic. One of his first bands was Little Women, a reggae act from the 1980s, and he tours Europe with his other band Stockholm Syndrome.
Indie rockers Gene Evaro Jr. and his band play a mix of rock, reggae and funky blues. Hailing from Joshua Tree, Evaro is a hit in Southern California, and his energetic live performances are gaining a larger following.
The Yawpers are a Denver punk band equal parts “frenzy, solemnity and menace,” according to their website. “Their new album “American Man” is raw and melodic, infectious and irreverent, an update of Springsteen’s dream of getting out while you’re young.”
Selasse and The Fafa Family bring a world reggae sound to Dolores. Born in Accra, Ghana, Selasee grew up exposed to the colorful and energetic sounds of African music. He successfully created his own style, threading together English and West-African lyrics for a bright and captivating sound.
Sky Pilot returns to the festival this year. Founded in 2012, the Durango-based band describes its sound as electro-fusion jam funk.
DDAT, a jazz fusion band led by Navajo trumpeter Delbert Anderson, will entertain the crowd. Anderson combines ancient indigenous melodies with hip-hop, rap, jazz and funk.
“I started listening to old Navajo, Hopi and Apache chanting tapes from the 1920s, and those old native melodies really inspire my music,” Anderson said.
Hello Dollface, is an indie soul project out of Durango that veers sharply from your typical Southwest bar band. Vocal powerhouse Ashley Edwards and bass player Jesse Ogle create a jazz-inspired bubbling cosmic soup, all stirred by a heavy backbeat.
Carute Roma, or “Gypsy Wagon,” hails from Durango and plays traditional Roma music from Eastern Europe and Russia, along with modern Gypsy songs from around the world.
Elder Grown will bring their funkadelic, hip-hop style to the festival. The band was started by the Hoffman brothers from Pagosa Springs, and features Sam Kelly, a Dolores High School graduate, on saxophone.
There will be food and crafts vendors, adult beverages, community organization booths, a supervised play zone, free raft rides on the Dolores River, and a river parade with the theme of “Keep Dolores Wild.” Local KSJD radio host Tom Yoder will MC the event, and the concerts will be live-streamed on the KSJD website. A classic festival poster featuring the legendary black goat of Dolores rafting the river will be available for purchase.
For kids, local cross-country runner Taylor LaRose has organized the “Dress Up Dash” fundraising event. Kids should meet between 11 a.m. and noon behind the baseball field to participate in running events, including a relay, barrel race and three-legged race. Costumes will be provided for kids to dress up for a parade that will march through the festival. There will be a donation jar to help pay for playground maintenance at Joe Rowell Park.
The festival has grown ten-fold since its humble beginnings in 2003, going from a couple of hundred in the audience to 2,200 tickets sold last year.
“The popularity has a lot to do with people discovering our area, from national parks to great mountain biking and boating,” Robison said. “Go raft the river, ride the new McPhee Overlook trail, then come listen to live music.”
Moving the show to the second weekend in June syncs up nicely with the tens of thousands of festival goers making their way to Telluride for that town’s back-to-back festival season.
“On their way, they are stopping in Dolores to catch ours too,” Robison said.
The Dolores River Festival is organized by Greater Dolores Action as a fundraiser for community projects, including river cleanup days, conservation education, fishing and boating access and historic preservation.
“We are a project driven, nonpolitical organization with a mission to improve the Dolores area through enhancement projects,” said GDA president Scott Clow.
Some of their projects include:
Partnering with the Dolores River Boating Advocates and the U.S. Forest Service for a new boat ramp on the upper Dolores River, just downstream of Stoner.Removing old cars from the Dolores River, especially around “car-body alley,” near the Colorado State Wildlife Area.Partnering with the Town of Dolores, the U.S. Forest Service and others to install fish habitat and stream restoration structures between the 4th Street bridge and the Lost Canyon confluence.Funding on an annual basis for the Slickrock Gage on the Lower Dolores River. They plan to donate at least $1,000 yearly to keep the gage operational.Maintaining the playground in Joe Rowell Park. Volunteers for the festival are needed and they get free entry into the festival. For more information and discounted tickets go to the Dolores River Festival website.