DENVER – Dierks Bentley was set to announce that ticket sales for his Seven Peaks festival would begin Friday, April 20, at the upcoming Labor Day country music camping event’s home in the Meadows Tuesday afternoon, but changed the venue because high wind concerns in the valley made the prospect of landing his plane difficult.
The Nashville star couldn’t escape the spring winds on the Front Range though, either. The Fillmore Auditorium in downtown Denver lost power just hours before he and president of Live Nation country touring Brian O’Connell were set to broadcast the announcement.
Nevertheless, in the darkened chandeliered hall of the Fillmore, surrounded by minimal lighting and assorted camping gear clearly intended for the original venue, Bentley and O’Connell talked effusively about finding Buena Vista.
“It’s like God reached down and flattened this ground,” O’Connell said, remarking on the striking relief between the valley floor and the Sawatch Range peaks from which the festival derives its name. “I can’t screw this up. I don’t need a ferris wheel, look at that."
“There are no excuses,” Bentley added.
“It just feels like you can see music being played there,” he said. “It was a Godsend.”
After looking for venues like soccer fields or polo fields near Denver, Bentley was unsatisfied, saying that “Denver doesn’t really look like Colorado.”
Trying not to give any spoilers, O’Connell said that attendees – promoters are hoping for up to 15,000 or more – will all pass through the same area when entering the festival grounds so that “Seven Peaks Festival will be revealed to them all at once.”
Bentley spoke about taking a personal stake in the festival, calling it an excuse to get back to Colorado, a state he has visited since he was a boy taking vacations to Purgatory Ski Resort from his hometown of Phoenix, Ariz.
Bentley wants to do for country fans what he did with his writing partners when he decamped from Music City to Telluride to record his forthcoming album “The Mountain” – introduce them to the Rocky Mountains.
“To introduce that to people is amazing,” he said.
Bentley said he was also inspired by another Seven Peaks guest, bluegrass legend Del McCoury and his personal involvement with his DelFest in Maryland.
Bentley said he would set up a personal email through which attendees could ask him questions, talked about playing guest spots throughout the festival – nearly all of the artists on the lineup so far have collaborated in some way with Bentley – and even drop in to various jams on the festival grounds.
He also hinted several times that his ‘90s country cover band the Hot Country Knights would take the stage at The Lariat for a late night gig.