Buena Vista Event Cooperative BVEC logo

Buena Vista Event Cooperative logo

The Buena Vista Event Cooperative has a new concept to return free live music to East Main Street, and they’d like to get it started this summer.

“We’re going to try to get our schedule going later in the summer, get some bands here, but right now we’re going through the permitting process and trying to comply with all the codes, rules and regulations,” BVEC’s Tom Rollings said.

“Hopefully in another month we’ll have some of that done and be able to start building some things and getting a stage down here, which will be exciting,” he said. “Depending on how things open up, we might be able to have some people down here.”

Rollings said the group has partnered with the Buena Vista Roastery to use the space to the south of the coffeehouse at the corner of East Main and North Colorado – the patch of sand with the labyrinth in it – to host a small, mobile stage to provide free concerts.

It’s a sort of spiritual successor to the BVEC event stage that had previously been located in the Watershed space, and the People’s Stage next to the Pearl before that.

The labyrinth’s not gone for good – it’ll return to the space in the off-season – but in the summer, BVEC plans to bring in a covered stage and sound system for a relaxed, intimate venue with tables and chairs and a sandbox for kids.

Of course, what the stage’s inaugural season will look like depends on the ever-changing public health situation around COVID-19.

As of now, gatherings of more than 10 people emain banned, and each of the events that have filled Buena Vista’s summer calendar have cancelled for 2020. BVEC’s first scheduled events of the year, the BV Circus and BV Kids dance group, were canceled as well.

“Even if we have some musicians playing for 10 people, that would be great,” Rollings said.

“We started with the People’s Stage, then we were at the Watershed for a few years. Then when that ended, we approached the folks here at the Roastery,” Rollings said. “The owners of the building have been phenomenal and the owner of the business has been wonderful to us, and they’re very supportive. We’re excited to get this thing going. Free local live music in downtown BV, man.”

Rollings said that the cooperative has a number of musicians lined up to perform, “but we’re just not sure if they can play. It’s all up to the county. We’re hoping to get some more guidance about what would be appropriate.”

Rollings said that the stage has Salida balladeer Keeper, rock n’ roll band Blue Rooster and Leadville funk group Groovespeak among the artists lined up to perform, as well as a “storytelling and musical event called the Red Deer Rendezvous … hopefully we’ll be able to bring people through Labor Day.”

“We’re not having Woodstock in the middle of downtown. It’ll be a peaceful, comforting live music venue that’s becoming a tradition here in BV. It’s been about 3 years at the People’s Stage, 3 years at the Watershed and now maybe get 100 years here at the Roastery. Who knows, but live, local music is becoming a tradition here.”

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