Gunnison’s Mountain High Music Festival: A Celebration of Arts and Melodies

Nestled in the heart of the majestic Rockies, Gunnison, Colorado, is not just a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also a vibrant hub for arts and entertainment. Each year, this picturesque town plays host to an event that resonates with the high-altitude thrills of the region – the Mountain High Music Festival. This celebration of sound and soul at elevation is where music lovers converge to experience an unforgettable medley of performances set against the stunning backdrop of Gunnison’s scenic beauty. In this article, we will dive deep into the fabric of this unique festival and explore why it’s a must-visit for anyone craving a high-altitude musical experience.

The Mountain High Music Festival – An Overview

The Mountain High Music Festival is a testament to Gunnison’s commitment to cultural richness and artistic expression. The festival brings together a diverse lineup of musicians and artists, ranging from country crooners to rock and roll veterans, who perform across various venues in the area. The festival typically spans several days and includes a series of indoor and outdoor events that cater to music enthusiasts of all ages.

The Setting: Gunnison, Colorado

Before we delve into the festival’s specifics, let’s paint a picture of its stunning locale. Gunnison is located in the South-Central region of Colorado and is surrounded by an outdoor paradise that includes the Gunnison National Forest and the Blue Mesa Reservoir. The town is rich in history, and outdoor recreation, and is also home to Western Colorado University, which infuses the area with a youthful and vibrant energy.

The Festival Experience

The Music

At the core of the Mountain High Music Festival is the music. The festival prides itself on showcasing a range of genres, from Americana to blues, rock, and country. The lineup is carefully curated to provide a blend of local talent and nationally recognized artists. It’s not just about headliners at Mountain High; emerging artists are also given a platform to shine, making it a fertile ground for discovering new music.

The Venues

Gunnison’s festival venues are as eclectic as its performances. From intimate bar settings to larger auditoriums, and even open-air stages set against the Rockies, the festival utilizes the charm and variety of Gunnison’s spaces. Each venue offers a unique ambiance, whether it’s the rustic charm of a mountain lodge or the expansive beauty of an outdoor stage under the stars.

Arts and Culture

Aside from music, the Mountain High Music Festival also celebrates other forms of artistic expression. Festival-goers can enjoy local art installations, pop-up galleries, and live painting sessions, which reflect the region’s rich artistic traditions and contemporary movements.

Family-Friendly Activities

The festival ensures that music aficionados of all ages have a place to enjoy themselves. With family-oriented activities and performances, parents can introduce their children to the joys of live music in a welcoming environment.

Sustainability and Community

A distinctive feature of the Mountain High Music Festival is its commitment to sustainability and community involvement. The festival organizers work closely with local businesses and environmental organizations to minimize the event’s ecological footprint and maximize community benefits.

Economic Impact

Events like the Mountain High Music Festival have a significant positive impact on Gunnison’s local economy. They attract tourists, provide employment opportunities, and support local artisans and business owners, creating a ripple effect of economic activity.

Planning Your Visit


Gunnison offers a range of accommodations, from cozy bed and breakfasts to upscale resorts. Visitors are encouraged to book early, as the festival draws a large crowd.


Tickets to the Mountain High Music Festival can vary based on the type of experience you’re looking for – from single-day passes to full-festival access. Discounts are often available for early birds, students, and seniors.


Gunnison is accessible by car, and for those flying in, the Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport is nearby. Shuttle services and public transportation options are available to navigate between venues during the festival.

The Lasting Melody

The Mountain High Music Festival leaves a lasting impression on its attendees. It’s not just the high-caliber performances, but the entire package – the music, the mountains, the community, and the clear, starry nights – that create a symphony of experiences that resonate long after the final encore.

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