fes­ti­val: Tour de Fat re­turns with big bands, big changes

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Dy­lan Owens Dy­lan Owens: 303-954-1785, dowens@den­ver­post.com or @dy­lana­cious

Now in its 19th year, Tour de Fat, New Bel­gium’s non­profit-sup­port­ing cel­e­bra­tion of bikes, beer and bands, is com­ing back in 2017 with a bevy of changes, in­clud­ing a greatly ex­panded cir­cuit, big­ger head­lin­ers and an en­try fee.

The fes­ti­val will hit 33 cities this sum­mer (up from just nine last year), in­clud­ing its first Boul­der event in more than a decade.

This year also marks Tour de Fat’s change into a music-fo­cused fes­ti­val, which will pair a na­tion­ally known head­lin­ing act with each city it vis­its. To foot the cost of the bands, the fes­ti­val is aban­don­ing its free-to-en­ter model, and charg­ing a tick­eted fee that will also help Tour de Fat raise more money for the non­prof­its that the events sup­port, which are lo­cal­ized to each par­tic­i­pat­ing city.

For most cities, the new model also spells the end of Tour de Fat’s hall­mark bike pa­rade, save for three lo­ca­tions: Fort Collins, Boise, Idaho, and Tempe, Ariz.

“We’re still about ad­vo­cacy and phi­lan­thropy and we’re still a cel­e­bra­tion of the bike and beer,” New Bel­gium spokesman Bryan Simp­son said, “but this was our best model go­ing for­ward to keep it sus­tain­able.”

Den­ver’s fes­ti­val will see a change in ad­dress, too. Pulled from its for­mer home in City Park, the 2017 Tour de Fat will come to the National Western Com­plex on Aug. 26. Along with the usual at­trac­tions and troupes of co­me­di­ans and en­ter­tain­ers, elec­tronic duo Cap­i­tal Cities will head­line Den­ver’s event. Tick­ets are $25 and avail­able via Eventbrite.

Los Angeles four-piece Wilder­ado will head­line the fes­ti­val’s Boul­der and Colorado Springs events, which are set for Aug. 25 and 26 re­spec­tively. The All-Amer­i­can Re­jects and X Am­bas­sadors will head­line the fes­ti­val’s home­town date in Fort Collins on Sept. 2.

For a run­down of who’s per­form­ing at all of the par­tic­i­pat­ing cities in this year’s Tours de Fat, go to new­bel­gium.com/tour-de-fat.

The Tour de Fat bike pa­rade in Fort Collins in Au­gust 2013. Den­ver Post file photo

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