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