We went to The Chinook on the Wyoming state line for the first time on Thursday night. Here's what you should know about the new live music destination. 

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Live music has been mostly on pause for the last year and a half, and up until the last couple of months, we really didn't have any touring acts. Fortunately, we've been able to catch a few shows recently, and on Thursday night, we went to a new venue to see the Dirty Heads and Sublime With Rome — yes, we, a bunch of Coloradans, went to a show where most songs were about weed, in a state where it isn't legal. Aside from that, if you're wondering if it's worth the drive from the Fort Collins area, here's what we found.

1) The drive was actually a total breeze.

Not only is it closer than going to a show in Denver, you are most likely not going to hit traffic. I think that is pretty unheard of, actually. You may be in a jam once you get to the entrance on the frontage road, but that line moved really quickly. We definitely were all surprised how short the trip felt.

2) Parking was free, but you'll pay the price if you don't wear the right shoes.

One of the most stressful things about going to a show in Denver is the parking, right? The Chinook is literally on a bison ranch. Literally right on top of it. You will park out in the grass, which is awesome because it's easy and free and you can tailgate. Just take it from us when we say that ranchers wear cowboy boots and jeans for a reason, and you may want to, too. Or, have someone nice drop you off at the entrance gate. In all fairness, The Chinook's website says this.

3 There was food.

Two words: Food trucks. Oh, and also beer trucks.


4) It's a great outdoor space.

Again, because it's on a ranch, you'll see some animals. Additionally, if you're like me and still a little iffy about the COVID situation, it's nice to be outdoors in the open air. We were pretty far back behind the front-of-stage crowd, and we still felt like we had great 'seats' even though there were thousands of people there. Speaking of that, you can bring a chair if you want. FYI — no bathrooms, just portables.

5) You can camp.

Don't want to drive home? You don't have to. You can camp at The Chinook.

While we may not typically see artists like Orville Peck and the Dirty Heads without a trek to the big city, The Chinook gives us NoCo-ers who are stuck in between another option for big acts. You can keep an eye on who's coming by following The Chinook here.

NoCo Music Venues Then and Now


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