Fort Collins Nursery’s Rock Garden Concert Series
One of our town’s favorite past times is enjoying a summer concert underneath the sunshine. Did you know that there is a concert series held at Fort Collins Nursery each summer? Since 2015, the nursery has transformed from garden retail space to Rock Garden Concert venue for three events each summer. We sat down with Marketing Director Dan Booth to get a little history about these concerts and what to expect this year.
What prompted Fort Collins Nursery to host a concert series?
I joined the Fort Collins Nursery team in 2015 and came from a background with the music business. Live music has always been a passion of mine and when I approached owner Jesse Eastman he was happy to give it a test run that first year.
The nursery was already hosting smaller events with live music, so we took them and made the music the focal point. Our intent was to attract an audience that wanted to enjoy our beautiful space in a non-retail environment. Plus, the space is perfect for outdoor concerts; big and open, filled with lush plants, and nestled between majestic trees and the Poudre River and Dry creek. We just had to give it a go!
Have the concerts always been non-profit fundraisers?
That first season we did a couple of one-off concerts to see how things would go. We had The Junior League of Fort Collins on board to serve beer and wine but there wasn’t a true fundraising model in place.
In the past, Fort Collins Nursery partnered with Project Self-Sufficiency for a fundraising event called Ladies’ Night. We realized we could raise more money for Project Self-Sufficiency if we paired the event with a concert instead. It snowballed from there and as of 2016 we’ve been running each concert as a fundraiser for one of our community’s non-profit organizations.
How are the non-profits selected as the beneficiary of the concerts?
All the organizations we partner with serve an important role in our community. We typically work with groups that either promote education, are plant related, or organizations that empower groups of people and help them get on their feet.
We’ve had long lasting relationships with Project Self-Sufficiency, The Matthews House and The Vegetable Connection for the past few years. We’re at a point where our beneficiaries are relatively set at this point if they wish to continue each year.
Tell us about the local food trucks and breweries for each event?
Schmickels Hot Dog Cart and Taqueria Los Pepe’s are our food vendors. Each provide delicious food and are great to work with, so they are a constant for us.
For the beer, we leave that in the hands of each non-profit we work with. Odell Brewing Co. has been a huge supporter of the series and have been featured at many of our concerts. For the past several years High Hops Brewery has also contributed and will do so again in 2019.
Each organization also gets a portion of their wine from great local businesses like Wilburs Total Beverage, Pringle’s Fine Wine & Spirits, and Fabby’s Wine & Spirits. We sincerely appreciate contributions from each of these businesses as beer and wine sales are such an important component to the event structure.
What should we expect from 2019’s Concert Series?
We’re excited to kick off on June 12th with Dead Horses with Alysia Kraft to benefit Project Self-Sufficiency. Grant Farm with Mike Clark & the Sugar Sounds will be our featured artists on July 11th benefitting The Matthews House. Our final concert will be held on August 1st featuring Sean Kelly of The Samples with Liz Barnez to benefit The Vegetable Connection.
Tickets are available now for purchase via our website: https://fortcollinsnursery.com/events/list/
We hope to see you this summer at the Rock Garden Concert Series!