DIY venue celebrates its fifth anniversary

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It’s been five years since Seventh Circle Music Collective opened its doors to local rock musicians and enthusiasts, and the DIY artist space still continues to thrive. Celebrating its five-year anniversary, Seventh Circle hosted a three-day music festival from Sept. 22-24. Inhabiting a small house that has been transformed into a venue, complete with a room for selling merchandise and a spacious patio, this corner of 7th Avenue and Federal is a hub of creative energy that focuses its efforts on giving aspiring musicians the chance to perform. With no age restriction and rare cover charges, this venue has transformed Denver’s music landscape for teenagers and young adults alike.

The line-up was stacked with nearly every local band who has ever performed in the history of Seventh Circle, as well as a few new faces. Friday night kicked off the festival with a plethora of bands that played a variety of different genres, from ska-punk to soulful R&B. Though the small garage-turned-stage already seemed jam packed on the first night, Saturday had a significantly larger crowd streaming in and out throughout the day.

The second day of the festival began in the late afternoon with various dreamy, bedroom-pop bands that were often comprised of gangly teens wearing thrifted outfits. Their youth was reflected in lyrics like “You liked my Facebook post,” a line that would have never existed in a song before 2008. According to one volunteer who helped man the entry door, Saturday was, in short, “slappin’.”

The band Tongue Bite, who performed on Sunday, was comprised of a drummer, guitarist, bassist, and trombonist who all looked certainly high school-aged with their mismatching pajama pants and floppy sneakers. Yet when the young guitarist opened his mouth to sing into the microphone, many were caught off guard by the anguished wails and sorrowful lyrics that came tumbling out in his shockingly deep voice.

Sunday night finished off with one of Denver’s most well-known independent rock bands, Bourgeoisie Girl, in a fuzzy explosion of distorted noise that ended the festival with a righteous bang.

Five years of support through donations and volunteers is incredible and demonstrates how much Seventh Circle means to the local underground music community. For many high schoolers who felt like misfits or those who lacked a community, Seventh Circle is a safe haven and a place to meet others who have similar interests.

The venue has also given many young musicians a platform to perform as well as get their name out into the music industry in Denver. By electing not to charge the attendees (except for rare occasions, such as fundraisers or performers with larger booking fees), Seventh Circle has helped keep music
alive without commodifying it. The tireless efforts of Seventh Circle have certainly helped encourage many to get involved in the performing arts and to pursue their passions.

In only five short years, Seventh Circle has changed and brought together so many lives under a shared love of musical expression, and that’s certainly something worth celebrating.

Photo: Erica Barillari – CU Sentry

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