Summer Guide: Arts & Culture Events To Attend This Summer in Aspen

Aspen, Colorado boosts an array of events and festivals all summer long with musical performances around town, access to new art exhibits, and more. Arts and culture are an integral part of our dynamic community, making Aspen a haven for nurturing mind, body, and spirit. The following are some examples of Aspen’s elevated cultural offerings for summer 2017:


Literature & Arts:

  • Aspen Summer Words, June 18-23 –  Aspen Summer Words welcomes visitors and locals alike to celebrate writing and writers in Aspen for a week in June. Various workshops will be held with renowned authors and teachers including Ben Fountain, Hannah Tinti, Jess Walter, Dani Shapiro, Said Sayrafiezadeh, Jericho Brown, George Hodgman and more.
  • Aspen Institute Aspen Ideas Festival June 22-July 1 – The 13th annual Aspen Ideas Festival is divided into three sessions over ten days. Spotlight Health returns to the festival as the opening segment June 22-25, followed by festival 1 June 25-June 28 and festival 2 June 28-July 1. A variety of additional programs, tutorials, seminars and discussions confront guests with stimulating issues throughout the festival.



  • Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Festival June 23-July 1– The Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Festival includes four nights of headline concerts from world-class musicians at the Benedict Music Tent, an expanded JAS Café Downstairs at The Little Nell Series, and a free nightly lawn party on the music festival grounds. The lineup for the June Festival includes John Batiste & Stay Human, Michael McDonald, Earth Wind & Fire, Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton, Tower of Power, and Ella @ 100.
  • Aspen Music Festival and School June 29- Aug. 20 – The 2017 summer festival season’s theme is Enchantment, and will feature dozens of world-renowned guest artists and top student musicians from around the world. Concerts take place at the Benedict Music Tent, Joan W. and Irving Harris Concert Hall, and various local venues. Many students also hold impromptu concerts in the streets of Aspen. Standout performances on the summer calendar include Yefim Bronfman (July 9), Sharon Isbin (Aug. 5), Augustin Hadelich (Aug. 6), and Edgar Meyer (Aug. 17).
  • The lineups at Belly Up Aspen, an intimate 450-person music club, and the Wheeler Opera House, Aspen’s historic theater and stage, are ever-changing but always entertaining. Belly Up’s summer calendar includes performances from Gary Clark Jr., Thievery Corporation, Lyle Lovett, Spoon, and many more to be announced soon. The Wheeler Opera House presents its own festivals, live music, stand-up comedy, and other performances.
  • Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival Sept. 1-3 – The Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival will take place in the Snowmass Town Park. Acts for this year’s festival include Maroon 5, Keith Urban, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Daryl Hall & John Oats, The Roots, Lake Street Drive and St. Paul & The Broken Bones.


Performing Arts:

  • Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, July 8-Aug. 18 –  Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has become nationally recognized for its repertoire of contemporary-meets-classical choreography. The 2017 summer season includes performances such as What the Day Owes to the Night (Ce Que le Jour Doit à la Nuit) by Compagnie Hervé Koubi (July 26), choreographed by the French-Algerian Hervé Koubi and performed by 12 men hailing from Algeria and Burkina Faso. The company performs in Aspen, in Santa Fe, and on national and international tours.
  • Theatre Aspen, June 24-Aug. 19 –  Theatre Aspen has received national acclaim and performs a rotating schedule of productions for both adults and families. The summer stock theater performs under a tent in Rio Grande Park. This year’s season is set from June 24 – Aug. 19 featuring Hairspray, Sex with Strangers and The World According to Snoopy.



  • Aspen Filmfest Oct. 3-8 – Aspen Film’s 39th annual FilmFest is a six-day-long festival with a focus on documentaries. Filmfest audiences are among the first in the country to see award-worthy and acclaimed independent films.