This weekend is the inaugural Altitude Anonymous Festival, featuring internationally known DJs spinning on the sunlit slopes of Copper Mountain.
The brainchild of Denver-based promoters Afterhours Anonymous, the event is focused on a deeper, slower tempo of electronic dance music, which Colin Chmielewski, co-founder of Afterhours Anonymous, said tends to appeal to a slightly older demographic with a bit more refined taste.
“It takes a little more knowledge or experience with electronic music to appreciate it,” he said. “I think a lot of people who first hear it, it’s too slow for them or not enough energy. We’ll see people who will be going to other EDM shows and like a little bit faster tempo music, and they say, ‘This show changed my whole pace on things and I connected to this DJ and a year ago I was listening to Skrillex’ — people stumbling off the street that aren’t familiar with this style.”
Chmielewski, along with co-founder Mahesh Patel, has been organizing regular shows in Denver, on about a monthly basis, at clubs and other live music venues but wanted to try something different.
“A long time ago, I’d gone to the KBCO party at the base of Copper Mountain, in the late ’90s, and for years I’ve never seen anyone doing electronic music at Copper Mountain,” Chmielewski said. “I thought it was an untapped resource. During the summer, people want to get out of town; they don’t want to go into clubs when it’s hot.
“On a bigger level, it was just time for something different in a different setting for our fans to have a new experience and have something to look forward to for the summer that wasn’t a club event and being stuck in a hot room.”
Headliners for the event include Lee Burridge, from the United Kingdom; DJ Tennis, from Italy; and H.O.S.H., from Germany.
“Lee Burridge is world famous for doing these parties, these ‘All Day I Dream’ outdoor parties, which take place during the day, and he plays a really nice, melodic style of house music,” Chmielewski said. “He does these all over the U.S. but never in Colorado, so that was kind of our first choice. We went with people who would fit that same style, more melodic music, more of a beautiful style that would fit well with being in the mountains on a summer day.”
Chmielewski said H.O.S.H., a DJ who is a really big name in the rest of the world, has never been to Colorado, either, or any of the Middle American states, for that matter. Other big-name acts include Daniel Dubb and Little Mike & Bones, from Berlin, who will be playing the Sugar Lips Sweet Sunday Soiree on the second day of the festival at Solitude Station at the top of the American Eagle Lift.
“With artists and guests coming from around the world, this festival gives the resort a great opportunity to showcase all that it has to offer,” said Stephanie Sweeney, public relations for Copper. “With part of the event happening right on-mountain, this festival offers a new and exciting way to experience Copper.”
The Altitude Anonymous Festival is the first of its kind at Copper, and Chmielewski said it took two years to put it all together.
“Copper has not hosted an electronic music festival before,” Sweeney said. “Afterhours Anonymous approached Copper with the idea of hosting this festival, combining world-class electronic music with a beautiful mountain setting. With Copper’s venue possibilities, the right opportunity came together to make the event a reality.”
Chmielewski said it took a bit of luck with having the right conversation with the right people at Copper and having an open date available to host it.
“I think in past years, we weren’t ready with the infrastructure to handle an event of this size,” he said. “We finally felt like, on our end, we were up to speed and Copper Mountain was ready to take a chance on it and try something different.”
Afterhours is expecting roughly 600 people at the inaugural event, and about 400 tickets had already been sold as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re excited to see it come together,” Chmielewski said. “It’s been a long time coming, just to be able to expose new faces to some of this good music. From a Summit County angle, it’s an exciting opportunity for people who normally have to drive an hour plus to see these artists, now it’s right in their back yard, and we can meet some new fans and expose them to a new experience up in the mountains, as well.”
“Just to see everybody smiling and dancing in a beautiful location and see it take place is the thing we’re most excited about.”