by Bill Forman
When it became clear in late 2009 that Red Rocks' relatively cutting-edge Monolith Festival was dead in the water, Denver's two-year-old Mile High Music Festival seemed perfectly positioned to step into the breach.
Instead, last summer's Mile High lineup was headlined by mainstream warhorses Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews, along with a stable of well-worn talents like Steve Miller, Rusted Root and Train. In uncertain economic times, playing it safe must have seemed like the best way to go.
But based on this morning's announcement that Mile High is canceling its 2011 festival and going on an indefinite hiatus, that conservative booking strategy doesn't seem to have panned out.
While promoter AEG Live is "not ruling out the possibility" of the festival returning sometime in the future, laid-back rock fans may not want to hold their collective breath.
Ironically, AEG is one of the two largest booking agencies in America. In 2009, two out of three concert tickets in the U.S. were purchased from either AEG or competing concert behemoth Live Nation.
Which raises the question: Who could cultivate a major Colorado-based music festival if not the company that was big enough to promote Michael Jackson's aborted comeback tour? (Luckily, the promotion company was reported to have taken out a Lloyds of London insurance policy on Jackson's life, and many fans apparently opted to keep their tickets as souvenirs rather than get refunds.)
So no Mile High this summer, no Monolith this fall. I guess there's always the Warped Tour. And even in times like this, we can still take solace in the Bloomington Brothers' inspirational reinterpretation of Dave Matthews' "Where Are You Going." Just click below and your troubles will surely float away ...