By Barry Poppins
4/20 falls on Easter Sunday this year-call it "Weedster" if you'd like- so that means this year, 4/20 isn't just a 1-day smoke-athon. In America's marijuana capital of Denver, Colorado 4/20 has become a week long celebration and a national holiday in its own right. Cannabis tourists will descend on Denver this week and weekend from all over the country and the world-and there's no shortage of High-tivities for them upon arrival. There's over 50 weed-related events going down (literally or tangentially) throughout the week: no day is a dry day. Some are free, others cost a pretty penny. Here are our choice picks for those visiting Colorado (and beyond)
The Cannabis Cup (4/19-4/20): The world's longest-running and well-known reefer party rolls into town on Saturday and Sunday. This year's event is capped off by a Mac Miller x Slightly Stoopid show (which Weedmaps will be in the house for) at Red Rocks Amphitheatre (aka the best place in the world to smoke weed). Unfortunately, this Cannabis Cup, located at the Denver Mart, has been sold out for weeks. But fortunately, you're in town and dying to go, there's no shortage of (very pricey) Craig's List sellers! Everyone who's anyone in the industry-from glass-blowers to dispensaries to dispensary finders-will have a presence at this event. It will be heady, it will be smokey, and it will be the place to be over the weekend if getting high and finding the best stuff is #1 on your agenda.
The Big Industry Show(4/16-4/18): Typically held in Las Vegas annually, the Big Show will take its talents to Denver-starting tomorrow. Featuring live-glass blowing and industry insiders, it's a weed trade show bonanza. To kick it off, Too $hort will be performing at a free concert on April 16-you can RSVP to that right here.
Dab Roots:The fine folks over at Grassroots California are throwing their first ever counter-culture festival aptly titled Dab Roots. If you live the 710 life, it's a great alternative to the sold out Cannabis Cup, and will undoubtedly have the Dabs on hand, along with an array of sweet acts and art. There's still some tickets available.
The Civic Center 420 Rally (4/19-4/20): Denver's annual, largest-and free-est!-event is going legit this year. In addition to the Offical 420 Rally, it's calling itself the "Cannabis Culture Music Festival." To back up that claim, Wyclef Jean and B.oB. will be performing. That's not too shabby for a free concert...Of course, it will be a crowded party, and one where the city doesn't want you smoking (but can't really enforce it). Last year's shooting also means increased security measures (thankfully): there will be bag checks and there will be security and medics on hand. Additionally, there will be a ton of food vendors and art installations to go with the music.
Left Over Salmon at Cervantes (4/20): Boulder-based Leftover Salmon is bringing another kind of grass to Denver at 4:20 PM on 4/20: Bluegrass. If you're a jam-band fan and prefer instruments to button pushers this is probably the neatest event for you. Tight musicians and an outdoor setting in front of Denver's most eccentric music venue will make for a beautiful, chaotic cluster of cannabis. For the tight pockets out there, tickets are also only a mere $4.20.
Cheech & Chong (4/17): Without Cheech & Chong in the city, 420 in Denver wouldn't feel like a real stoner's holiday. Fortunately, the dynamic, perpetually stoned duo will be performing at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium (with Sister Sledge) on Thursday evening. Take heed though: The Fillmore performs pat downs and may ask you to put your weed back in your car. Unfortunately, that's no joke.
The Waldos Music Fest (4/20): Matisyahu and Talib Kweli come together to celebrate the founders of 420: the Waldos. An eclectic blend of hip hop and hash will pay homage to the Bay Area based stoners who used to meet every day at 4:20 to smoke the reefer.
Red Rocks (4/20): So the Snoop and Wiz show on 4/20 is (obviously) sold out. But you can still celebrate Easter at Red Rocks-literally! For the religious tokers out there, a public ceremony opens it doors at 4:30 AM on Sunday and begins at 6:30 AM. If you want to get high-religiously so-at arguably Colorado's most scenic smoke spot-then Red Rocks is the place to be. But the family environment might harsh your mellow.
Unfortunately, Boulder again banned the public from its (once infamous) 4/20 celebration this year. You need a Boulder ID card to enter campus and get stoned with college kids. Boulder is also pretty much devoid of music events this 4/20 weekend-it's all going down in Denver. That said, Pearl Street offers a plethora of munchies and both The Fox and Boulder Theatre are known as stoner-friendly enclaves.
Coachella or bust...Throughout the week in Los Angeles, a slew of Coachella acts will hit local LA theaters-you can view those concerts easily here. If you're heading to the desert without a ticket to Coachella, you're also in luck: both the Hard Rock (sponsored by G-Pen) and the Saguero play host to pool parties throughout the weekend.
For the Northern Californians, the smoke-out of choice remains Hippy Hill, as usual!
As you probably know, New York remains a hotbed for the underground cannabis scene-it even has its own New York Guide to stoners. While going to Central Park for a spliff or two makes all sorts of sense, there's actually some directly weed-centric events going down over the weekend:
Stephen Marley (4/19): Son of Bob brings the reggae and likewise, the roots to New York's Best Buy Theatre on Saturday. Tickets are available on Stub Hub.
Joey Bada$$ (4/20): Legalize New York and one of the city's youngest and hottest rappers are bringing the movement to Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. They're not being shy about their cause either: The Smoker's Club and Bada$$ are doing this for the love of weed. Tickets are available.
Hempfest's 420 Festival (free of charge) at the Rainier Brewery, a precursor to this summer's bonanza.
The annual Hyde Park Smokeout on 4/20, Europe's largest 4/20 gathering.
Smoke Out Vancouveron 4/20, ey?
Check out Jambase.com or ResidentAdvisor.net for music stuff in your zone. Naturally, parks and local gatherings occur in every Continent because our people are out there everywhere. Tag those photos #420!
420 is everywhere. It's an everyday movement and one that can't be stopped. Yes, this year, some will have to get high, put in visine, and head to their grandparents for ham and chocolate bunnies. And that's okay-the point of 420 is to relax, unwind, and smoke weed with people you care about. Or get high as hell with new friends. So that leaves one other option for all the stoners out there:
Your (or a Friend's) Couch: ...And we get it: 4/20 can be overwhelming, especially for the lonely stoners out there that prefer the sheen of their XBOX from that of the sun. But it's a day to celebrate. While simply smoking weed and/or visiting recreational dispensaries is fun in and of itself (there's plenty of that to be done), a stagnant stoner classifies as a lazy stoner. Get active, get outside, and enjoy both nature and the company of your fellow stoners.
Many dispensaries will post their events to the Weedmaps Events section so if you're looking for a last minute, local option, keep up to date there as well!