The vibes were just right on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at the Caribou Village Shopping Center. The sun was shining and there was still a lingering sense of summer on the breeze, and thanks to Jesse Fox, owner of Train Cars Coffee & Kava, locals and visitors alike got to jam out to over 12 hours of live music, completely for free, at the very first Peak Vibes festival.
Fox, with help from amazing sponsors, including Brightwood Music, Carousel of Happiness, HubNed, Kaleidoscope Fine Arts Gallery, One Brown Mouse Boutique, and Tres Gringos, put on an all day event with 25% of the proceeds being donated to the Nederland Food Pantry.
From 11 a.m. past 6:30 p.m. several local artists and bands graced the Peak Vibes stage, including singer-songwriters like Kylie Brock and Lucas Wolf, classic rock and roll acts like New Family Dog featuring Brittney Wagner, and the Keep Nederland Weird All-Stars featuring Cody Wales, the seven-piece reggae group Iron Roots, and a Grateful Dead experience from Denver’s own Drums and Space.
Folks of all ages gathered in the courtyard outside of the Train Cars to dance to the music, see live coffee roasting demonstrations by Adam Welch of Creekside Coffee, get their faces painted by Ariella of Bee Kind Body Paint, play with balloon swords made by balloon artist Quill the Clown, and watch local artist Heather Taylor-Lande create a work of art during a live painting demonstration.
But the fun didn’t stop once the sun went down! From 9 p.m. to about 2 a.m. the inside of the Train Cars transformed into a bass-thumping club, a venue for the infamous Bulas and Beats crew, deejays Glipish, Iris, Kvndyce Rose, and Rizzy Rails, to spin their eclectic sets and keep the vibes flowing into the early hours of Sunday morning.
In addition to the music and to all the delicious treats to be found at the Train Cars, from silky smooth coffee, to relaxing kava mocktails, and appetizing breakfast and lunch sandwiches, there were several vendors who brought their own unique wares to the Peak Vibes festival.
Laura and Joey of Creatura Collective (@creaturacollective) offered their colorful, expressive, and evocative clothing designs; and local legend Hurricane offered his collection of impressively bright natural rocks and minerals.
Multidisciplinary designer and fabricator Marianna Mezhibovskaya and event planner and implementation Robin Svenson were both named as integral parts to making Peak Vibes a reality, pulling strings behind the curtain to design a truly special event alongside Fox.
Tracy Knapp of Knapp Productions provided the stage for the event, while crew members of Drums and Space worked the soundboard and Travis Lamb of Illuminated Lighting supplied a light show befitting the Peak Vibes performers.
Fox also gave a shout-out to Claudia Schauffler for her assistance, to event organizers Stephanie Andelman and Deb D’Andrea for providing advice and the framework needed to put on this ground level festival, and to New Family Dog for singing the Birthday Song for young Stella, who turned one on Saturday.
With Peak Vibes, Fox and the hard-working crew at Train Cars Coffee & Kava have emphasized the end of their first year in business with one big extravaganza which served as a thank you to the supportive community of Nederland. But undoubtedly this new and original festival is just one of many surprises that Fox has planned to keep the vibes peaked here in the mountains.