Rocky Mountain Virtual Music Festival

Updated: May 26, 2020

If necessity is the mother of invention, than Sarah and Alyssa are the matron saints of the Denver live stream community. It’s been an interesting two months for musicians and creatives as all of our gigs and regular revenue streams have been severely impacted by Coronavirus. In this turbulent time, many creatives are turning to live-streaming as an outlet to create art, cultivate and mobilize community. It is in this spirit that the “Rocky Mountain Virtual Music Festival” was created. Since the shelter in place order began, this livestream music festival has been providing consistent and quality content giving a platform to some outstanding artists, as well as, connecting art lovers around the Denver scene and beyond. On Thursday May 7th I sat down to discuss the event with the two founders and was blown away by their support and enthusiasm for the music community in Colorado. The festival was founded by Sarah Ashlee Shuel and Alyssa Montano in response to the cancellation of Float Like A Buffalo’s national tour. When all live music became uncertain, they reached out to their friends with an idea to host livestreams in a festival event format. Though they started with no definitive goal early on their initial intent was to create an alternative outlet that would offer opportunities to provide exposure, community support, and a positive escape. It has quickly grown to include art from multiple mediums and musicians from around the country. The partnership between Sarah and Alyssa builds upon their established friendship, a mutual passion for music, while leveraging their diverse skill sets. In the initial weeks of launch the festival hosted art and performances from an extensive list of creatives. Those performers include, Float Like a Buffalo, Lyle Divinsky of The Motet, Future Joy, Eminence Ensemble, Sarah Mount, Zeta June, Telemetry and many more. By creating an inclusive and exuberant environment for creatives and fans to interact, they have been able to curate events that are on the cutting edge of the livestream medium. One of the most striking impacts has been on the creatives who have participated in these events. Many artists are reaching more fans and having greater career growth then prior to the quarantine. Sarah and Alyssa believe this format is giving artists a platform that allows for faster and more meaningful fan conversion. They remarked on how livestreams have leveled the playing field among artists and have allowed many new or underrepresented artists to come forward and shine. Their focus on inclusion is creating a welcoming and positive environment for the cultivation of a community focused on art. It is because of this community they believe that the future is bright for live-streaming. With large opportunities on the horizon they continue to prioritize inclusion and passion by providing hands on support. Their sponsorship with Arise music festival is evidence that large players in the industry are paying attention. My conversation with Sarah and Alyssa is an incredibly positive sign for the future of live music. Their leadership and passion in this crisis are standards to learn from and emulate. With all of their success they remain very level headed, and they are eternal champions for the “little” artists. Their artist submission is always open and they repeatedly emphasized their openness to helping new artists apply and submit for the festival. They offered great advice to optimizing the livestream experience including treating the experience like a live show with an emphasis on promotion and social media hype. Right now, they are especially looking for more visual artists of all mediums and are also looking to feature new releases and accomplishments from musicians. I was very impressed with the team‘s down to earth approach and genuine hunger to be of service to the artist community. Rocky Mountain Virtual Music Festival is blazing trails in the livestreaming platform and helping bring the music community into the future of music events. I anticipate great things from this team and event, and highly recommend anyone to participate in this inclusive, talented, and diverse community.


To learn more about RMVF visit their facebook page here:


written by Ross Sandlin

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