The Real Reason Behind Edge Fest


CHEYENNE, WY — August 19, 2022 — Edge Fest 2022 will take place on Saturday, August 27, at Cheyenne’s Civic Commons Park. Now in its eighth year, Edge Fest is bringing internationally acclaimed artists to Cheyenne. While the acts have gotten bigger over the years and the crowds have continued to grow, the reason behind Edge Fest has never wavered.


More than simply a concert, Edge Fest is about a neighborhood reimagined. At one point in time, Cheyenne was the largest city in the region, and the West Edge district, the original business park with rail access, was a key part of that. Over the years, Denver and the Front Range exploded, eclipsing Cheyenne’s prominence. For the last few decades the West Edge of downtown has come to feel forgotten, overlooked, and almost abandoned, rather than the thriving epicenter it once was.


In 2013, the City of Cheyenne announced a plan to encourage the revitalization of the West Edge. In the years since, it’s become clear this plan was the catalyst for positive change. One of the many things it influenced: a free music concert called Edge Fest.


Started by a small group inspired by the City’s vision for the West Edge, the goal of Edge Fest has always been to bring light, healing, and new development to this part of the capital city. Shortly after the release of the 2013 plan, Warehouse Twenty One threw its first music event in the then-vacant Dineen Building, which later became home to the community staple, Rib & Chop House, as well as WEST, Inc., and many other businesses.


In 2015 the annual music event received its name, Edge Fest, and, with the continued intention to highlight underutilized but important parts of the West Edge of Cheyenne, it transitioned to an outdoor concert. This time it was located in front of the mostly-vacant Asher Building, a Cheyenne landmark with tremendous potential for multiple downtown businesses—potential that has since been realized in the forms of a locally-owned coffee shop, distillery, small grocery story, and event space.


In 2016 and 2017, Edge Fest continued to focus on pivotal West Edge locations, celebrating the power of music and community in the plan’s proposed site of Civic Commons Park, the dual-purpose downtown park and stormwater mitigation reservoir. For those two years, Edge Fest occurred in a parking lot as the City continued to work through the revitalization plan, but in the eyes of Edge Fest it was the quintessential place to celebrate the momentum that was building. In 2018, due to the groundbreaking and construction of the park in that very parking lot, the event relocated to the street in front of the newly-purchased Old Cheyenne Elevator. This picturesque location served as the perfect backdrop for a festival celebrating ownership changes and bigger visions for Cheyenne icons. The following year, in 2019, Edge Fest returned to the previous location, now the beautiful community space of Civic Commons Park, and the long-term home of the event.


Years, Musical Artists, and Locations

  • 2014: Tyler Stenson at The Dineen Building (now Rib & Chop House and other businesses)

  • 2015: Midas Whale and Grace Askew at The Asher Building (now a coffee shop, event space, Cashwa Grocery store, and Chronicles Distilling)

  • 2016: COIN, Tango Alpha Tango, and Silver & Gold, with special guest Tyler Glenn (of Neon Trees) at the City Municipal Building Parking Lot (now Civic Commons Park)

  • 2017 - JR. JR., Seratones, and Paul Cauthen at the City Municipal Building Parking Lot (now Civic Commons Park)

  • 2018 - Bishop Briggs and Wildermiss at The Old Cheyenne Elevator (now Blossom Yoga, Hammock Fine Art, and competed for the liquor license to become a bar and food truck destination)

  • 2019 - K.Flay and Billy Raffoul at Civic Commons Park

  • 2020 - No event due to COVID-19

  • 2021 - LP, Tai Verdes, and Bob Leferve & the Already Gone at Civic Commons Park

  • 2022 - Tones and I, Claire Rosinkranz, and Joe P. at Civic Commons Park

While the founders and team that currently runs Edge Fest don’t claim credit for all the development that has happened (nor do they want to), there’s no denying that there has been a shift in energy and economic development since the City first released its plan and Edge Fest was born. Foundational and infrastructural changes, common in urban development, have been made, like creating stormwater solutions and passing pivotal multi-use rezoning efforts which open the West Edge District to more restaurant, commercial, and residential opportunities.


And the private sector has responded. Many businesses have moved in or started in the West Edge since the first announcement of the plan, while additional key properties have new ownership and are developing their plans. There are many, but among these are:

  • Breweries, Distilleries, and Liquor Stores: Black Tooth Brewing Company; Chronicles Distilling; Provisions Wine & Spirits; Westby Brewing (in development)

  • Coffee and Restaurants: The Boardroom; Epic Egg; Mary’s Mountain Cookies; The Metropolitan; The Paramount Ballroom; The Paramount Cafe; The Rail Spur (in development); Rib & Chop House

  • Art and Shops: Blossom Yoga; CrossFit Cheyenne; Flydragon Design; Go Slo Apparel; Hammock Fine Art; Indigo Buffalo Turquoise; Little Moon Boutique; Legacy Brand Collective; Red Bison Home; Satin & Spice

  • Commercial and Residential: The Align Team; Lotus Townhouses; Warehouse Twenty One; West Edge Collective; WEST, Inc.

New buildings have been built alongside the historical and industrial architecture of key, visual landmarks in Cheyenne—bringing new life to the neighborhood, and at the same time celebrating the character of the past. The West Edge District is well on its way to rivaling the walkable, thriving downtown districts of other cities, and the next two infrastructure projects will continue building that appeal.


The Reed Street/Rail Spur project, part of the City’s original vision and included in the 2013 plan, will create a pedestrian path through the heart of the West Edge. And the newly developed 15th Street Experience project will highlight the city’s railroad heritage in a unique way in the heart of downtown. Together these projects are planned to connect to another future, dual-purpose park called Pumphouse Park (part of the 2013 plan). This park will extend from the current end of 15th street to the existing pumphouse, serving as a natural stormwater filtration system and depositing that water back into Crow Creek. Once completed, these joint plans will create an amazing walkable and bikeable redevelopment project, ultimately increasing economic development through tourism, business retention, and business recruitment.


15th Street Experience

Reed Street Corridor/Rail Spur Project

These projects need continued support and the understanding of how together they can enhance the city for residents for the better, forever. This is the drive behind Edge Fest. It’s not just a free concert, although that’s great. It’s about a neighborhood reimagined, and a community coming together to support that vision. Events like these and others that happen in the West Edge can breathe life into this district and help make it beautiful. The unique location of an old rail spur through the center of a historic district is the opportunity to create a world-class example of industrial and architectural reuse. And bringing world-class music acts to a free concert in the heart of that district is one of the ways Cheyenne locals feel they can help make that vision a reality.


Edge Fest was created by Warehouse Twenty One eight years ago. It is run by its non profit, the Big 8 Foundation, and is funded by amazing private sector sponsors. The presenting sponsors this year are: Visit Cheyenne - Cheyenne DDA - Warehouse Twenty One.



QUICK FACTS

WHEN

Saturday, August 27th, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.


WHERE

Cheyenne Civic Commons Park, West 21st Street & Bent Avenue


WHO

Anyone and everyone is invited to Edge Fest! Especially those who love live music, food trucks, and fun. This event is open to all ages.


WHY

SEE ABOVE


Edge Fest is put on by the Big Eight Foundation, a Wyoming 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


You can learn more at www.edgefest.com or on Facebook.


 

MEDIA CONTACT

For questions or to schedule an interview with the Edge Fest Event & Music Chair and Big 8 Foundation President Dave Teubner, please contact Bart Henyan at bart@warehousetwentyone.com or (630) 270-9564.