“It’s always a party” has been Charlie’s slogan for a while, and with good reason. Whether you’re into ballroom dancing, grinding on your partner, or just kicking back with a beer, you’re bound to have fun at this famed queer bar. Now, they’re kicking it up a notch with a block party and a partnership with The Fillmore Auditorium.
“You go through so many phases in the queer community,” Brendan Sullivan, bar manager of Charlie’s, said. “One day, you’re a 21-year-old twink; then, before you know it, you’re buying a house, and you’re a professional. It’s something that’s a constant for everyone in the community, this evolution and growth.”
“Evolution” is not the theme of this party by accident. As a bar, Charlie’s has gone from being the cowboy bar known as a safe haven for gay men to a queer mecca in 2019 Denver. Partnering with a major venue and taking over an entire section of street for the block party, especially during the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, represents the journey the entire community has been taking for the last half a decade.
“We’ve grown up, and we’ve learned, so many things,” he added. “I couldn’t have done it without the help of John King, our corporate owner, and Michael Weidman, our corporate manager. I couldn’t have done this without their guidance.”
The block party will be more than just a giant beer bust that stretches across the street. It will feature DJs Aaron Abikzer and John Joseph, Andrew Christian, Arad Winwin, Jon Pastor, and Lucas Leon. The big name on the bill that will surely be a draw is drag sensation Alyssa Edwards.
“She’s been huge, and she hasn’t been to Denver much lately, so being able to bring her back was pretty incredible,” Sullivan says of Alyssa’s return. “Recently, her career has blown up, and I think it’s amazing, definitely a real treat for everybody that’s going to come. It’s also been awesome to bring some major American and European DJs; this is the first time we’ve been able to accomplish something like that.”
Even though this party is pretty big, Charlie’s is still keeping the local feel. Attendees of the event will be able to see the performers and even pay extra for a meet-and-greet. But if you can’t cough up the cash you can hang out and catch Alyssa and the other entertainers later at Charlie’s. Those who don’t get to snag an actual meet-and-greet ticket may still get to buy a famous drag queen a drink or chat with her over cowboy boots and beats.
And there will be beer, not only domestic, but also some craft offerings. There will be plenty of drinks and fun, as well as live music and entertainment throughout the event.
So, if you can’t get enough of the outdoor party feel of Pride, you now have one more awesome event to add to your list. Come hang out for the block party and stick around for the evening’s debauchery. It’s always a party.
Evolution Block Party & Ultimate Beer Bust will take place Sunday, June 9 on Clarkson between Colfax and 16th. Doors open at 3 p.m. You can snag your tickets at livenation.com.