“If I had to describe my best day, it would be being outside,” Dierks Bentley told People Magazine in an interview about Labor Day weekend’s 12,000 ticket Seven Peaks Music Festival in Buena Vista. The mega-successful country musician picked the locale as the home for his 3-day celebration after recording several of his videos for his latest album, The Mountain, here.
The Arizona native has been a frequent Colorado visitor for much of his life. Bentley is a hiking, biking and rafting enthusiast who was taken for what sounds like an epic mountain-bike tour by the owner of the festival grounds, Jed Selby, on the Broken Boyfriend trail while on his video shoot.
Bentley is a huge fan of mountain music, so he naturally chose a mountain town for his music festival. Bentley told Larry King in 2015 that bluegrass is his favorite genre because of its authenticity. Acoustic instruments from international folk traditions came together to make a uniquely American style of music that captivated Bentley.
He told King that hearing Hank Williams Jr. at age 17 was a “stars-aligning” experience for him. He moved from Arizona to Nashville two years later and said he still drives the truck that carried him to Nashville with his late father. “Only in country music can you use the analogy of a truck and guitar to say how much you love your wife,” he added.
Bentley speaks about his music, his family and his people almost indistinguishably. Writing a song is like “editing (life) down into a story or a book. The chapters sum up who you are as a person,” Bentley says in Riser, the recently released documentary about the musician.
Bentley’s songwriter’s lens and a love of people is likely to be center-stage at the Seven Peaks festival. He will bring past songwriting and performing collaborators Miranda Lambert, Lanco and Brothers Osborne. The event will also feature many musicians he’s admired, like living legends Del McCoury and Sam Bush, local favorites Rapidgrass, ’90s sensation Clint Black, roots rocker Elle King of Ex’s & Oh’s fame and even a countrified Kiefer Sutherland.
Bentley plays well with others. The videos filmed in Chaffee County rework his personal stories to include folks he’s met around the nation doing inspirational things. In an interview with I Heart Radio’s Bobby Bones, he says he was searching for a way to use social media in a positive way. His new videos take “one person’s story and just blow that up.”
He uses his platform to recognize a couple of women who package household items to distribute to homeless people in the video for “Hold On,” for instance. Bentley came to this naturally after participating in the film Only the Brave about firefighters killed in Arizona in the 2012 Yarnell Hill Wildfire and doing a benefit concert in their honor.
Bentley will bring his wit and kindness to a fun-loving roadshow. He’s been known to disguise himself in his ’90s country cover band Hot Country Knights, or in his bluegrass band to open for other performers. He’s even got a choice of an infrared sauna or an ice bath for performers to relax or power up for the stage.
Months of conscientious preparation should result in an unforgettable concert this Labor Day weekend, showcasing the Ark Valley and all the amazing features and qualities that it offers.