Colorado is a state with endless possibilities. There is always something to do and someone to do it with. Although the process of actually making new friends and finding new interests can seem like an insurmountable task, the last two years have not made it any easier. Luckily with the internet, connecting with like-minded people and finding your subculture has become easier than ever. Finding a group that shares your interests is a fantastic way to do what you love while meeting people that share your passion. But what defines a culture from a subculture? For the purposes of this article, a subculture is a social group of people with a shared common interest or lifestyle that brings them together to create a specialized characteristic within the culture of society.
Colorado has these opportunities in spades, as there is a group for almost every hobby and interest under the sun. Whether you are an experienced outdoorsman looking for a group to hike with or a fledgling hobbyist looking to make new friends, below is a list of some subcultures that encapsulate the Colorado spirit that you can participate in to help find your niche.
Hobbies are a part of who you are. They are what bring you joy in your free time. In Colorado, they define what the state and its people are known for. The ability to share that with others is a beautiful thing that, when done right, elevates subcultures from small groups to sprawling movements. With the natural environment of Colorado being so scenic and diverse, it allows for leisure activities not found anywhere else.
Colorado is a state that lends itself to hobbyists perfectly. No matter the hobby, from RC cars to fishing, there is a place to do it, and people to do it with. But if you are not already deeply involved with the local scene, it can be hard to find where to start. Enter websites like Meet Up and Facebook Groups. Meet Up is an app to connect people for events, and with thousands of active members in Colorado alone, there is no shortage of groups to discover. Simply make an account and start browsing the endless possibilities that technology can offer.
Besides online groups, many specific hobbies have brick-and-mortar stores throughout Colorado. Comic book shops are a great example. No matter your previous level of knowledge and involvement, you can find people who are willing to help you learn and grow in the culture. The Jason Street megastore for Mile High Comics is the biggest comic book store in the United States and has everything any fan could ever need.
The Car Community
Colorado has a roaring car scene — whether you prefer fast cars, vintage cars, offroading or even motorcycles, there is a car group in the Centennial State for you. But where to start? Cars and Coffee is a Facebook group for fans of both cars and coffee. This group plans multiple car meets a month taking place in the early hours of the morning. The idea is for car enthusiasts to meet up with their favorite caffeinated beverage and participate in all things automobile-related.
Not a fan of early mornings? No worries, as Nationwide Productions is here to help. According to their Facebook page, Nationwide is the #1 source for the largest car meets/shows/cruises and other events in Colorado, and is a close-knit group of car enthusiasts, racers, drifters, hobbyists, friends and family. Nationwide is a group with more than 100,000 followers of all different walks of life waiting to talk about their love for cars and engines.
If the groups above don’t completely scratch your need for speed, then countless other groups exist, and car shows go up around the state throughout the summer and beyond. There are hyper-specific groups dedicated to owners of certain makes and models to meet up virtually or in real life to meet other enthusiasts of their car or motor vehicle. Facebook and Instagram have many pages and groups full of all of the micro-specific interests you have. Google is also your friend as you can find many different sub-groups for the larger subculture of the Colorado car scene. Alternatively, going to any car meet or show is guaranteed to be a great place to meet people with your passion for both domestic and imports with everything in between. Every car show and meet attracts different people, yet a constant at every event is motor enthusiasts with a huge smile being around what they love.
What list of Colorado subcultures would be complete without hiking? There are hundreds, if not thousands, of hiking trails in Colorado. Hiking with friends is always exciting, but planning it can be a real hassle. That’s where hiking clubs come in. The Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) is one such group. These mountaineers are committed to education, adventure and conservation. Founded in 1912, CMC plans all different types of outdoor adventures ranging from novice to expert and everything in between.
Many other groups exist that are similar to CMC that specialize in different aspects of the outdoors. Groups for skiing, snowshoeing, camping, hiking, climbing and almost any outdoor activity are ready for you to join and explore the majestic Rocky Mountains with new friends. There are impressive organizations across the state advocating to make Colorado’s outdoors more inclusive, like Brown Girls Climb and Latino Outdoors.
Music and Nightlife
Music lovers rejoice as Colorado has some world-renowned concert venues that host some of the biggest stars and bands. Red Rocks is one of Colorado’s gems and was ranked as one of Rolling Stone’s top venues. There is so much complexity to the music subculture in Colorado that there are vastly different subcultures in the culture of the music.
Colorado is also home to some of the most passionate music fan bases in music. Our EDM (Electronic Dance Music) scene is extremely active with Colorado earning the nickname of the Bass Capital. Many popular EDM artists and DJs like Griz and Big Gigantic have moved to Colorado recently to be more involved in the local scene. Moving from EDM, the punk and metal scene also has a stronghold on the state. In an interview with 303 Magazine, vocalist and guitarist for ORYX Tommy Davis said, “There is a community of diehard folks here who consistently come out for metal shows and support up-and-coming bands as much as the established groups.”
Organically meeting people with similar musical tastes can be tricky. Luckily there is no better place to meet people with the same taste as you than a concert for that type of music. Love classic rock and want to share that love with others? Go to a classic rock show. Most concerts are full of devoted fans that want nothing more than to talk about why they love that artist or genre. Concerts naturally are a social activity. Meeting people and making friends at a show is as much a part of the culture of music as the act of a drummer throwing his drumsticks into the crowd after a perfect drum solo.
With so much variety, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. There are themed bars all throughout Denver that cater to different genres, as well as many festivals throughout the year. 303 Magazine does a This Week in Concerts for all the music events you should know about, as well as a monthly roundup of new local music. No matter what type of music you like, there are probably thousands of people who agree with you and will go to show their love and support.
Networking is an important part of anyone’s career, but finding the place and people to network with can seem daunting. Thankfully like every other interest on this list, there are many different online and in-person groups dedicated to easing the stress of networking. The Alternative Business Networking Group (ABNG) is one such group. It is the largest non-paid, Denver-based, networking group for business professionals and entrepreneurs. The goal of these types of professional groups is to bring together the people that can change the world together. Have a business but are not quite sure how to grow and expand its reach? Someone else has already thought of it and would be happy to talk to you about it. Not sure how to market your skills in the job field? There are people with the same thought that can help connect you to the resources you need to succeed. Additionally, Denver Startup Week takes place from September 19 to 23 and is a celebration of everything to do with the entrepreneurship culture in Colorado and beyond.
Many of these groups have nights out at bars and restaurants to help with the inherent awkwardness of meeting new people. But with a can-do attitude and a smile, the sky is the limit. Through these events and groups, you have the ability to draw from so many different sources of information to grow personally and expand the network of professionals in Colorado. From there the potential is limitless in what can be accomplished through collaboration.