The Man Behind The Music

Ron Bostwick is the man behind the music at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon. Photo: Betsy Vajtay

Ron Bostwick is the man behind the music at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon. Photo: Betsy Vajtay

Ron Bostwick keeps ’em rockin’ & runnin’ at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon & Half Marathon.

Written by: Rebecca Heaton

If you’re planning to run the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon or Half Marathon on Sunday, you can thank Ron Bostwick for helping to keep you motivated and entertained during your race. A former morning show producer and promotions director for KBCO and five-year veteran of helping the Bolder Boulder with music, Bostwick is the Denver event’s entertainment director and his job is to select the bands along the course as well as at the finish-line festival.

“As a first-year event, there have been a lot of details to take care of—choosing band locations for every mile along the course for the full and the half and then figuring out which band should go where,” says Bostwick, who put out a call for local Denver and Colorado bands to submit their music to be considered.

“I’ve picked more than 30 bands that represent rock, jazz, funk, country, rockabilly, acoustic, Latin/salsa, along with representatives from the new Denver School of Rock,” he says.

As for where the bands go, “I had to look at a variety of factors: places that have the space, places where we could be sensitive to the neighborhood and places that are unique,” explains Bostwick. “It’s been an interesting logistical jigsaw puzzle because some locations participants will run past twice, so some bands will have to perform for a while. And some stages will have different bands depending on when a runner goes by them.”

Regardless of how quickly or slowly you run, Bostwick promises that “bands will play from the first runner to the last runner because we’re a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and we want every runner to have music throughout the whole race.”

At the finish-line festival at the Greek Amphitheatre in Civic Center Park, Bostwick has booked Semisonic, best known for their runaway hit song “Closing Time.” According to Bostwick, the band, which stopped playing together in 2008, will be playing a benefit reunion show in their hometown of Minneapolis and are going to extend that reunion for a second show in Denver. “So this might be the last time anyone will see Semisonic play together,” he adds.

Since most bands tend to play after dark, does Bostwick ever have trouble getting them to commit to such an early morning gig? “In my past of booking bands for races like this, I heard a great comment from one group that said, ‘We had a great time; it was really fun for us to see our fans in the daylight and with running shorts on.’” Guess not.

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