Peak to Peak Music Education Association



The PPMEA was founded in 2011 and is a recognized 501c3 non-profit organization. Our mission is to raise money for local kids’ music programs by hosting musical events in the area.  Because we also support many Colorado artists by bringing them in to play we not only benefit the kids but help strengthen the overall community of support for music and musicians in Colorado.

We are a local organization in the Colorado mountains along the “Peak to Peak Highway.”  The “Peak to Peak” region in Colorado is basically the area stretching from Central City and Black Hawk on the south end, through Nederland and to the town of Allenspark on the north end along CO state highways 119 and 72.


Our History

The Peak to Peak Music Education Association was formed after the death of “Michigan Mike” Torpie, the founder of NedFest (below), to continue the festival and support music education programs in the peak to peak region.

Michigan Mike (center) with light shirt) celebrates a successful 2011 NedFest with friends at the late-night Black Forest show. Pictured (left to right) PPMEA President Rob Savoy,  Jarod  (NedFest parking director),  Happy Jack (long-time NedFest volunteer),  Michigan Mike Torpie (NedFest Founder),  Kristen McFarland (PPMEA Event Coordinator),  Lyn Hanna (founding PPMEA Board Member),  Ben Griffin (founding PPMEA Board Member),  Mark Latiolais  (PPMEA Board Member).


November 2, 2014 The Very Nice Brewing Company hosted a special annual awards event for the PPMEA featuring a performance of the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society’s Young Pickers. The PPMEA awarded 2 grants. The first went to the Nederland Elementary School music department to use to get a matching grant for musical instruments for beginning kids. The other went to provide a scholarship for music lessons for a promising young local musician in need who could not afford them. Thanks to Very Nice for its generous support!

April 12, 2013: The Peak to Peak Music Education Association Board of Directors presents a check to Stephen LeFaiver, TEEN Center director, to support an after school music tutor in conjunction with the Mark Vann Foundation.

PPMEA and NedFest in the News

Daily Camera “NedFest Calls it Quits

“16th Annual NedFest Music and Arts Festival on Tap”
Rocky Mountain Jams, August 2014

“NedFest 2013” by Kali Basman
Grateful Web, August 29, 2013

“NedFest 2013: Standing Strong” By Dave Kirby
Boulder Weekly, Thursday, August 22, 2013
PDF Version

“NedFest Celebrates Community: Fifteen Years of Showcasing Music in Nederland” By Ashley Dean
Daily Camera, August 21, 2013
PDF Version

“NedFest Celebrates its Miraculous 15th Year” by Kirsten Cohen
The Marquee, May 1, 2013

“Performance Painter a NedFest Highlight” by C. Alan Crandall
Daily Camera,  August 24, 2012
PDF Version

“The Little Festival that Could” by Dave Kirby
Boulder Magazine, Summer 2012 Guide
PDF Version

“NedFest on for 2012 Despite Death of Founder “Michigan Mike” by Mitchell Byars
Daily Camera,  February 10, 2012
PDF Version

“NedFest Soldiers on Under New Non-profit Group” by Brian Johnson
The Marquee,  May 1, 2012
PDF Version

“NedFest Reboots: One time volunteers split up Mike Torpie’s job among six people and move on.” by Dave Kirby
Boulder Weekly, August 23, 2012
PDF Version

“NedFest Continues”
The Mountain-Ear,  February 13, 2012
PDF Version

NedFest Family Reunion!

Tickets are now on sale for the NedFest Family Reunion, to be held August 26-27 at the Caribou Room property on the hill above Nederland. We’ll have all the wonderful stuff that NedFest is known for, from kids’ activities to artist booths to great local beer sponsors!




1:30 – 2:00 tweener: Jamie Lammers

2:00 – 3:30 Flash Mountain Flood

3:30 – 4:00 tweener: Kyle Brock

4:00 – 5:30 Smooth Money Gesture

5:30 – 6:00 tweener

6:00 – 7:30 Rocket Parade

7:30 – 8:00 tweener: Blackdog Jazz Trio

8:00 – 9:30 Very Special Super Group:

8 spectacular musicians from all different bands playing together. A one-of-a kind show that you will never see again. Get ready to stay on your feet the entire time because we have a very funky crew in store that will keep you dancing!… On drums and percussion will be NedFest Family royalty, having played at both the very first NedFest and over half of them total, Dave Watts, founder of The Motet, and Scott Messersmith of The California Honeydrops. And who would we pick for keys but Kyle Hollingsworth of The String Cheese Incident who has graced the NedFest stage at least 8 times. Jennifer Hartswick who played NedFest in 2017 with Oteil’s crew (and plays with the Trey Anastasio Band) will be on trumpet and vocals. On bass, from the hottest funk jazz band in the nation, Galactic, we will have the amazing Robert Mercurio. Lettuce guitarist Adam Smirnoff, better known as Schmeeans, will be there (REALLY!!). Big Gigantic will contribute Dominic Lalli’s epic sax playing. And to top it all off, 7-time Grammy-nominated Joan Osborne will be on vocals!

10:00 – 12:00 Fruition late night show inside The Caribou Room



12:00 – 1:00 local kids’ music showcase

1:00 – 1:30 tweener

1:30 – 3:00 No Go Gilbillies

3:00 – 3:30 tweener: Eric Stone

3:30 – 5:00 Dango Rose (of Elephant Revival) and Friends featuring Dave Johnston (of Yonder Mountain String Band), Bridget Law (of Elephant Revival), Taylor Sims, and Silas Herman!

5:00 – 5:30 tweener: John McKay

5:30 – 7:00 The Hillbenders

CAMPING: Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we will be able to offer camping, sorry. There are several National Forest areas nearby for camping.

VENDING: We will have a limited number of vendor spots but with no electricity provided. Vendors (except food trucks) must use solar lighting/ power only, no generators will be allowed. Use the contact form page to get vendor registration information.


The PPMEA Board


Other Events

2019 4th of July Barn Dance Information

  • Location:
  • Gilpin County Fairgrounds Barn
    230 Norton Drive, Black Hawk, CO 80422

General Information:

This show is under roof, so no worries about rain and no need for sun shades. Do bring a camp chair. Small coolers are allowed but NO GLASS and NO OUTSIDE ALCOHOL. No pets and PLEASE only real, trained service dogs. 

There is plenty of free parking and this event is fully accessible.


There is no onsite camping but just across the street is the
Base Camp , a private campground.
Since it is a holiday weekend we suggest reservations as early as possible!

There are also 2 US Forest Service campgrounds very nearby:
Cold Springs Campground
Pickle Gulch Group Camping Area (Reservations Required!)

2019 Tickets:

Kids 12 and under free.
Special teen/senior price (cash only at door, with ID).

July 4th, 2019 


Tweener jams hosted by Miles Perry of Caribou Mountain Collective

    • Doors 1:00
    • 1:30-3:00 Ragged Union
    • 3:00-3:30 tweener set
    • 3:30-5:00 The Sweet Lillies
    • 5:00-5:30 tweener set
    • 5:30-7:00 members of Trout Steak Revival
      with Bridget Law
    • 7:00-7:30 tweener set
    • 7:30-9:00 The Railsplitters
    Food and arts & crafts boothsKids’ Tent with activities and a Bouncy Castle!Black Hawk Fireworks  9:30 PM

(You cannot view the fireworks from the barn, unfortunately.)


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