photo - Actor/rapper Common.
Actor/rapper Common.  

SeriesFest, the annual pop culture festival for television held in Denver, kicked off its third season with an opening night shindig at Red Rocks Amphitheater last night. Featuring a 1990s theme, the event featured musical performances from acts that had a significant impact on the decade.

EnVogue was on stage first, followed by Academy Award winning rapper and actor Common. After that was a presentation of the upcoming CNN seven part series, "The Nineties." Attendees watched the "Isn't it Ironic?" episode that focuses on the cultural impact of music from the 90s.

"What makes the 90s different is that its the start of a new world," said series executive producer Mark Herzog, who has also been at the helm of CNN's programs focusing on the 60s, 70s and 80s. "The fall of the Soviet empire happens, the first baby boomer president happens, rock and roll changes with Nirvana taking us in a new direction. I definitely saw the 70s as part of the 60s and I felt like the 80s was a rebound from the 60s and 70s. The 90s is a completely different era." 

The final act of the night was Ms. Lauryn Hill. Overall, the night was a great way to get SeriesFest started, with the blend of music and television a unique mixture.  

"For these two young ladies (co-founders Randi Kleiner and Kaily Smith-Westbrook) to come up with this idea of doing something that's dealing with television, film and web series, it feels new and fresh," said Common. "That creative aspect and having music in one of the most beautiful places in the world feels like something we don't have in other festivals. That's what made me excited to be a part of it."

SeriesFest: Season 3 continues through July 2. Check out some pics from last night's opening event below. 

Gazette media columnist Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones.

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