With only three weeks left until the one event that launches summer for real, you may wonder if shelling out extra bucks for VIP access (aka Birds & Bubbles by Korbel) will be worth it. Sure, getting into Chicken Fight Presented by Bud Light before the general public is like catching first chair on a powder day — in this case, access to the fresh bites with nobody standing in the way of that perfectly paired cocktail.

Getting all the fried chicken and bourbon to yourself and a small group of like-minded, serious eaters for a full hour of goodness is definitely a treat. But really, once the crowds do filter in, nobody needs to wait in line for too long, even at the most popular spots in the festival.

So why buy a ticket for Birds & Bubbles by Korbel, besides that pristine first access? It’s all about the extras.

Credit: Brent Andeck

Once that first hour winds down and the rich, companionable chaos sets in, VIPs can repair to their own area, with lots of seating, separate restrooms, and private bars serving up premium cocktails provided by Sazerac Spirits, including Buffalo Trace and Wheatley Vodka (and Korbel California Champagne, of course). If you love high end spirits and crave scotch with your chicken, you’ll want to be here.

But the best part? Access to dishes from a select few of Denver’s favorite restaurants. That’s right — you’ll get an exclusive lineup of tasty fare by our beloved culinary creatives as they compete for the best creative chicken dish, meticulously made for the folks in the Birds and Bubbles section. Pair every bite with free champagne, and you’ll feel like the true VIP you are.

Confirmed VIP restaurants so far include:

Mister Tuna

Williams & Graham

Hearth & Dram

Butcher’s Bistro

Mizu Izakaya


Fire on the Mountain

The Ice Cream Farm

Bacon Social

One you’ve taken a moment or two, dip back into the crowds for another crispy chicken concoction, hang for the live music while you sip another sweet or savory cocktail, then settle in  at VIP again to get off your feet and have another go at the champagne and sublime stylings of Denver’s gems.

Yeah, that’s worth it.