Colorado Music & Dance Telluride Telluride Festivals: Colorado Music & Dance Telluride Telluride Bluegrass Festival Telluride Festivals
leave a comment
Our little town of Telluride, Colorado emptied out with all the fury of a Sam Bush mandolin solo on Monday. I’m sure that everyone that attended the Telluride Bluegrass Festival last weekend left with hearts filled and a patchwork of tunes in their head. Post Bluegrass here in T-ride has been sweet and mellow with friends and acquaintances sharing experiences about how delightful Bluegrass was for them this year. Bluegrass marks the official start of summer in Telluride and indeed it feels like locals have blossomed into brighter, more cheerful beings.
Accolades have been flowing like the San Miguel in June for KOTO’s broadcast of the festival. This year the sound quality and interviews were better than ever. Folks streamed the show live from all over the world, enabling them to be connected to our little mountain town and to enjoy some of the best music around. All of the acts except for Ray LaMontagne—-who ended up being a downer for many and was practically booed off the stage—-allowed KOTO to broadcast their sets. Even good ‘ole Stevie Winwood, whom I was lucky to see Friday night, made his superlative quality show available to all. Thank you to KOTO and Planet Bluegrass for making this happen.
As usual, I spent about half of my four-day festival tuning in from home. For me, doing Bluegrass—-or anything else for that matter—-full-on is a bit much. What a delight it was to work and relax chez moi serenaded by the sweet summer sounds of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. And thanks to the KOTO interviews, I also learned a lot about the artists that were performing.
All Sunday and Sunday night, however, was reserved for the park, Telluride Town Park, where the main stage is located. It was a glorious day that began with old bluegrass gospel songs by Dailey & Vincent and ended with the Telluride House band composed of Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton and Edgar Meyer. As usual, they closed the festival with remarkable flourish, jamming and rocking out to bluegrass tunes and other genres with their mandolin, banjo, dobro, fiddle, guitar and bass. For many, the highlights of this set occurred when Alison Krauss graced the stage with her songbird voice and Del McCoury, a bluegrass original, wooed us with his high and lonesome sound.
After so many great acts, already people are talking about next year’s festival. Until then, I’m grateful for so much bluegrass still being played on our radio and for the fine collection of music I’ve amassed from shopping at the Festivarian Mercantile over the years.
How to Attend the Bluegrass Festival
The Telluride Bluegrass Festival lineup begins to be released during the fall prior to the June festival. Tickets go on sale late fall and sell out before you can check if your friends are going or not. Ticket sales for locals receive more accommodations although if you don’t have such a connection, you have to act fast.
Here’s the good news: Even if you don’t have a ticket to the festival, just line up your lodging and come. (Those interested in camping within the outlying area—-where there are some great campgrounds—-should arrive at least a week before the festival begins.) This year there were more and more ticket sellers in town, including outside the festival looking to sell one-day and four-day passes. Much to the chagrin of some scalpers, these tickets are rarely sold above face value. I have a friend that bought two four-day passes at the last minute for a song. Craigslist can also be a good source for locating Telluride Bluegrass Festival tickets, but be wary, especially if people ask for payment upfront. It’s best to meet up with someone in person, once in T-ride. The radio station is also an excellent source for locating tickets.
If you don’t spring for a ticket to the main show, there’s lots of free bluegrass going on around town and Telluride Mountain Village throughout the weekend. There’s plenty of free fun, including Telluride Bluegrass for All on KOTO!
KOTO is one of the few entirely community-supported radio stations in the country. If you enjoyed listening to this year’s Telluride Bluegrass Festival on KOTO, please consider giving a donation by contacting me through this blog.