Telluride Bluegrass Bliss and How You Can Attend this Great Festival

Me Enjoying All Aspects of the Festival

Me Enjoying All Aspects of the Festival

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.

Jerry Douglas Presents The Earls of Leicester Featuring Telluride Regular Tim O'Brien

Jerry Douglas Presents The Earls of Leicester Featuring Telluride Regular Tim O’Brien

My Favorite Festivarian

My Favorite Festivarian

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.

Ready for the Evening Show to Begin

Ready for the Evening Show to Begin

Alison and the Telluride House Band

Alison and the Telluride House Band

Alison Krauss and Del McCoury with Our T-ride Regulars

Alison Krauss and Del McCoury with Our T-ride Regulars

Taking It Home

Taking It Home

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.

One of Many Pickers of All Ages Around Town

One of Many Pickers of All Ages Around Town

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.

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    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
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