Telluride Bluegrass Festival: Escapism at Its Finest

Oh Yeah!

Oh Yeah!

Yonder Mountain String Band

Yonder Mountain String Band and Sam Bush

Good Pickin'

Good Pickin’

Superior quality music, a stellar natural setting, sunny days, clear nights, fine fiddle playing, booze, the smell of weed wafting over the scents of barbecue, fried fish and garlic, old friends and new acquaintances, colorful costumes, lyrical ballads, savory eats, tie-dye tops, penetrating instrumental solos, strappy sundresses, bare foot dancing, shorts, face painting, straw hats, jamming, T-shirts of every ilk, color and message imaginable, a heart-stirring lonesome chorus, flip flops, hula hoops, a carnavale-like parade, dusty cowboy boots, melodious breakdowns as quick as an Irish reel. This is just a sampling of what makes the Telluride Bluegrass Festival so much fun and so mentally, physically and spiritually transcending.

Lovin' the Views

Lovin’ the Views

Peter Rowan

Peter Rowan

Peter Rowan's Twang an' Groove

Peter Rowan’s Twang an’ Groove

Béla Fleck and His Wife Abigail Washburn

Béla Fleck and His Wife Abigail Washburn

What a Couple

What a Couple

She Sings Too

She Sings Too

It has been a rough three weeks for me. I stupidly fell prey to an internet phishing scam that infected my laptop, desktop and phone–all Apple devices. More on that  later  but I can tell you that I have sometimes felt like driving off a cliff (of which there are many on our high mountain roadways–thank goodness I work mostly at home). By last Wednesday, I could barely conduct a hint of business on my phone. In addition to being computer and laptop-less, I could hardly bring up the internet on my iPhone. You see our whole little mountain town swells to about five times its normal population during Bluegrass and although this mega-event is super well organized, our resources are stretched to a max during this time; bandwidth and cell phone service become as chance-y as finding a parking spot in town during the festival, one of the busiest times of the year. (Non locals can’t even drive into T-ride throughout that period, so don’t bother trying unless you have the special sticker.)

Love the Scene

Love the Scene

Smokin' Hot

Smokin’ Hot

The Crowd

The Crowd

So by Friday afternoon, the second day of this renowned four-day fun fest, I gave up trying to work. Instead, I let myself morph into a more fun-loving and detached version of myself.  The heady scene and music carried me into a world where computers ceased to exist and internet scammers became an unfathomable concept.

Hula Girl

Hula Girl

Swingin' It

Swingin’ It

Pirate Personas

Pirate Personas

Fun Friends

Fun Friends

All Aglow

All Aglow

Young Festivarian

Young Festivarian

And as I looked around me, I know that most everyone else was escaping into that wonderful world of no worries as well–that one way or another, everything was gonna be all right. Beneath the pseudo-hippie appearances of most, I knew there were doctors, lawyers, judges, shop workers, mothers, fathers, laborers, students, artists and yes, surely even a computer programmer or two along with tons of other folks intent on assuming different identities within the free-spirited world of the T-ride Bluegrass Festival. Magic was being worked throughout.

Festival Greats:  Peter Rowan and Sam Bush

Festival Greats: Peter Rowan and Sam Bush

People were leaving their worries behind to dance to some of the greatest music they’d ever heard, to admire awe-inspiring peaks as they sipped a frosty beer, to go back and romp with their love in their tent, to pick up their own guitar, banjo, bass or fiddle and strum a few notes, to feel more at one with the world and to make peace with all their woes. Yes, at the risk of sounding very corny, within the festival experience I know that most everyone was able to let go of their mental garbage and encumbrances and come to a place of feeling “the love.”

The Food Scene

The Food Scene

So Many Choices

So Many Choices

Dumpling Mania

Dumpling Mania

Worth the Wait

Worth the Wait

My Festival Favorite

My Festival Favorite

Taking a Break from the Park and Dining at La Coçina de Luz

Taking a Break from the Park and Dining at La Coçina de Luz

Good vibes reign throughout the region during the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Sure, Telluride Town Park, the epicenter of the whole scene, supplies an unparalleled setting with stunningly-beautiful mountain peaks skirting the main stage and field. But town and its perimeter hop with all kinds of fun and great energy during this time as well; there’s pickin’ on every street corner and in every campground–general merriment may be found from the lobby of a top hotel to the patio of a Mexican restaurant to the depths of the campsites spread around the region.

Listening to Bluegrass Down by the River

Listening to Bluegrass Down by the River

Sam Bush Band

Oh, by the Light of a Sliver of a Moon

bush

Sam Bush Band

Sam and the Guys

Sam and the Guys

The Night Scene

The Night Scene

Telluride Bluegrass heralds in summer! And in a high mountain town like Telluride, Colorado, we have good reason to celebrate full-on the arrival of warmer days, gushing rivers and streams and blooming wildflowers. (Up until last Wednesday, it was chilly and wet here in T-ride, the sort of weather we’d had the whole second half of spring.)

Young Pickers

Young Pickers

Street Entertainers

Street Entertainers

Bluegrass Specials

Pot Shop Bluegrass Specials

My boyfriend, Steve, and I even did some primitive camping on Saturday night. He always likes to set up his tent during Bluegrass whether in Town Park or this time, atop a mountain just outside of town. I’ve only camped a handful of times in my life, but I was game to give it a try. It turned out to be quite the adventure, especially since I froze all night long. (The temperature swings can be crazy here this time of year when it’s blistering hot and dry during the day and super chilly at night–as low as 39 the night we camped out.) After I finally dozed off, I was awakened by some distant Bluegrass revelers returning “home” after staying out late in the bars. Then I woke up again a little later to the cries of a guy shouting “It’s so f-ing cold. I am so-oooooo cold.” He kept shouting that mantra for a while: I contemplated chiming in but I thought that might just make the situation worse–at least for Steve.

Waking Up at the Campsite

Waking Up at the Campsite

Steve Sipping Tea with Me

Steve Sipping Tea with Me

Camping Life

Camping Life

Nature Girl

Nature Girl

Driving Down from Our Campsite

Driving Down from Our Campsite

Yeah, that’s life in the Rockies. But waking up the next morning to the robust scent of wild sage surrounded by quaking aspens felt divine. My guy and I sipped tea as we admired the raw beauty around us, something that even Telluriders never take for granted. I pooped in the woods, which elevated my camping experience to a nine on the scale of ten. There’s nothing like cutting loose and living outside of your normal. Festivals have a way of making you dare to stretch your comfort zone in many ways.

Leftover Salmon

Leftover Salmon

A Little Bit of Country: Kasey Musgraves

A Little Bit of Country: Kasey Musgraves

I encourage all of you to do it someday–yes, I’m referring to both doing your business in the forest and attending the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I promise you’ll leave all your woes at the gate. And except for an occasional posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I promise you’ll feel nicely disconnected with the outside world and it will do your soul a world of good.

Greensky Bluegrass

One of My Favorites: Greensky Bluegrass

Ry Cooder, Sharon White & Ricky Skaggs

Ry Cooder, Sharon White & Ricky Skaggs

Telluride Bluegrass Tickets Scored!

Telluride Bluegrass Tickets Scored!

How to Buy Tickets for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Tickets for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival usually go on sale in early December prior to the June festival and sell out very quickly. It is, however, possible to buy four-day passes and/or single tickets prior to the event, especially once you’re in town. Check the bulletin board across from the festival gate and KOTO, the radio station. You can also find people outside of the gate selling tickets at cost or even less. I had two four-day passes, valued at a total of $410., to sell because my brother and his friend had to cancel out last-minute and I was only able to obtain $325. for them. I also know friends that have purchased tickets on Craigslist. Good luck and remember to never buy or sell Bluegrass tickets above face value.

A Great Resource for Ticktes and More: The Bulletin Board at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival

A Great Resource for Tickets and More: The Bulletin Board at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival

The Tent Steve and I Set Up at Our Place for My Bro

The Tent Steve Set Up at Our Place for My Bro

Great stuff here! love all of the pics 🙂
xoxo

-mfr
http://festivalcrossing.com/coachella/

 

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