Every June Festivarians and musicians from around the world make their annual pilgrimage to the historic mountain town of Telluride in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. It's an unforgettable 4 days of music, mountains, and magic in the breathtaking box canyon at 8,750'.
The Summer Solstice...
The Annual Telluride Bluegrass is held the weekend closest to the Summer Solstice - the longest day of the year which begins the Colorado summer. It's a magical time of sun and light, when the the high country of Colorado puts away its skis and grabs hiking boots, guitars, and a low-back festival chair to take in "Bluegrass."
The Annual festival promises a magical four days of only-in-Telluride performances. Beloved Festival veterans and inspiring new talent. The Telluride royalty of virtuosic bluegrass superpickers, soulful songwriters, and some of the biggest stars in the rootsy Americana landscape and well beyond.
The festival is built around the many artists that have defined the Telluride Bluegrass sound, as the weekend is sprinkled with inspired sets from Peter Rowan, Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Chris Thile, Tim O'Brien, and of course the "King of Telluride" Sam Bush. These artists come together for the festival's epic set from the Telluride House Band.
Since its very beginning, the festival has embraced a wide swath of roots music to create the unique genre of "Telluride Bluegrass." Recent lineups have welcomed Robert Plant, Mumford & Sons, The Decemberists, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, David Byrne, Ani DiFranco, Lyle Lovett, Ryan Adams, Counting Crows, Bonnie Raitt, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and so many more.
The Bluegrass Festival...
Performers say there is a unique thrill to performing in front of the smartest, most attentive audience in the country. Artists are encouraged to take risks in Telluride, and the Festivarian audience is regularly rewarded with unique blends of voices sharing the stage for the first time - as new musical friendships cultivated backstage make their debut on the Telluride stage.
With music on the main stage all day, intimate workshops on the Elks Park stage in the middle of town, prestigious band and songwriting contests, late-night Nightgrass concerts at every indoor venue in town, and jam sessions throughout the night in condos and around campgrounds, this is a week of uncommon musical riches.
The voices of Telluride Bluegrass are also the voices of festivarians, many of whom have been finding their way back year after year for twenty or more years. Today, children raised on Telluride Bluegrass return to introduce their own children to the festivarian experience.
Cherished friendships, informed by music and inspiration, reunite every summer in the Town Park campground. New friendships are created as festivarians choose their tarp spot every morning to the sound of bagpipes echoing off the jagged peaks overhead.
Listen to the mayor of Town Park, Telluride Tom, talk about the festivarian experience on Colorado Matters and join the year-round community in our Festivarian Forum, where there's an active thread right now about Festivarians' favorite Telluride memories.
Amazingly creative and unique booths add extra sparkle to each event. If you've got such a booth, then you can earn a little jingle while enjoying three weekends of great acoustic music throughout the summer.