By Brian F. Johnson
Everyone in Colorado with even a cursory interest in music knows about Telluride Bluegrass in June, but Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, now in its 14th year, is giving folks a reason to visit T-ride just as the leaves begin to change colors and before the snow falls.
Held in Town Park, where its banjo-laden big brother sets up shop earlier in the summer, Blues & Brews is the anti-bluegrass festival, but still brings the free spirit that has long made the town the perfect setting for a festival.
Blues & Brews features three days of world-renowned musicians, late night jams in the local juke joints, 50 choice microbreweries serving up their handcrafted “cream of the barrel” during Saturday’s Grand Tasting, the Rainbow Kids area, free Acoustic Artist Series, Blues For Breakfast, and the Telluride Acoustic Blues Camp.
Though it has “Blues” in its name, the line-up can range anywhere from traditional blues to rock and roll.
The only downside to Telluride can be the cost of lodging, if you’re not down for the whole camping thing. Being a resort town, those with the rooms know they can charge top dollar, but deals are offered early on. With a little planning and calling around, affordable lodging is possible, but don’t wait until the last minute. If you do, you’ll pay a lot and you won’t be as close to the festival as you want to be.
(As calculated by mapquest.com from
Denver, Colo. to Telluride, Colo.)
Total Est. Time: 6 hours, 9 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 331.25 miles
ALONG THE WAY: The drive to Telluride can sometimes seem to take forever, but the drive through Glenwood Canyon makes it all worthwhile. It begs to be driven in a top-down convertible with music cranking. But, resist the temptation to speed until after you’ve gone through the speed traps. State Troopers are often camped out along the road pulling people over in packs, so take it easy.
CAMPING: Limited on-site camping $$