By Brian F. Johnson
Telluride Bluegrass Festival was one of the nation’s largest festivals back before every town and every genre had its own music extravaganza.
The festival is one part, the same old players each year — people like Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Peter Rowan, Jerry Douglas and the like, will always be a part of Telluride. But the other part of the festival is the eclectic headlining acts that the festival gets year after year which rarely, if ever, have anything to do with bluegrass. Bands such as Cake, Wilco and The Decemberists have all played the Town Park main stage in years past. This year, Telluride will go outside the box with artists like Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Brett Dennen, and The Swell Season.
The festival has always been a vehement defender of the environment and last year began offsetting carbon emissions for its audience’s travel to the festival — making it the first festival in the country to be carbon neutral.
(As calculated by mapquest.com from
Denver, Colo. to Lawrence, Kan.)
Total Est. Time: 6 hours, 11 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 331 Miles
YOU NEED TO KNOW: Because the festival offset your carbon emissions for your travel, the promoters are asking festivarians to take some added steps before they leave home, like turning down air conditioners and refrigerators.
CAMPING: Limited on-site
Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Ani DiFranco Band
Del McCoury Band
Ricky Skaggs & Bruce Hornsby with Kentucky Thunder
Peter Rowan & the Free Mexican Airforce
The Emmitt Nershi Band
Béla Fleck, Duos with Friends
Spring Creek Bluegrass Band
Sam Bush Band
Yonder Mountain String Band
Jerry Douglas Band
Steep Canyon Rangers
Telluride House Band featuring Sam, Béla, Jerry, Edgar & Bryan
The Swell Season: Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova from the film Once
Hot Rize with Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers
John Cowan & Darrell Scott Band
Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile