Telluride Bluegrass, Always the Best Fest
By Brian Turk
Telluride Town Park
This year’s summer solstice falls on June 20, and it will truly be the longest day of the year for a lot of music lovers. The 39th Annual Telluride Bluegrass festival kicks off the following day, and folks will be wiggling in desk chairs or crowded cars as they countdown the hours til the festival starts.
The popularity of Telluride Bluegrass has grown exponentially over the decades, and the fact that four-day passes were sold out by Christmas 2011 is staggering proof. Telluride Bluegrass is not only a destination for bluegrass lovers and anyone who appreciates acoustic and tradition-based music, the inclusion of outlying genres, and a diverse lineup has made Telluride a yearly tradition for music lovers of all kinds, from all over the globe. This year’s non-bluegrass big names include Bruce Hornsby & the Noise Makers, Brett Dennen, and John Fogerty.
Telluride isn’t just about the music, but the entire experience.
You’re going there to see: Punch Brothers and Del McCoury Band.
You’re going to come home talking about: The rhythmic vintage sounds of The Devil Makes Three, and the grace and authenticity of Delta Mae.
(As calculated by maps.google.com from Denver, Colo. to Telluride, Colo.)
Total Est. Time: 6 hours, 53 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 363 miles
YOU NEED TO KNOW: Telluride Bluegrass likes to stay up late. Once the sun goes down and the festival gates close, it’s time for the festival’s late-night component, NightGrass. The NightGrass schedule starts on Wednesday night, and if you really want to get in your Telluride “happy place” right off the bat, then celebrate Festival eve. Start your four day festival experience by taking the sunset gondola from Telluride to Mountain Village, partying with Yonder Mountain String Band.
Camping: Yes — but it’s the most sought-after camping pass in America. Good luck.