BY Brian Turk
Telluride Town Park
The seven hour drive from Denver to Telluride is like renewing your vows with the great state of Colorado. You may find yourself wanting to whisper things like, “I just can’t quit you” or “I will never leave you,” as plains, prairies and peaks are framed by your windshield. Over the past 20 years, the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival has evolved from blues specific to all-encompassing on the music front, and now draws over 50 craft breweries to the three day event.
This year’s lineup is as hoppy as the hoppiest pale ale. Blues and Brews announced in early May that this year’s headliners include Jim James, the Black Crowes and Melissa Etheridge. Other artists lined up to perform include Gary Clark Jr., Otis Taylor Band and ZZ Ward.
Gary Clark Jr.
Mickey Hart Band
Otis Taylor Band
Rebirth Brass Band
Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe
The New Mastersounds
Bright Light Social Hour
One of the coolest and most unique things about Telluride Blues and Brews is the “Grand Tasting,” which is held on Saturday from 12 to 3 p.m. The intent of the Grand Tasting is for festival goers to sample and vote on the 56 craft breweries present, in order to crown a grand champion for the weekend.
You’re going there to see: My Morning Jacket front man Jim James and The Black Crowes
You’re going to come home talking about: How you can’t believe you always thought this was a “blues” festival. How The Black Crowes are one of the best live rock bands on earth and how damn heady Mickey Hart’s band is.
(As calculated by maps.google.com from Denver, Colo. to Telluride, Colo.)
Total Est. Time: 6 hours, 28 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 330 miles
You Need to Know: Telluride parties late night. The official Late Night shows are held at multiple venues, and require a “Juke Joint” pass. Juke Joint passes sell out quickly, so get on it.
Camping: On-site. Must have a festival pass to purchase the four night camping pass. Prepare for near freezing mornings, and bring plenty of quarters for the pay showers.