"I think people will be surprised by the energy an acoustic band can generate. It can be mellow, or it can explode." - Elvis Costello
Elvis was talking about his fantastic new album, "Secret, Profane and Sugarcane" - which you can (and should) stream in its entirety right now. But he may as well have been talking about the entire acoustic adventure that he'll be joining in just 3 weeks. From the energetic grooves of David Byrne and Railroad Earth to the explosions of Gaelic Storm and Yonder Mountain String Band's tenth year... from the songs and stories of Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin & Buddy Miller to the fiery virtuosity of the Telluride House Band... the acoustic energy will be inspiring and unforgettable.
Because four full days of music wasn't enough - and because the gondola ride to Mountain Village is the perfect introduction to the San Juan Mountains - we've added a free concert on the eve of the festival. Join The Greencards and The Lovell Sisters on Wednesday, June 17 from 3-6pm for FirstGrass, the first official show of the 36th Telluride Bluegrass. In addition to the free concert in Mountain Village's Sunrise Square, area restaurants will be offering dinner specials to help you enjoy their spectacular views.
Once again we are partnering with Renewable Choice Energy to make this year's Telluride Bluegrass a completely carbon-neutral event. In addition to offsetting for all festivarian travel and festival energy, this year we are throwing our carbon net ever-wider to include offsets for all lodging and public transportation.
New for this year: we're asking for everyone to help out by completing a few items from the Sustainable Festivarian's Punchcard. These are simple, no-cost things you can do. It starts at home with adjusting your thermostat and bringing your reusable bottles, cups, and utensils; follows into your travel (carpool anyone?) and campsite plans; then carries through the festival with composting, educating yourself in Greentown, renewing your Team Wonderbike pledge, helping pickup micro-trash, and much more.
Our newest partner Intrepid Travel has offered up two spaces on one of their eco-tours to one lucky festivarian who completes at least half the items on this year's Punchcard. Imagine: you could be joining one of Intrepid's small group tours, enjoying the freedom and flexibility to get off the tourist trails and experience local cultures.
Watch for a listing of all the Punchcard items in our next email, so you can complete a few before you've even reached Telluride... and maybe find yourself on another unforgettable trip.
In the prized Thursday evening spot between Three Girls & Their Buddy and David Byrne, we're excited to introduce Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band to festivarian nation. As the leader of Bright Eyes and as a solo artist, Conor is one of the most vital voices of his generation. If you're new to his music, check out this free feature-length documentary - following the band from Mexico to their world tour.
In their current article about this year's greatest music festivals, Rolling Stone calls Telluride Bluegrass: "the most spectacular natural setting of any American festival." Hard to disagree there. Throw in Sam Bush, Kasey Chambers, Béla Fleck, Jenny Lewis, Zac Brown Band, Tim O'Brien, Todd Snider, Jerry Douglas, and many more and it becomes "what may be the season's best party" according to Outside Magazine.
Tickets, camping, and lodging are all still available, including a very limited number of camping spaces in the Telluride High School family campground and a variety of lodging options. Summer officially begins sometime after Sam Bush's Saturday evening set. But for festivarians, it begins the moment you begin your trek to Telluride. Forward this email to a few friends and get your tickets now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
The complete single-day lineup for the Folks Festival (Aug 14-16) is now official! Joining Gillian Welch, Rufus Wainwright, Susan Tedeschi are Australian roots star Mia Dyson, award-winning songwriter Amy Speace, our new favorite folk-pop band of bicycle riders Blind Pilot, and another appearance of TBA.
Yes, it's the year of "To Be Announced" here on Planet Bluegrass. We can offer one hint: the TBAs are not the same for RockyGrass and Folks. Look for an announcement of the Folks Fest TBA right after Telluride; then look for the announcement of the other TBA a few minutes before they walk out onto the RockyGrass stage.
Single-day Folks Fest tickets are now available, as well as 3-day passes and camping. Will there be another double rainbow in Lyons this August? Don McLean, Brett Dennen, Madeleine Peyroux, and many others will be there to find out. Start your planning now.
Next week's "Notes from the Planet" will include the Elks Park workshop schedule, more details on the Sustainable Festivarian's Punchcard, and much more. We've got lots to share in these final couple weeks leading up to the 36th Telluride Bluegrass.
Finally, once you're done listening to Elvis's new album (man, it's good) and Conor's documentary, take a few minutes to watch Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers on CNN. They just completed a month-long tour for the troops in the Middle East "to give back in the way [they] know how - by playing music." It's an earnest and heartwarming interview with one of festivarians' most-loved bands.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass