Summer has officially begun... Sometime during Gaelic Storm's raucous set on the Telluride stage - probably between the "jazz hands" vs. cell phone duel and the blistering fiddle vs. bagpipe duel - we shared in the moment of Solstice. The sun reached its peak in the sky the next day as Mike Farris and the McCrary sisters belted out their last soul-drenched note on Sunday morning. Here in Lyons the St. Vrain River finally reached its peak, as gaggles of tubers and kayakers paddle swiftly past the ranch every afternoon.
And with RockyGrass and Folks Fest just three and six weeks away, respectively, the Planet has come alive with summertime excitement. We can't wait to share the summer with you in Lyons. It's going to be unforgettable.
If you were among the lucky Festivarians who shared four days of musical magic with us in Telluride, know that Jerry Douglas's 25th Anniversary sheep is doing just fine. Every set this year seemed like a new highlight; from Thursday morning's opening duets with Tim and Jerry, to 3 Girls and Their Buddy surprising us with a cover of "Crazy," to the musical/visual feast of David Byrne's spectacular Thursday night party, to Elvis covering "Friend of the Devil," to Chris Thile taking an electric mandolin break with Sam Bush, to Jerry Douglas Band's inspired "We Hide and Seek," to... we can go on like this for hours.
If you missed out, or simply want to relive the magic, check out the great coverage from some of this year's festival bloggers - NoDepression (Steve and James), Daily Camera, Jambase, Telluride Inside & Out, and the ongoing commentaries on the Festivarian Forum.
We'd love to hear your thoughts about the Festival: the campgrounds, the sound, the eco-punchcard, and, of course, the music you'd love to hear at next year's Festival. Please take 5 minutes to complete our online survey. In particular, you can help us make sure we're offsetting for your travel emissions, by sharing a few simple details about your journey to Telluride. We'll make it worth your while, by entering you in a drawing for tickets to next year's Festival.
Congratulations to 2009 Telluride Troubadour winner Mitch Barrett. Mitch's performance of his song "Drop in the Bucket" on Saturday evening - with special guests Sam Bush and backup vocals from all the Troubadour finalists - was one of those unforgettable Telluride moments.
Congratulations also go out to band contest winners - The Hillbenders - and the sustainable campsite challenge winners - Camp Little Del. Both of them will be joining us in Telluride next year, on the main stage and in the Town Park campground.
Complete one of our online surveys about this year's festival for your chance to win a pair of tickets to next year's Telluride Bluegrass - June 17-20, 2010. Mark your calendar: it's only 349 days away.
At Telluride we announced the addition of M. Ward as the final artist for the 19th Annual Folks Festival (Aug 14-16). He will be performing a special solo set on Sunday afternoon - joining an incredible day of music that includes Gillian Welch, Brett Dennen, Blind Pilot, Mia Dyson, Ben Sollee, and The Drepung Monks.
Single-day tickets, 3-day passes, and camping are available now to share in songs and stories along the St. Vrain River in August. Gather a few friends and get your tickets at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
Folks Fest is for the whole family: plant your chair in the cooling waters with clear view of the many main stage headliners - Susan Tedeschi, Rufus Wainwright, Don McLean, Madeleine Peyroux, and many more; and watch the kids play in the sandy beach and enjoy the crafts and face painting in the shade of the family area. As always, kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult, and our reasonably priced tickets never include any kind of service fees.
A few additional spaces have just been made available for The Song School (Aug 9-13). Spend a week of inspiration and craft with some of this year's Folks Festival artists, and become a part of this wonderfully supportive community of songwriters from around the world.
We just posted the complete main stage schedule and times for the 37th Annual RockyGrass (July 24-26). Well, "complete" with one notable exception.
Planning to join us for the RockyGrass Academy or on-site camping for the Festival? Please take a look at our new camping line rules (download this 1-sheet PDF document). Please pass this along to any of your Academy / on-site camping friends, so no one has any surprises in a couple weeks.
If you thought you missed out on Academy or RockyGrass tickets, this may be the most important email you receive all summer. A limited number of single-day Festival tickets and spaces in several Academy classes have just been made available in our "Returned Ticket Resale" at shop.bluegrass.com. Stop reading this email and visit that page right now.
KGNU radio will again be broadcasting part of the Festival during their "Old Grass Gnu Grass" show on Saturday morning, July 25. Part of this broadcast will include the RockyGrass instrument contest finals. Space is still available in many of this year's contests. Register now.
Thanks again to everyone who joined us in Telluride this year. It is our sincere hope that the energy and community of the Festival carries on throughout the year, whether you were with us in Telluride or followed along on KOTO or Twitter.
Keep reusing that water bottle. Take a few minutes to go for a hike or howl at the moon. Keep in touch with your fellow festivarians (on Facebook or Festivarian Forum). Make good on that promise to yourself to learn an instrument. Then pass it on - the Festival is only the beginning.
We can't wait to see you in Lyons this summer. The music of summer has only just begun.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass