We're less than a week away from the 37th annual gathering of festivarian nation in Telluride. Less than a week from tarp-filled afternoons gazing straight up at the San Juan Mountains. Less than a week from finding our new favorite band, our new favorite hike, our new best friend. Less than a week from the ecstatic cry of "Festivaaaaaaal." Less than a week from the four days that will define the summer of 2010; the four days that we'll spend the rest of the year recalling with a knowing smile (and maybe a joyous tear) for anyone willing to listen.
It's not too late to make your plans to join us June 17-20. Tickets, camping, and lodging are still available to spend the solstice weekend surrounded by alpine waterfalls and the music of Alison Krauss, Lyle Lovett, Leftover Salmon, Sam Bush, Brandi Carlile, Béla Fleck, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Tim O'Brien, Mumford & Sons, and so many more...
The festivation begins on Wednesday afternoon high up in Mountain Village (a free gondola ride above Telluride) with the free FirstGrass Concert featuring Sarah Jarosz and 18 South. Join us in Sunset Plaza (just follow the music) from 5-8pm for the perfect soundtrack to watching the sun bow over Mount Wilson with views stretching all the way to Utah.
Then celebrate Festival Eve at Yonder Mountain String Band's 9th Annual Kick-off Party in Mountain Village (sorry, it's sold-out) or watch the alpenglow on the gondola back down to Telluride for Dierks Bentley & the Travelin' McCourys at the Sheridan Opera House (tix still available). The NightGrass series continues through the weekend with tickets still available for Josh Ritter & Ben Sollee (Thurs), Cadillac Sky (Friday), and Carolina Chocolate Drops & The Hillbenders (Saturday).
"Telluride Bluegrass is by far my favorite festival" - Keller Williams
In addition to the music on the main stage (full daily schedule now posted), check out the busy schedule of workshops and performances in Elks Park - including Happy Hour with the Punch Brothers, Wendell Mercantile & Jeff Austin, a basic bluegrass jamming workshop with Pete and Joan Wernick, and much more.
And for the younger festivarians, the Family Tent inside the festival once again offers a full schedule of activities each day - clowns, juggling, magic, hoops - culminating in the Kids Talent Show on Saturday and the Kids Parade through the festival grounds on Sunday.
Be sure to visit our lodging page for numerous last-minute deals, including 25% off from Telluride Alpine Lodging; rooms starting at $235 (including free parking) at Capella Telluride; and 20% off the best available rates at Mountain Lodge at Telluride. It's not too late to make the journey to Telluride - whether you're coming from Denver or California.
Or if your tent is longing for some nights under the Telluride stars, we still have a few camping spaces available at Telluride High School. If you're camping with us this year be sure to download the 2010 TBF Camper's Handbook (PDF file). Remember: go directly to your campground; you'll be able to pickup your will-call camping passes, unload your gear, get your free Eco-Products BioBag (for your campsite compost), and be directed to free campground-specific parking nearby.
“Telluride Bluegrass is not just a festival, it's an EVENT" - Jerry Douglas
We'll be celebrating "sustainable festivation" again this year with our Eco-Punchcard (part of the Pocket Schedule). Complete 7 of the 10 items on the punchcard and you'll be entered in a drawing for an international vacation for two from Intrepid Travel. Begin completing your Eco-Punches at home: turn down your thermostat / water heater and unplug your phantom power sources (tv, power strips). And as you complete your packing for Telluride, be sure to assemble your "Festivarian Toolkit" - reusable water bottle, vintage beer cup, reusable plates and utensils.
Once again the Telluride Bluegrass Festival will be 100% carbon-neutral - with carbon offsets compensating for all travel emissions. You can do your part (and complete another Eco-Punch) by sharing your ride to Telluride with a fellow festivarian. Split the fuel cost, secure a spot on another festival tarp, and be introduced to someone else's fascinating music collection. Check out the "Hitching a Ride" board at www.festivarian.com.
We'll be celebrating the mystical arts of Tibet throughout the festival with The Drepung Monks. In addition to their Sunday morning performance on the main stage, they'll be leading guided meditations at Elks Park on Friday and Saturday, and creating a mandala sand painting over the course of the festival inside the sponsor tent. Join them for the blessing of the mandala space on Thursday at noon and the closing ceremony on Sunday at 4:45pm.
"The Telluride Bluegrass Festival is nothing short of awe inspiring. From the place, to the people, to the music, it is simply a perfect festival." - Sarah Jarosz
The festival box office is located on the east end of Pacific Avenue. When you receive your wristband be sure to pickup a copy of this year's 52-page festival program or a pocket schedule (including the Eco-Punchcard). This year's program includes in-depth features on Crucial Country, the 20th anniversary of the Troubadour contest, the history of hydropower in Telluride, artist bios, haikus contributed by festivarians, and much more. Please help us conserve paper by sharing a single program with others on your tarp.
Need a fresh soundtrack for your Telluride packing? Watch the world premiere of Cadillac Sky's new "Hangman" video - filmed at Nashville's Tent City before the recent flood. Check out Dierks Bentley's new bluegrass record - including stellar covers of Dylan's "Senor" and U2's "Pride" featuring Punch Brothers and Del McCoury. And be sure to bring a couple extra bucks to the festival to pickup the fantastic forthcoming albums from Tim O'Brien and Punch Brothers (download a free Punch Brothers song right now).
Telluride Bluegrass is a special time in a magical place. It's your rare opportunity to take a morning hike past waterfalls on the Jud Wiebe Trail and be back in time for the bagpipes announcing the morning tarp run; stroll over to Elks Park for an afternoon workshop then return to your tarp for an afternoon New Belgium beer as Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain and Edgar Meyer blow our collective mind. Make this the solstice weekend you'll never forget. We can't wait to see you in Telluride.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass