With the sold-out 38th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival now less than a week away, the solstice celebration we plan for all year long has come into sharp focus. The Elks Park, FirstGrass, and Family Tent schedules are now posted. The posters, programs, and pocket schedules (including this year's Eco-Punchcard) have been printed. The moon is well on its way to Wednesday night's full glory. And the mine cart featured in this year's official Telluride Bluegrass artwork (left) is following the fiddle tracks to Town Park to deliver its musical load of mandolinium, fiddlorium, banjobalt, and dobronium to the Shellman stage.
As you complete your packing for the pilgrimage we'd like to remind you about a few important details...
If you're camping in any of our campgrounds, please have a look at the 2011 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 compostable bag (for your campsite compost), and be directed to free campground-specific parking nearby. As well, if you're camping at Warner Field, check out the revised Warner Field load-in procedure (PDF file) – we've made some changes this year to minimize the backup of cars on Colorado Ave.
For an exceptionally complete packing list, check out Hippie Jerry's ultimate list on the Festivarian Forum. In particular, don't forget: your tickets (!), your vintage beer cup and other reusables (water bottle, utensils, coffee mug), sunscreen, tarp and sturdy festival chair, warm clothes for the evening, rain gear (y'never know), and your tickets (you double-checked, right?).
Two-Thirds for Town Park... Inspired by last year's waste audit of the Town Park campground, we're challenging all Town Park campers to help us divert two-thirds of their waste from the landfill via compost, recycling, or reuse. You can do your part by separating your compost and recycling, dropping off your compost and recycling each day (rather than waiting until Monday's load-out), and taking everything else with you when you leave (e.g. couches, tarps).
We'll once again be rewarding sustainable festivation in all the campgrounds with the 4th Annual Leave No Trace Campground Challenge. Stop by the LNT booth in Greentown to register your camp for a chance to win daily prizes (New Belgium beer, Planet Bluegrass music) as well as the grand prize of 2012 Town Park camping passes.
Whether you're camping, staying in a condo, or just coming for a single day, complete our Eco-Punchcard for a chance to win a 15-day vacation for 2 from Intrepid Travel. Just complete 7 of the 10 items on the Eco-Punchcard (precycle, carpool, compost, reuse, etc.) and you'll be eligible to win. You'll find the Eco-Punchcard on the back of this year's pocket schedule.
Telluride Bluegrass officially begins on Wednesday before the Yonder kick-off show with the 3rd Annual FirstGrass Concert in Mountain Village from 5-8pm. Ride the free gondola from Telluride to 9,450' to enjoy the spectacular views and free performances from Sarah Jarosz and Cornmeal in Sunset Plaza.
We're excited to be partnering this year with the ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass to present the free workshops at Elks Park. This world's first online bluegrass academy features schools for each bluegrass instrument led by the masters (Tony Trischka, Bryan Sutton, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Missy Raines). In addition to hundreds of high quality video lessons, the ArtistWorks "video exchange system" allows students to receive personal video feedback from their instructors. Learn more at AcademyOfBluegrass.com and be sure to stop by the special banjo workshop with the legendary Tony Trischka at Elks Park on Friday at 1:30pm.
All weekend-long the Elks Park stage features unique collaborations and intimate performances from festival artists (Béla Fleck, Punch Brothers, Stringdusters, Abigail Washburn) and other special guests (Sara Watkins, Casey Driessen, Albatross, Matthew & the Atlas, Sarah Jarosz), as well as the band and Troubadour contests and much more.
In addition to the Elks Park performances, Punch Brothers will be screening their feature-length documentary "How to Grow a Band" at the Nugget Theatre on Saturday at 11am. This Colorado premiere will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.
Finally... As you unearth classic TBF photos and stories during your packing, share them with us! We're in the process of putting together a lavishly-illustrated coffee-table art book for the 40th Anniversary of Telluride Bluegrass in 2013. Renowned journalist and radio personality G. Brown has spent the last several years searching through every library, historical society, newspaper morgue and private collection to compile materials for this 40th anniversary edition. He'd love to hear from festivarians with rare photos and stories via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After our earliest sell-outs ever for both Telluride Bluegrass and RockyGrass, tickets for the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (Aug 19-21) continue to creep ever closer to sell-out, with both 3-day passes and Saturday single-day tickets now gone. If you're used to waiting until August to grab your Folks Fest tickets, don't wait much longer. On-site camping (which includes a 3-day pass) and single-day tickets for Friday and Sunday are still available to celebrate songs and stories along the St. Vrain River in Lyons with Jackson Browne, Brandi Carlile, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Martin Sexton, Carolina Chocolate Drops, and many more. Order yours now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
Last Tuesday, we released a few spots in The Song School (August 14-18) in our "returned ticket resale" at shop.bluegrass.com. While you're there you may still find a few spaces in the RockyGrass Academy (July 24-28) – including advanced bass and mandolin building. We'll continue to release any returned tickets on Tuesdays at noon MST, beginning again a full week after Telluride.
If you're joining us in Telluride next week, don't forget your tickets (doesn't hurt to triple-check!), pack smartly, and be prepared for lots of sunshine, nights in the 30s, and the greatest 4 days of the year. Magic is just a few days away; we can't wait to share it with you.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass