2018 NightGrass Shows

Trampled By Turtles at the Sheridan (photo Benko Photographics)
Yonder Mountain at the Sheridan
(photo Benko Photographics)

The sun may set and the temperature may drop, but the music doesn't stop at Telluride Bluegrass... NightGrass is the late-night magic of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

These intimate indoor shows are held nightly at the historic Sheridan Opera House and Fly Me to the Moon Saloon (both located just a few blocks from the Town Park festival grounds) as well as the Palm Theatre (an easy walk or free shuttle ride to the west end of Colorado Avenue). Special shows are also held at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village (a free gondola ride from Telluride).

2018 NightGrass Schedule

  Sheridan
Opera House
Palm Theatre Fly Me to the Moon Telluride Conference
Center
Wednesday
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Dierks Bentley with the Travelin' McCourys
Thursday The Wood Brothers Greensky Bluegrass The Lil Smokies
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Friday Yonder Mountain String Band Leftover Salmon Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers
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Saturday I'm With Her The Infamous Stringdusters The Last Revel
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Sunday Punch Brothers
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Wednesday, June 20
Dierks Bentley
Celebrate Bluegrass Eve with...
  • 9pm show / 8pm doors (All Ages)
  • Telluride Conference Center, 580 Mountain Village Blvd, Mountain Village
  • Tickets: $30
Traditions are an important part of Planet Bluegrass, but sometimes inspiration takes us in a new direction. After Dierks Bentley's main stage set last year, he fell in love with Telluride -- feeling so inspired he wrote and recorded his new album The Mountain here.  So when Dierks asked about sharing some of that new inspiration with his bluegrass buddies again at this year's TBF, the Wednesday night at the Conference Center felt like a natural fit: an intimate show with one of music's biggest stars celebrating the glory of Telluride Bluegrass. We can already feel the goosebumps. (A huge thanks to our buddies in Yonder Mountain for sliding over to make room for this special Dierks show. Yonder's 16-year run of epic Kick-Off parties remains legendary.) Top
Thursday, June 21
The Wood Brothers
  • 11pm show / 10:30pm doors (Ages 21+ unless accompanied by a parent)
  • Sheridan Opera House, 110 North Oak Street, Telluride
  • Tickets: $40
Though brothers Chris and Oliver Wood grew up just across the Centennial State in Boulder, 2018 marks their debut on the TBF stage. So naturally, we couldn't contain their overflowing TBF energy in just one afternoon set -- enter the Sheridan Opera House to save the day! Together with multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix the Wood Brothers have been called "masters of soulful folk" -- and one of the most kickin' live shows around. Fittingly titled One Drop of Truth, the latest entry in the Wood Brothers' evolution finds three musicians being true to themselves, diving headfirst into a deep wellspring of influences. At a point in their career where most artists would be looking to strategically position themselves for even greater commercial success, they instead turned to artistic expression in service of the muse. Says Rolling Stone: "the trio drifts effortlessly (but not aimlessly) between styles as diverse as plaintive country folk and electrified blues funk."  Top
Greensky Bluegrass
  • 11pm show / 10pm doors (Ages 21+)
  • Michael D. Palm Theatre, 721 West Colorado Avenue, Telluride
  • Tickets: $30
Since winning the TBF band contest in 2006, the Kalamazoo quintet have become one of the most hotly-requested staples of the box canyon. Greensky NightGrass sets continue to dominate chapters of the NightGrass scrapbook: closing their '12 Sheridan show with encores in the park outside the venue; an artfully choreographed Broke Mountain reunion in '13; 5 years of scorching multi-set affairs at the Palm.  What story will you be telling the grandkids about GSBG's 2018 Palm...? Top
The Lil Smokies
  • 11pm show (Ages 21+)
  • Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, 136 E Colorado Ave, Telluride
  • Tickets: $25
Those Telluride judges sure know how to pick 'em: Greensky, Dixie Chicks, The Lil Smokies… Since winning the 2015 band contest, Missoula, MT's The Lil Smokies have been blowing up the progressive bluegrass scene around the country.  The band captures that same dynamic presence on their new album, Changing Shades, delivering their exceptional songwriting and bluegrass roots with the punch of a rock band. "We wanted to duplicate the energy of our live shows. It's a perfect mixture of improvisation and composition. The record shows how fearless we've become in the last year," says dobro player Andy Dunnigan. From the massive main stages of festivals like TBF and RockyGrass, the quintet returns to their intimate roots this Thursday night to shake the basement rafters of the Moon, adding to the legend of this classic Telluride room. Top
Friday, June 22
Yonder Mountain String Band
  • 11pm show / 10:30pm doors (Ages 21+ unless accompanied by a parent)
  • Sheridan Opera House, 110 North Oak Street, Telluride
  • Tickets: $40
This whole NightGrass "lottery" really started with Yonder's massive Friday late-nights at the Sheridan. This was the show for Festivarians -- the hot ticket. That was 9 years ago, and the energy surrounding this late-night Kinfolk throwdown at the Sheridan has only grown. One of the biggest names in progressive acoustic music plays their most intimate show of the year on a crazed Friday night in Telluride. So um, yeah, start filling out that lottery form right now. Top
Leftover Salmon
  • 11pm show / 10pm doors (Ages 21+)
  • Michael D. Palm Theatre, 721 West Colorado Avenue, Telluride
  • Tickets: $30
One of the most storied bands in Telluride lore (Vince and Drew first played together in a Town Park Campground jam circa 1989) ignites the Palm Theatre with a euphoric late-night Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass firestorm. The term "NightGrass" is defined (possibly redefined?) by a show like this. Ooh la la, what a way to finish a Friday night. Top
Phoebe Hunt & the Gatherers
  • 11pm show (Ages 21+)
  • Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, 136 E Colorado Ave, Telluride
  • Tickets: $25
Shanti's Shadow marks an arrival for Phoebe Hunt, whose artistic and personal journey has deep storylines. An accomplished Americana instrumentalist with foundations in jazz and swing music, Phoebe "certainly doesn't neglect her roots, but she doesn't wallow in the dirt of her influences, either" (Rolling Stone). These masterfully crafted songs are brought to life by the musicians Phoebe has gathered – each a virtuoso in their own right: mandolinist Dominick Leslie, guitarist Roy Williams, bassist Jared Engel, accordionist Sam Reider, and percussionist Nick Falk. Phoebe has a skill for taking seemingly disparate elements and pulling them together into a dazzling kaleidoscope of lush, coherent sound and rhythm patterns. The result is music that swells, crashes and breathes organically under her soulful, plaintive voice. The music seemingly transcends traditional genre, by weaving exotic rhythmic concepts within her roots of Americana, Country and Texas Tinged Swing. Top
Saturday, June 23
I'm With Her: Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz & Aoife O'Donovan
  • 11pm show / 10:30pm doors (Ages 21+ unless accompanied by a parent)
  • Sheridan Opera House, 110 North Oak Street, Telluride
  • Tickets: $40
Oh, the magic of Telluride: After years of crossing paths in their intersecting scenes, the three musicians of I'm With Her were invited to share an Elks Park workshop at the 2014 Telluride Bluegrass. The very same day, a friend (guess who?) texted them with a last-minute request to open a show that night at the Sheridan Opera House. "We had two hours to prepare for a 30-minute set and we said, 'Let's do it, let's skip margaritas and rehearse,'" recalls Aoife O'Donovan. "We worked up six or seven songs in the bathroom, and then went on to this crazy-energetic crowd at one in the morning. I'll never forget how amazing that felt." Now four years later, the trio's remarkable debut, See You Around, is one of the most acclaimed albums of 2018. On behalf of music lovers around the world: thank you, Telluride NightGrass! And happy birthday, I'm With Her -- we can't wait for tonight's celebration! Top
The Infamous Stringdusters
  • 11pm show / 10pm doors (Ages 21+)
  • Michael D. Palm Theatre, 721 West Colorado Avenue, Telluride
  • Tickets: $30
Forward motion belies creativity and evolution. A staunch and unwavering commitment to progression is how an unassuming group of five friends can collectively become a Grammy Award-winning force of nature. That's exactly how it happened for The Infamous Stringdusters. Within thirteen years since their 2005 formation, the band have consistently forged ahead, relentlessly exploring the musical possibilities of a "bluegrass ensemble" and breaking down boundaries in the process. Ryan Adams (whom they shared the TBF stage with in 2016) calls them "the Star Wars of Bluegrass." On this TBF Saturday, the 'Dusters triumphantly cap this year's Palm trilogy, overpowering the dark force of sleep for one more night.   Top
The Last Revel
  • 11pm show (Ages 21+)
  • Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, 136 E Colorado Ave, Telluride
  • Tickets: $25
From the budding music scene of the Upper Midwest comes the cutting edge Front Porch Americana soundscapes of The Last Revel.  This powerfully talented trio of multi-instrumentalists from Minneapolis, Minnesota so naturally blends the genres of Folk, Rockabilly, Old Time String-Band and Rock to create a sound that is as equally original as it is timeless. The Last Revel trio utilizes their multi-instrumental abilities to bring the acoustic guitar, upright bass, fiddle, 5-string banjo, harmonica, kick drum and three-part vocal harmonies together to consistently deliver "Bombastic live performances", as well as delicate and haunting folk ballads. Having released their third album Hazard & Fate, The Last Revel further demonstrates their ability to create rich and delicately textured recorded material with a modern "tip of the hat" to the storied history of American folk music. Top
Sunday, June 24
Punch Brothers
  • 10:30pm show / 10pm doors (Ages 21+ unless accompanied by a parent)
  • Sheridan Opera House, 110 North Oak Street, Telluride
  • Tickets: $40
After the last note has been played on the main stage, musicians make their way to the Sheridan for the festival's final epic jams, wringing every last drop of music out of the artists who have defined our 4 days of acoustic adventure. Many emotional notes will be played and sung deep, deep into this night as we bid farewell to another TBF. Much like Yonder's Friday night Sheridan blow-out, this show has become an essential part of the Telluride Bluegrass experience. The Punch Brothers are the soundtrack to our journey home; they are the musical guide to set us on our way toward the 46th Telluride Bluegrass and the next Summer Solstice. Top

Special thanks to our NightGrass partner...
Avery Brewing