The summer solstice is now but a month away. One month to learn the mandolin kick-off to that Tim O'Brien tune. One month to finish that batch of homebrew. One month to gather your reusable plates, utensils, and water bottles. One month of waking up in the middle of the night to an imagined shout of "festivaaaaal." One month until the snowmelt finds its way into the San Miguel River, where it will rush past 10,000 smiling festivarians gathered together in Telluride.
Tickets, camping, and lodging are all still available to spend the summer solstice with us in Telluride... Us and Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris and Jerry Douglas and Conor Oberst and Todd Snider and Jenny Lewis and Peter Rowan and...
The complete schedule of times for the Telluride main stage is now official. Beginning with the opening of the gates at 10am on Thursday, June 18 (and the ceremonial drone of the bagpipes) - you can now begin mapping out your four days of "tarp-ful" bliss under the Colorado sun. Plan out a hike up to Bear Creek Falls; find a couple hours to ride your bike into the Ilium valley on the Galloping Goose Trail.
Last year Béla Fleck premiered his award-winning documentary "Throw Down Your Heart" for several sold-out Telluride audiences. This June, we will be offering two matinee screenings of Béla's journey to Africa - Saturday and Sunday (June 20-21) at 3pm at the Nugget Theatre as part of the NightGrass series. Béla will be in attendance at both screenings to talk briefly about the film. Advance tickets (just $5) are available now at shop.bluegrass.com. If you're new to Béla's African collaborations, check out this 2008 Telluride interview, Béla and collaborators on PRI's The World, or this NPR segment with Toumani Diabaté - who will join Béla on Friday evening on the Telluride stage.
The latest addition to the 2008 Telluride videos is a fascinating interview with the King of Telluride, Sam Bush. Sam talks about the early years of the festival, the majesty of Telluride, and his early introduction to hippie culture. If you haven't checked out the expanding treasure chest of 2008 festival videos, this is a perfect place to find your festival inspiration. Sam Bush celebrates his 35th year at Telluride Bluegrass this June.
Early Sunday afternoon, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) takes the Telluride stage - for their first gig outside of California. Check out this short documentary about the birth of this 8-piece super-group that includes Sean and Sara Watkins, Glen Phillips, Luke Bulla, Benmont Tench, and others. Stream three complete songs from the band, then make plans to be on your tarp at 12:30.
At 9pm on Thursday evening, David Byrne makes his long-awaited Telluride Bluegrass debut. For a wonderful taste of his energetic band, listen to a new live digital EP. All proceeds go to Amnesty International. Itsl the perfect accompaniment for the glorious drive from Ridgway to Placerville on "one fine day" this June.
Tickets, camping, and lodging (condos, hotel rooms, and more) are all still available for the festivarian family reunion in Telluride - shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. The current issue of Rolling Stone Magazine picks Telluride Bluegrass as one of the "seven fests worth traveling for." Find some traveling companions and make the pilgrimage this June.
Or hop on over to Jambase.com to enter to win a pair of tickets and camping. Elvis Costello and Emmylou Harris. Yonder Mountain String Band and Railroad Earth. You and your festivarian family.
Last Tuesday we released a limited number of refunded spaces in the RockyGrass Academy (July 19-23). Incredible, eh? Reservations for the Academy sold-out via an online lottery last fall, but due to some unpaid remainders we can now offer a few spaces in the fiddle, clawhammer banjo, traditional dance, and vocal classes. But don't wait long.
Speaking of which... just a few Sunday tickets are left for RockyGrass (July 24-26), then the entire festival is sold-out. We have three letters for you on Sunday: "T-B-A." Plus Hot Rize, Darrell Scott, Danny Paisley, and much more. Or if you can't bear the thought of missing two of the three days, check out the Festivarian Forum for fair ticket resales (no markups, please).
We've got lots of exciting news to share before Telluride Bluegrass - Elks Park workshops, sustainable festivation tips, campers' guides, festival streaming, more info about this year's performers, and even some new events during the festival. Follow our Facebook page or Twitter feed for the latest scoop. To provide you with all this news, we'll be sending out weekly "Notes from the Planet" emails leading up to the Festival.
If you're not a Telluride festivarian, we apologize for increasing the number messages - we plan to return to our bi-monthly format after June 21. But if you're not a Telluride festivarian, maybe this is the year to become one. Again.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass