After the sun has dipped below the Utah horizon and the alpenglow has faded from the summits of the San Juan Mountains, it's time to trade tarps for theaters, the promise of a glowing outdoor moon for the warmth of the Fly Me to the Moon, and maybe even hop a gondola for some music on the mountain.
This is the magical allure of Telluride NightGrass: the music never really stops in Telluride, it just moves indoors for a few more hours before retiring to the campgrounds and condos.
NightGrass is the series of late-night indoor shows held in intimate venues in Telluride and Mountain Village; and the announcement of the NightGrass schedule is the next great milestone as we travel the trail to our Festivarian summer pasture in Telluride.
For the 9th consecutive year, we kick-off the Festival (and the NightGrass series) with Yonder Mountain String Band at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village on Wednesday night. From there the NightGrass series twists and turns through newgrass, old-time, folk, country, and rock.
The historic Sheridan Opera House hosts Keller Williams with Keller & the Keels, Mumford & Sons with Sarah Jarosz, Drew Emmitt & Friends, Punch Brothers, and a very special performance from country superstar Dierks Bentley performing with The Travelin' McCourys. Meanwhile, the even-more-intimate Fly Me to the Moon Saloon showcases Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band with Ben Sollee, Cadillac Sky, and Carolina Chocolate Drops with The Hillbenders.
Tickets for each of these shows go on-sale at 10am MDT on Wednesday, April 21 online-only at shop.bluegrass.com. In addition, a very limited number of all-venue passes will be sold this Friday (April 16) via an online lottery. NightGrass tickets are completely separate from festival tickets and they generally sell-out fast, so remind your festivarian friends.
It's now less than 2 months until the Town Park and Mary E campgrounds open for Festivarian campers. Camping is still available - including convenient family camping at Telluride High School, spots by the riverside at Ilium, and across the valley floor at Lawson Hill.
If an indoor bed is more your style, our trusted lodging partners in Telluride and Mountain Village continue to offer great deals on hotel rooms, condos, and larger properties. The Peaks Resort - just steps away from the gondola in Mountain Village - is offering rooms as low as $149 for a very limited time. Relax in their beautifully appointed rooms, take advantage of a full spa and indoor/outdoor pool, sneak in a round of golf from their porch steps, then take the free gondola to Telluride for a full day of festivation. Book now, this early-bird discount rate will not be available for long.
Festival tickets (4-day passes and single-day tickets) are still available at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. Join Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Sam Bush (did you wish the King of Telluride a happy birthday yesterday?), Brandi Carlile, Court Yard Hounds (here's a Rolling Stone interview), and many more for the summer solstice gathering of the Festivarian Nation in Telluride.
This Friday night we're pushing the chairs to the side to make room for some high-energy boogie'n bluegrass in the Wildflower Pavilion in Lyons.
Progressive quartet Head for the Hills won the Northwest String Summit band contest in 2007, and recently won the attention of Drew Emmitt and Billy Nershi (who were instrumental in the recording of H4TH's latest album). They'll be joined by North Carolina quintet Town Mountain, winners of the RockyGrass band contest in 2005 thanks to their high-energy blend of traditional bluegrass, outlaw country, and pure old-time mountain music.
Join us at 7pm for the bonfire along the river (and wine and New Belgium beer at the bar). Town Mountain takes the stage at 8pm followed by Head for the Hills. Advance tickets (just $12) are available now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. This promises to be the perfect spring evening to feed your inspired dancing energy.
If a RockyGrass Saturday with Doc Watson, The Horse Flies, Travelin' McCourys with Tony Rice, and Seldom Scene is part of your summer plans, do your festivarian family a favor and buy your tickets now. They won't be around much longer. Tickets and camping for RockyGrass and the 20th Annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival (featuring John Prine, Richard Thompson, The Swell Season, & many more) are available now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422.
Join us in celebrating Record Store Day this Saturday (April 17) at an independent record shop near you. Among the special releases planned for this Saturday is the vinyl debut of Josh Ritter's latest, an exclusive live Ani DiFranco, a special Doc Watson reissue, and much more. Check out the cover story on our Folks Festival emcee Andy Schneidkraut - owner of Boulder's last remaining independent record store.
The flowers are starting to bloom on Planet Bluegrass; the elk are making their trek through the Ranch to the high country; and the bluegrass jams are starting to find their way outdoors. It's going to be another inspiring summer of music and festivation in Telluride and Lyons. We can't wait to share it with you.
The Folks on Planet Bluegrass