Countdown to Telluride

After what seems like forever, the 36th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival is only a month away. And we’re so excited we can hardly stand it.

Honestly, we turn into giddy little children every time we think about it.

And why are we jumping up and down? It has a lot to do with the fact that there’s just nothing quite like the atmosphere in Telluride’s Town Park during the four days of the bluegrass festival.

Since it’s not the super-huge, multi-stage event like so many others have grown into, nobody’s dashing from stage to stage and running people over on their golf carts. Instead, you sit and chill between sets, making friends with your neighbors or checking out the sustainability tent.

This year’s lineup also has us grinning. It’s easily the most interesting to date filled with fantastic musicians including David Byrne, Jenny Lewis, Todd Snider, Three Girls & Their Buddy (Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, Emmylou Harris and Buddy Miller) and Elvis Costello.

Of course there are the festival regulars like John Cowan, Jerry Douglas and Tim O’Brien. And no Telluride weekend would be complete without the King and Queen – Sam Bush and Emmylou Harris.

How many incredible guest appearances can possible come from a line-up like this?  Well, again, there are the ones you saw coming… Emmylou will probably show up with Sam Bush or vice-versa, but she could also show up to sing with Elvis Costello, who could in turn sing with Jenny Lewis.  Or Patty Griffin could guest with Emmylou or Todd Snider.  And since Todd just finished touring with Jeff Austin and Ben Kaufmann of Yonder Mountain String Band there’s another opportunity right there.  It’s all speculation, but you never know what could happen at Telluride.

There’s the (mostly sold-out) NightGrass series, with bands like YMSB, Crooked Still and Railroad Earth.

And, with all that musical goodness, they still haven’t released the Elk Park Workshop Schedule – the absolute best way to spend an hour up-close-and-personal with your favorite musicians.

So, pack up some buddies, grab a tent (and the sunscreen!) and head out to Telluride this year. Tickets are still available for the ridiculously cheap price of $185 for a four-day pass (it’s about six bucks a show, when you break it down). Single-day passes are also available.

Plus, it’s a family-friendly place, with a kid tent and lots of activities for little ones (12 and under get in free). In fact, my first memories of the festival are of blowing bubbles and hula-hooping… I was four.

Check out the full line-up and buy tickets at Planet Bluegrass.
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