The time has come. You have reached the grounds of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, all your musical hopes rightly achieved. Now what? Don’t worry — we got you covered here at 303 Magazine. You already know which acts to see, but now you can take full advantage of your weekend when not dancing away at the Main Stage.
1. Stop by one of the NightGrass Shows
Ah, but alas, all these shows have been sold out. But take in your surroundings — you are at a festival, or in other words, a hub for bargaining. What did you bring that would qualify for a beautiful trade and get you a coveted ticket? Beer? Perhaps not. Artwork? Getting closer. You can figure it out. With the Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, Del McCoury Band, The Punch Brothers and others headlining these late night shows, you’ll muster up a bargain that’ll get you through the doors.
2. Check out the one of the Elks Park Workshops
If you’re a musician, you’ll want to dive into these mini-musical collaborations. See the full schedule for yourself and figure out which one suits your taste (while not missing out on any of your favorite Main Stage acts). Even if you have zero aptitude for vocals or instruments, there will still be some workshops that’ll intrigue you. I’ve got my eye on Shane Koyczan & Friends: Poetry & Sound workshop on Saturday, June 18 at 4:30 pm. But perhaps the Punch Brothers: Happy Hour today, June 16 at 4:30 pm sounds more up your alley.
3. Drink Beer
Do I even need to list this out? Some of the top breweries across Colorado will be touting their best stouts, showing off their IPAs and quenching your thirst with cool wheat beer. Call this your only warning, however, don’t bring your own beer into the festival, no matter how confident you think you may be. Support your local breweries and make sure you don’t lose your ID while stompin’ out and about.
4. Become an audience member for all the Band Contests
Sit in on the Telluride Troubadour and band contests and soak in talent by the minute, and come back from the weekend with a host of undiscovered (or rather, newly discovered) folk and bluegrass music. On Friday, June 17, there’ll be rounds kicking out and pouring bands throughout the day, beginning at 10:00 am. Check out past winners and the schedule here.
5. Bliss Out
43 years is a long time to keep a positive and full festival going. But somehow, Telluride has managed it. Whether it be because of the mystical scenery and the way the sun sets just so behind the mountains, or because of the lack of communication to the outside world, you fall into becoming a Festivarian quite easily. You’re away from your phone, your worries. You are fully present and adore those that bring you beautiful music. So grab your yoga mats, your torn up sneakers and your sunscreen. Find a spot in the grass with your friends and listen to the musical acts that are about to grace your presence.