Eleven things that make the Telluride Bluegrass Festival magical

Categories: Music Festivals

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Emerald O'Brien
The view of Telluride, Colorado, from the Telluride/Mountain Village gondola.
As the town of Telluride changes hands from tourists back to locals, and "festivarians" everywhere and finally cut off the last vestiges of Festivaria, including their wristbands, we look back at one of Colorado's most popular music festivals. The list of the best things about the Telluride Bluegrass Festival is extensive, but we cut it down to the eleven best things (in no particular order) of the music festival, which turned 41 over the weekend.

See also: Telluride Bluegrass Festival's longtime MC reflects on Colorado's most storied music fest

11. The view.

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Emerald O'Brien
The view of Ingram Falls from the center of Telluride. This waterfall can been seen from just about everywhere in town.

When you get to Telluride, everywhere you look is a natural wonder. Whether it's a tree-covered hill or a snow-covered peak, the mountains make a perfect backdrop for a celebration of music. And the bluegrass that originates partially in the mountains really comes alive. If you are a Coloradan, you don't have to stretch your imagination very far for this. The mountains act as both scenery and a natural sound amplifier, making it a perfect location for Festivarians to set up shop.

10. One stage.

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Emerald O'Brien
The main stage of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival is located in Telluride Town Park.

Sure, there are those who would debate this, but only having one stage means there are no hard decisions about who you bail on because someone else that you want to see is playing. It also means that you can make camp in one spot for the day and actually sit down once in a while. One stage is a very different experience from several, and it is a major reason why TBF has such a relaxed atmosphere.

9. The tarp run.

The tarp run is pretty much what it sounds like. Every morning (or night, if you a really dedicated) festivarians start lining up with their tarps, chairs and blankets in anticipation of the mad dash to secure the closest plot of grass to the stage as possible. It's awesome because it means that everybody gets a chance to get up close, you just have to be willing to work for it. And because it happens all four days, it keeps things mixed up and significantly more fair.

But, if you aren't into waking up early or exerting yourself physically, Telluride squatting rules dictate that any empty tarp is fair game until the owners return.


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