Top Ten Summer Music Festivals

Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Telluride, Colorado
Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Telluride, Colorado
Mountains surround the Fred Shellman Memorial Stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival (Benko Photographics/courtesy, Telluride Bluegrass)

5. Telluride Bluegrass Festival (Late June)
Telluride, Colorado
For family-friendly fun and acoustic tunes against the backdrop of a gorgeous mountain town, it's tough to beat the four-day Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which is usually timed to coincide with the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Surrounded by the scenic San Juan Mountains, the entire village is protected as a national historic landmark. The Colorado-based blast resembles a crazy uncle more than a grandfather figure, but organizers have stayed true to their roots while offering something for younger fans that might not think "old time" music is "all that." Legendary bluegrass talents such as Béla Fleck and Tim O'Brien are regular features here, and plentiful accommodations range from ski-area chalets and deluxe condominiums to area campgrounds. Make reservations early for a spot in the hallowed Town Park camp, where the festival veterans, known as "festivarians," stay. Prices vary, but with 10,000 visitors per day, accommodations fill up quick. Telluride is a five-hour drive from Albuquerque, and seven hours from Denver.

Hot Tip: Late-night jam sessions are the norm at any bluegrass gathering, but entry to the best-of-the-best official aftershows require a NightGrass ticket, separate from regular festival tickets.

Telluride Travel Guide
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Published: 23 May 2009 | Last Updated: 15 May 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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