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Top Summer Festivals and Events in Telluride

19 May 2015
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Festivals & Events

Thinking about visiting Telluride in the summer? Well this is the summer to do it. With unlimited festivals and events to choose from, anytime you decide to visit, you will have more than enough to keep you entertained!

Telluride has become one of the country’s most well-known venues for world-class music festivals, the most popular of which is the famous Telluride Bluegrass Festival. However, there is so much more to Telluride’s music scene than bluegrass. From sophisticated Chamber Music to soulful Jazz, you are sure to find yourself swaying and tapping in Telluride!

Also famous for its Art Scene, Telluride has packed its summer venues with Art and Film Festivals.  Bookending the summer are the famous Telluride Mountain Film Festival on Memorial Day weekend and the Telluride Film Festival on Labor Day. In between are many opportunities for locals and visitors to enjoy the amazing artistic community that gathers together every summer in the majestic  San Juan Mountains.
Toe-Tapping Telluride
Kicking off the summer from June 18th to the 21st is the world-renown Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Each year, as a tribute to Americana roots music, some of the best musical artists and bands gather together to jam in what many consider the most beautiful venue in America. This year will be the 41st annual festival and it will coincide with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and a wonderful celebration of summer. Come and dance along to main-stage events in the town park like Bela Fleck and Leftover Salmon or enjoy more intimate evening concerts in smaller venues around town. Or you never know—you may find yourself at a spontaneous sidewalk jam!

Just a few days later, from June 24th to July 5th is the 13th Musicfest of Telluride, a two-week celebration of Chamber Music in one of the most majestic venues in the world.  High in the San Juan Mountains each year, world-class musicians join together to play works from a specific period in classical music.  This year it is the Romantic Era of Classical Music, featuring works from Beethoven, Brahms and Rachmaninoff to name a few.

Camping in TellurideNew to the Telluride music  scene is the Annual Telluride Ride Festival, a music festival gaining popularity quickly in its fourth year.  Showcasing rootsy rock bands like Widespread Panic and Gov’t Mule, the festival is known for its flawless curation of musical line-ups. Come stomp your boots on July 11th and 12th along with locals and visitors in one of the most beautiful alpine settings around.  Bonus: come out for the free sunset concert on Friday night in Telluride Mountain Village to kick off the weekend.

Since 1977, Telluride has been home to one of America’s most loved tributes to Jazz—the Telluride Jazz Festival. This year, from July 31st to August 2nd, the festival will be celebrating its 39th year.  Intimate performances and an awe-inspiring venue team up to provide a memorable experience for anyone who loves jazz. This year the festival will feature two of the most world-renown saxophonists—Ernie Watts and Maceo Parker.
Art at Altitude
Kicking off the summer every Memorial Day Weekend is the Telluride Mountain Film Festival, which features films celebrating the mountains and mountain culture. May 22nd to the 25th will mark the 37th Annual Festival and includes much more than just great films.  Keeping visitors busy throughout the entire weekend, there are also special guest presentations, symposiums, parties, music and more. Come enjoy mountain culture films in a mountain town that surely inspires.

Each year the Telluride Plein Air Art Festival draws artists from around the world to one of the most “art-inspiring” towns in the west to paint in “plein air” and then show and sell their work. This year from June 29th to July 5th, visitors and locals can enjoy watching artists do their craft in real time and then can choose from the many beautiful pieces to take home and hang above the mantle. Be sure not to miss the Quick Draw Competition on July 3rd from 10 am to noon, an annual competition where visitors can watch artists create their quick works and then can purchase them for competitive prices!

Shakespeare Festival Telluride“And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.” Come and enjoy Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream performed in the most perfect forest setting from July 18th to the 25th in the Town Park of Telluride. Celebrating its 25th year of performances, the Telluride Shakespeare Festival is sure to impress!

Sundance…Cannes…Telluride! Wrapping up the summer with a bang on Labor Day weekend is the Telluride Film Festival, an event growing in prestige and popularity. Each year the festival hosts about 25 feature films and 25 short films, paying homage to some of the best independent film-making in the industry. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings all day and then relax with some of the industry’s most elite by night.  Makes for a great weekend!
Something Different
Telluride Wine FestivalWine lovers will enjoy sipping wine and enjoying culinary delights at the Annual Telluride Wine Festival from June 25th to the 28th. Local chefs and wineries join to inspire with elite luncheons and dinners, tastings, and even cooking classes and seminars. You will surely leave this weekend not just happier, but more knowledgeable as well!

Interested in bettering your yoga practice? Or new to yoga? The 8th Annual Telluride Yoga Festival, from July 9th to 12th will simultaneously relax and inspire you. In addition to yoga classes, throughout the weekend, participants can also enjoy lectures, music, meditation sessions, and fellowship gatherings.

Looking for something totally unique? Attend the quirky Telluride Mushroom Festival from August 13th to the 16th and learn more than you ever thought possible about mushrooms. Lectures, cooking classes, and hikes focusing on identifying mushrooms are just some of the activities you can enjoy at this interesting festival!

Whenever you decide to come to Telluride this summer, there are sure to be many exciting festivals to keep you busy in addition to the infinite possibilities for outdoor activities and world-class cuisine. Need more information or interested in booking your accommodations early? Call our experienced staff and we’ll do the rest!

Written By: Kimberley Flores