Monday, June 22, 2009

Bluegrass in the Mountains

Last weekend I saw the 36th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival. It was truly breathtaking to see and hear an array of wonderful musicians against the backdrop of majestic jagged peaks.

The festival itself was not only musically entertaining, but also extremely environmentally and family friendly. Some highlights were a water station where you could refill your water bottles all weekend long for free, and a waste system with attendant's who told you whether or not your contents were recyclable, compost, or trash. These are just two examples of how festival planners redefined typical norms.

In terms of performers, their were so many wonderfully talented musicians (to name a few, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, David Byrne, Elvis Costello, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, and Jerry Douglas). Musicians played both on the main stage in addition to other Telluride venues throughout the course of the weekend. I was fortunate enough to have Night Grass tickets all weekend, which provided a more intimate musical setting (a small old Opera House in town which, held about 150 people). It was at the Night Grass shows where I was able to see my favorite bands 'up close and personal.'

While most of the weekend was about music, we where able to get to do some Telluride exploring. We hiked up to the most spectacular waterfall I have ever seen in the state of Colorado, enjoyed strolling along the local farmers market, had dinner in town (as oppose to more festival food), and rode the gondola to additional hiking areas with breathtaking views.

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend in the mountains with plans to return again soon.