If you ever thought you loved mountains, banjos, full moons or 40th-year anniversaries, then think no more, and go buy your ticket to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, not only does the festival feature beautiful bluegrass music, it starts Thursday, June 20th, the summer solstice, and builds to a full-moon on Saturday night. If that isn’t a sign from the festival gods, I don’t know what is. What’s more, this magical weekend marks the start of the Colorado summer, and even the most obstinate city dwellers must appreciate the majesty of the San Juan Mountains in summertime. And, as an additional bonus, at 8,750′ elevation, you won’t even need drugs to get high.

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The Telluride Bluegrass Festival sets itself apart from many many other festivals in terms of age, environment and community. In addition to main-stage performances, there are workshops, song-writing contests, and late-night “Nightgrass” concerts at in-door venues throughout the town. Dedicated fans are referred to as “Festivarians” and many make the yearly pilgrimage to the San Juans religiously – first going as teenagers, then as adults, then as adults who bring their children with them. Artists also share this sentiment of community, and Bela Fleck is quoted as saying, “I feel like I grew up with the festival. It’s like a big family that welcomed me in.”

Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2013 Tickets

Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2013 Dates

August June 20th-23rd, 2013

Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2013 Lineup by Day

Thursday, June 20
Mumford & Sons
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Richard Thompson
Steep Canyon Rangers
Greensky Bluegrass
The Milk Carton Kids
Elephant Revival
Chris Thile

Friday, June 21
The Masters of Bluegrass (featuring Del McCoury, Bobby Osborne, J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks and Jerry McCoury)
The String Cheese Incident
Punch Brothers
Peter Rowan
Trampled by Turtles
Tim O’Brien
Lake Street Dive
Sarah Jarosz

Saturday, June 22
Leftover Salmon
Sam Bush Band
Telluride Troubadour
Yonder Mountain String Band
Jerry Douglas Band
Sara Watkins
BlueBilly Grit
Telluride Band Contest

Sunday, June 23
Telluride House Band (featuring Sam, Bela, Jerry, Edgar, Bryan & Stuart)
Jaskon Browne
Hot Rize
Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy
The Infamous Stringdusters
Bela Fleck
The Drepung Monks

Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2012 Lineup

John Fogerty, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Sam Bush Band, John Prine, k.d. lang, The Siss Boom Bang, Telluride House Band featuring Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Bryan Sutton & Stuart Duncan, Yonder Mountain String Band, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Glen Hansard, Del McCoury Band, Leftover Salmon, O’Brien Party of Seven, Brett Dennen, Peter Rowan’s Big Twang Theory, Punch Brothers, John Cowan Band Gospel Hour, Laura Marling, Greensky Bluegrass, Joy Kills Sorrow, Dan Mangan, The Devil Makes Three

Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2012 Performances