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Telluride Blues and Brews Bible

Thursday • September 17, 2015

Crisp air, the beginning of fall colors, and enjoying the final days of summer are just a few of the many great pleasures of the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival. In its 23rd year, the final music festival of the summer not only boasts a wide variety of well-known and up-and-coming musicians, it also hosts a “Grand Tasting” in which 56 breweries offer tastes of over 170 different beers. And, that is only part of it. Here are a few other favorite events that can’t be missed!

  • Sunset Blues Concert (Thursday, September 15th, 5pm-7pm): This event is free and open to the public! And, you can take the free scenic gondola from Telluride. The concert is in the Sunset Plaza in Mountain Village at 5pm, and features Con Brio and Israel Nash. 
  • Blues for Breakfast (Saturday and Sunday, September 17th and 18th): Enjoy intimate performances by musicians, and get some breakfast all in the same place. The music is free, and breakfast and drinks are extra.
  • Blisters and Brews 5k Race:  NEW this year!  Start your Saturday morning with a quick run from Elks Park up to Pandora Mine along the picturesque river trail.  This race is sponsored by BootDoctors in rememberance of Felix Snow and benefits the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program.  No better way to justify the beer calorie intake of the grand tasting than a quick 3 morning miles!
  • Campground Sessions! Ongoing. This event is exclusively for campers, and the musicians will be playing on a rustic stage next to Lower Bear Creek Falls. If you are camping, you CANNOT miss this. Head to for a list of acts on this extremely unique stage.
  • Grand. Tasting. (Saturday, September 17th, 12pm-3pm) Need we say more? Here is your chance to visit over 56 breweries (if you can make it to them all!) with over 170 different beers.  POWER THREE HOURS. This all takes place in the main ground of the festival in the one and only Telluride Town Park. The official festival beer sponsor of the festival is Sierra Nevada, and you can click here to see what other breweries will be there!
  • Stand-Up Comedy at the Festival:  Belly laughs Friday and Saturday night at the "Dirty Shows" hosted at Arroyo Wine Bar.  Sarah Tiana, Eddie Ifft, Troy Walker and Sam Tallent will tickle you with adult humor at 10pm, and again on the Blues Stage on Saturday at 5pm and Sunday at 4pm.   
  • Blues and Brews Yoga Sessions. (9am-10am, Saturday, September 17th, and Sunday September 18th) Presented by the Telluride Yoga Festival, this is your chance to unwind and clear your head before a day of amazing music and lots of fun! The yoga sessions will take place at Elk’s Park (across from the Courthouse) on Saturday and Sunday from 9am-10am.
  • Coolest Campsite Challenge (ongoing): The festival is teaming up with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and is encouraging all campers to GO GREEN! Enter “Making My Blues Green- Coolest & Cleanest Campsite Challenge” and enter to win FREE swag including tickets to next year’s festival. 
  • Rainbow Kids Area (ongoing): This isn’t just for “kids” in the traditional sense- it is for kids of all ages! Complete with a bungee trampoline, a climbing wall, and inflatable bouncee games, this is an area not to be missed. There’s also face painting, kid parades, and talent shows. 
  • Telluride Blues Challenge:  Do you play the blues?  Compete for a chance to play at the Blues Challege at Elk's Lodge on Saturday from 9am - noon!  No better way to show off your talents and get discovered as the next up and coming blues musician. 

In addition to checking out the main stage line-up here, be sure to see what is going on at the Blues Stage and the amazing Late Night Venues throughout Telluride!

Just in case you need more to do, check out these things as well:

Festival Food. Well, this speaks for itself. From vendors that return year after year (Sisters’ Pantry), to newer vendors who are Telluride locals (Chicken Coop), to the basics like good ol’ pizza, this is the highlight of the festival for some people. And, we don’t blame them!  

Keith ”Scramble” Campbell: Scramble will be painting to the music from the festival all weekend long! Stop by and watch him paint while you are in the park- his work feeds off the energy of the festival, and is absolutely amazing!  

And I guess we should mention the music… (insert sarcasm here).

Headliners include Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr., The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Rick Vito, Jason Isbell , Anders Osborne, Shakey Graves and SO MUCH MORE! Visit for the full line-up.

 What to bring!

  • Valid photo ID
  • Sunscreen/ hat
  • Lawn chairs (no high-back chairs are permitted between the sound booth and the age)
  • Tarps/blankets (no bigger than 5 feet by 8 feet. Please share your tarp when you’re not using it)
  • Sunshade tents are only permitted in Shade Alley, which is the back perimeter of festival grounds.
  • Coolers with water/soda bottles and cans to stay hydrated! Please note that only unopened water, soda, and food containers are allowed. Plastic and cans only, no glass is allowed in The Telluride Town Park! Coolers are also subject to search.
  • Camera (no professional photo equipment allowed).
  • Warm clothes. September in Telluride can be chilly, so dress appropriately!
  • Rain Gear. The festival goes on, rain or shine!

Still don’t have a pass? Don’t sweat it! A few 3-Day, Friday and Sunday passes are still available, but not many so hurry and purchase!  Trying to score the coveted Saturday pass?  Check the message board online or the board outside of the festival gates.