It's Festival Season in Telluride
From late May until October, Telluride and Mountain Village are bathed in glorious, golden sunshine. They also hum to the beat of live music, glow in the flickering lights of film projectors and play host to mushroom lovers and yogis, artists and car aficionados, balloonists and oenophiles. Here, summertime is festival time.
Literary Arts Festival, May 18-20 This celebration of the written word offers author events, readings, performance poetry, literary burlesque, events for the kiddos and the American Bookbinding Academy’s Open-Set Exhibition, and promises to captivate anyone who loves to read.
Mountainfilm, May 25-28
Celebrating its 40th year, Mountainfilm continues to feature the best films about mountains and mountain culture in the world. Through the years, Mountainfilm has increased its scope to cover social, cultural and environmental issues, with a focus on activism. The festival also offers symposia, coffee talks, exhibits, workshops and more. This year’s symposium examines migration-of both humans and animals- and features talks, exhibits and workshops, all complementing a lineup of films sure to inspire and captivate.
Balloon Fest, June 1-3
Hot air balloons are launched mornings from Town Park to float serenely above the valley. On Saturday evening, there is the unforgettable Balloon Glow on main street.
Wild West Fest, June 4-9 The Sheridan Arts Foundation brings underserved youth from the Four Corners and beyond to Telluride for a week of empowering activities that celebrate Western arts, culture and customs, as well as the Chip Allen Mentorship Program.
WOW Festival, June 7-10 The WOW (Weekend of Wellness) Festival enters its fifth year promoting health and fitness through a variety of disciplines from yoga to weight training to aerobic exercise. This summer’s festival will feature programming with a diverse lineup of speakers, activities, lectures, competitions and more.
Bluegrass Festival, June 21-24
The crown jewel of Telluride’s music fests, Bluegrass is regarded as the premiere Americana roots music festival in the United States. Taking place over the summer solstice weekend, the festival includes concerts, workshops, a songwriting/band contest and musical collaborations galore. The 2018 event sees the sweet tunes of headliners Tedeschi Trucks Band, the Del McCourey Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Leftover Salmon, and the Sam Bush Band emanating from the Fred Shellman Memorial Stage in Town Park.
Wine Festival, June 28-July 1 World-class wines and cuisine are fêted with tastings, cooking demonstrations and seminars, along with the popular Toast of Telluride and Main Street brunch.
Plein Air, June 29-July 5
A gala of outdoor painting, the event brings highly regarded plein air artists to town for exhibits, a quick-draw competition and other events.
Ride Festival, July 13-15 Musical magpies are in for a treat at this celebration of rock ‘n’ roll, which kicks off Friday with a free show in Mountain Village before the main event Saturday and Sunday in Town Park. Indie acts, emerging musicians and big names – String Cheese Incident, Sheryl Crow, Grace Potter and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead are this year’s head- liners – serve up an eclectic mix of alt rock, folk, blues and soul. After hours, there’s NightRide with gigs at intimate venues.
Americana Music, July 18-21 American songwriters and acoustic music are in the spotlight at the Sheridan Opera House and with a free concert in Mountain Village. This year’s lineup includes the Black Lillies, John Fullbright and Jimmy LaFave.
Yoga Festival, July 19-22
This celebration of all things yoga manages to be both intimate and world class, drawing participants to a long weekend that includes intensive train- ings, classes, lectures, meditations, music and more.
Art + Architecture Weekend, July 21-22 Art + Architecture Weekend is the ultimate home tour. Local architects, designers, artists and chefs exhibit their best works, performances and food to win participants’ votes for best experience. Each stop on the tour is paired with wine and cocktail tastings.
Playwrights Festival, July 25-29 Playwrights, actors and directors collaborate on new works and nurture existing material with workshops, readings, conversations and more at this unique festival.
Many Hand Fiber Arts Festival, July 27-29 The work of fiber artists in a range of disciplines with exhibitions, workshops and more.
Jazz Festival, August 3-5
The true American art form is feted by day in Town Park, and on a free stage at the Wilkinson Public Library. The Jazz After Dark series, a parade and wine and whisky tasting round out a weekend.
Chamber Music, August 7-12 Chamber music comes to Telluride with intimate concerts in unique settings.
Mushroom, August 16-19 Telluride’s most eclectic fest where experts, enthusiasts and scientists explore fungi — edible, toxic and psychoactive. There’s a colorful parade, woodland expeditions for edible mushrooms and the Mushroom Cook-off, with live music and a vendor’s fair.
Film Festival, August 31-September 3
Astonishingly, for eight years in a row now, the film that went on to win the Oscar for best picture had either its world or North American premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, including the most recent winner, The Shape of Water. The festival is a film lover’s affair, featuring the best work from around the world along with brilliantly crafted retrospectives. The Labor Day weekend program is a closely guarded secret that is unveiled at the last minute, adding to the drama of the whole affair.
Blues and Brews, September 14-16
Telluride bids summer adieu with this rollicking event that features more than 50 microbreweries and 170 brews, a world-class rock and blues lineup and a host of other activities including family-friendly activities for kids. When the sun goes down, the lights go up in Juke Joints around town for evening music.
Cars and Colors, September 27-30
A four-day gathering for automotive enthusiasts set against the backdrop of the area’s fall foliage. Using three distinct venues – Telluride, Mountain Village and the Telluride Regional Airport – the event focuses on high-end restorations and vintage and exotic vehicles of the Concours level, including unique and eye-catching cars staged along Telluride’s main street. A celebration for car enthusiasts, aficionados and anyone who just plain old loves cars.
Original Thinkers, October 4-7 Get ready for exceptionally innovative storytelling. The brainchild of filmmaker and cultural entrepreneur David Holbrooke, this new festival of art, ideas and documentaries brings together a collective of creators, innovators and doers over Columbus Day weekend.
Horror Show, October 12-14 Colorado’s first and longest-running horror film festival – named one of the Coolest Film Festivals by MovieMaker magazine – attracts the latest and best horror films from all over the world for a goose-bump-inducing gathering.
Check out the complete 2018 Summer Event and Festival Schedule here.