Blues and Brews Festival

It couldn’t happen during a more magical time of year. The aspens glow in the last of summer, turning shades of gold and burnt yellow. In the middle of the day, you can still feel the warmth of the sun, but fall makes her grand entrance here with chilly night temperatures bringing the possibility of rain or even snow. There is an electric energy in the earth- the energy that moves with the changing of the seasons. It’s that time of year. And time for the annual Telluride Blues and Brews Festival.

A three-day event that happens every September in the Telluride mountains, the Blues and Brews Festival is a favorite of tourists and locals alike. Tickets go on sale in early March, with early-bird options, as well as single day passes and three-day passes for the full festival experience. VIP passes to Blues & Brew’s, with special seating and bathrooms and other perks, are also available, but sell out on the first day. Camping does also sell out immediately when ticket sales are announced.

Camping, or not, bring your clothes. The last thing you want to be without at this high-altitude festival is layers. Rain gear, long underwear, boots, gloves, and sunglasses are all required. Many a festivarian has gotten himself into trouble showing up ill-prepared after many brews when the sun goes down.

The first-aid station is available and does provide assistance with sunscreen and other supplies.  Water is always free at this festival. Be sure and bring an empty plastic bottle. Like most events here, Telluride Blues and Brews is a green festival. Composting, recycling, and mindfulness are the principles. Blues and Brews seek little to no-impact, is 100% carbon neutral, and asks everyone involved to “think green.”

The Sierra Nevada is the official beer sponsor of Telluride Blues and Brews, but festival-goers will have access to over 150 different beers inside Town Park at the event. The Grand Tasting occurs on the Saturday of the festival with over 50 breweries participating, and the audience exercising their rights to vote for the best. Tasters get a full three hours to savor the samples of what Blues and Brews bring in.

The music does not disappoint, and legends like the Allman Brothers, Warren Haynes, The Black Crowes, Phil Lesh, Otis Taylor, BB King, Grace Potter, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, and more have played this stage and wowed the crowds. Other bonuses of Blues and Brews include the Acoustic Blues Competition, where the top six entries play for the Elks breakfast event,  and the Juke Joint events at night, where live Blues music goes late.

Kids under 11 years of age are free, and there is much for them to do. With the rock climbing wall, bungee jumps, kids crafts, and games, the party is not just for the adults, and young people actually do love to come play at Blues and Brews. If you’re bringing kids, you’ll surely find the Rainbow Area. Don’t let the lack of money stop you. Volunteer passes are available, and the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival always needs help. Applications can be found online. Exchange usually involves working two shifts to earn a 3-day festival pass.

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