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The Ride Festival

The Ride Festival in Telluride first made headlines in the summer of 2012 and featured quite a lineup. Since then, it’s been famous for bringing acts like Ben Harper, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, David Byrne, the Lumineers, Los Lobos and others to the San Juan Mountains.

With two full days of incredible music as well as late night events that wowed the crowds, The Ride has been added to the list of Telluride music traditions. Now, in its third year, it’s a festival that locals, as well as visitors, look forward to. However, some Telluriders will even say that The Ride offers something a little more special than does Bluegrass or Blues & Brews.

“It’s a pure locals’ festival … Not that we don’t like tourists, but I love dancing with the Telluride community surrounding me”. said, Melanie Eggers.

Supported by local radio station KOTO, Telluride Ski & Golf, and many other local organizations, including hotels and restaurants, The Ride is proud to “bring stellar rock and roll music to one of the most stunning venues in the world”. The festival traditionally kicks off on a Friday with a music event for the public in the Mountain Village on the summer concert series stage. Just a short ride up the Gondola, this premiere has been well-attended.

Tickets are required for entry into the Telluride Town Park, where the festival takes place on a Saturday and Sunday. The two-day pass is typical $165 with VIP passes for $325 that include special seating, bathrooms, private bar, a complimentary cocktail hour and brunch. With an array of vendors selling clothing, food, beer, and art, pass holders have access to a full festival experience.

The Telluride Town Park offers camping for festival goers. Check in is possible as early as Friday morning for a timely setup. Campers are permitted to stay through Monday morning. This option, which includes tents and trailers, makes for a convenient experience as the campground is just steps from the festival gates and the gathering inside. The music is still heard loudly and clearly even from the camping area.

A three-day camping pass is usually $60 per person, while a car camping pass is $85 per vehicle. RV camping prices run $125, and these sell out quickly. For those not camping, The New Sheridan Hotel is a highly recommended option for accommodations. The historic building offers elegant rooms in a prime location on the main street, Colorado Ave., with the convenience of one of the best restaurants in town downstairs in the lobby. Offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the New Sheridan is a favorite among festival crowds.

And, there is a way to more affordably attend this event. Like other Telluride festivals, The Ride does offer volunteer positions in exchange for tickets. In fact, volunteers are what make festivals like The Ride possible. Applications are online and can be found at In the same place, a volunteer center can be accessed for updates and announcements.

Check The Ride website for this year’s lineup.

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