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It's Time for the 26th Annual Telluride Blues and Brews Festival

Fall in Telluride means the days are growing shorter, the leaves start to change color, and it's time for the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival. Now in its 26th year, the Blues and Brews has grown from a one day event into a 3 day-festival. Like most festivals there is a Main Stage, but at Blues & Brews, there’s so much more! With multiple stages, yoga sessions, kids area, late night shows, TONS of beer, and a multitude of incredible musicians, it is an action-packed weekend. Check out the amazing lineup

Here are some valuable tips to fully enjoy the 26th Annual Blues and Brews Festival: 

The Brews

The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival features over 30 artists! Did you know it also features 56 breweries and 170 styles of craft beer? All festival long, enjoy eight different, unique styles of beer from official festival beer sponsor Sierra Nevada Brewing Company including the coveted Back Porch Lager! The Back Porch Lager, an exclusive style only available at Blues & Brews, was created by the festival staff at Sierra Nevada’s beer camp. Also enjoy six premium craft beers and two hard ciders from Big B’s Hard Cider, Bonfire Brewing, Avery Brewing Co, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, Ska Brewing and Telluride Brewing Co in the House of Brews.

On Saturday, indulge in free beer samples from 56 microbreweries and cideries during the Grand Tasting from 12:00 to 3:00 pm! The tasting’s most popular brewery will be crowned ‘Best-of-Fest’ so make sure to text-to-vote for your favorite brewery. Look for the special brewer codes and instructions at each booth! 

The Late Night Scene

Some of the best shows you’ll see all weekend are after dark at Telluride’s intimate concert venues: The Blues Stage (Hanley Pavilion), The Moon at O'Bannon's, Sheridan Opera House, the Wood Ear and the Liberty Bar & Lounge. At the Juke Joint shows, the bands usually like to play late and get rowdy. Friday and Saturday Juke Joint passes allow access to all venues for the night purchase but get there early as all venues are first-come, first served. Doors open each night at 9:45 pm and the VIP 3-Day Pass includes entry into all Juke Joints.

Blues for Breakfast

Start your mornings off proper with a hearty breakfast, live blues music, and drinks at Blues for Breakfast! Kicking off at 9:00 am on both Saturday and Sunday of the Festival weekend, Blues for Breakfast offers a pleasant warm-up to a dynamic day and late night full of music. Breakfast is served at the intimate Elks Lodge (located at 472 West Pacific Avenue), where the first official chords of the day are struck. Saturday’s breakfast hosts The Telluride Blues Challenge Finals and Sunday’s hosts The Telluride Blues Challenge Finals Runner-Up and Eagle Eye Williamson. Elks Lodge will prepare a traditional breakfast spread featuring classics like the "world-famous" black bean sauté, scrambled eggs, pancakes, hash browns, toast, bacon and sausages. Coffee, juice and breakfast bar drinks will also be available. Breakfast is $15 for adults, kids 10 and under are $5, Bloody Mary's, Mimosas, and other breakfast bar drinks are extra.

Find your Namaste

Stretch out those muscles from all the dancing and bliss out during Yoga Sessions. This  addition offers festival goers the opportunity to unplug from the ordinary and discover the extraordinary from within. All skill/ability levels welcome. These free yoga sessions will be held in Elks Park on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14 & 15 (10-11 a.m.)  

Kids Area

Kids of all ages can enjoy various activities in the Rainbow Kids Area during the festival weekend with the help from Living Folklore. Living Folklore features children’s entertainment, workshops, and two parades specifically geared for the kids (or the kid at heart) – one on Saturday and one on Sunday. So, bring your kids to the Rainbow Kids Area located in the back of the festival grounds to join the wild and wacky Living Folklore Clowns, Giggly Sprout and Gumbo Wobbly, along with activities like a bungee trampoline, climbing wall, inflatable bounce games, face painting, a talent show, and much more!

Hike

If you need a break from the music and all the delicious beer, there's a handful of beautiful hikes starting directly from downtown Telluride to explore: Bear Creek Trail is less than one block from Town Park (S. Pine Street) and is a perfect beginner trail up to a waterfall. If you need a more challenging hike, check out the Jud Wiebe Trail (N. Aspen Street) that takes you to a gorgeous overlook of the entire town. There is a group hike up Bear Creek, hosted by Backpacker Magazine, on Sunday Sept. 15 at 9 am. departing from the Backpacker booth inside the festival grounds.

Ride the Gondola

The only FREE transportation of its kind in the country, Telluride’s Gondola is a must-do while visiting. Get out up top (San Sophia) to hike around or ride the Gondola down into Mountain Village to check out the local bars, shops and restaurants. The Gondola will be open until midnight on Thursday, until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and until 1:00 a.m. on Sunday during the festival.