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It's Festival Season in Telluride

Jazz Rainbow

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 19-21

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 26-29


Since 1979, Mountainfilm has featured 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 fest will focus on climate change with the theme “The New Normal”, injecting Mountainfilm energy, creativity and know-how into mankind’s great challenge.

Balloon Fest, June 2-4

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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 5-10

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 8-11

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 15-18


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 2017 event sees the sweet tunes of headliners Jason Mraz; Norah Jones; Dierks Bentley with the Travelin’ McCourys; and Brandi Carlile emanating from the Fred Shellman Memorial Stage in Town Park.

Wine Festival, June 22-25

World-class wines and cuisine are fêted with tastings, cooking demonstrations and seminars, along with the popular Toast of Telluride.

Plein Air, June 28-July 4

Plein Air

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 7-9

Telluride’s celebration of rock ‘n’ roll. This year’s lineup includes alt rocker Beck; the very eclectic Ben Harper and his band, the Innocent Criminals; Icelandic bluesy jammers Kaleo; and British rockers the Temperance Movement. In keeping with tradition, the weekend kicks off Friday with a free show in Mountain Village. The music also spills over after hours with NightRide when more intimate venues like the Sheridan Opera House host gigs by emerging acts.

Art + Architecture Weekend, July 15-16

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.

Americana Music, July 19-22

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 20-23

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This celebration of all things yoga manages to be both intimate and world class, drawing participants to a long weekend that includes intensive trainings, classes, lectures, meditations, music and more. The 2017 fest features Tias Little, Amy Ippoliti, Gina Caputo, Kia Miller and Mark Whitwell, and intersperses the programming with hikes, biking, stand-up paddle boarding and shopping.

Jazz Festival, August 4-6

jazz fest

The 2017 fest features the astonishing vocal talents of two Grammy winners – Mavis Staples and Macy Gray – as well as Bootsy Collins and the World-Wide Funk Drive, and more. By day, performances take place on the Town Park stage and a free stage at the Wilkinson Public Library. Later there’s the Jazz After Dark series with performances in small venues. A Second Line Parade and wine and whisky tasting are among the weekend’s other events.

Chamber Music, August 8-13

Chamber music comes to Telluride with intimate concerts in unique settings.

Mushroom, August 17-20

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 Fest, September 1-4

film fest

For seven years in a row now, the film that went on to win the Oscar for best picture premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, including the 2017 champ Moonlight. 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 15-17

blues and brews

Telluride’s feisty farewell kiss to summer features more than 50 microbreweries, serving up over 170 beers, and a world-class rock ‘n’ roll and blues lineup – Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood are just two of this year’s headliners. At the end of the day, after the last lick on the Town Park stage has reverberated throughout the valley, the lights go up in “Juke Joints” all over town for evening performances. The festival also offers family-friendly activities for younger festival-goers.

Cars and Colors, September 21-24

cars and coloras

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.

Horror Show, October 13-15

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.

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