Telluride Bluegrass Festival: Greenest Show On Earth



Each year for the past 45 years the town of Telluride, Colorado has hosted a bluegrass festival. When the bluegrass festival started on July 6, 1974, it featured eight local Colorado bluegrass bands. Over the years the Telluride Bluegrass Festival has evolved into one of the best bluegrass events anywhere on the planet. Held around the summer solstice each year, thousands of regulars dubbed Festivarians, flock to the Telluride Town Park.

It’s evident to those in attendance that the best bluegrass musicians on the planet come to this high-country event. This year’s lineup included The Del McCoury Band, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush, and 27 other amazing performers. The quality of the musicians has significantly improved since the festival’s humble beginnings in 1974, but what is just as impressive is the organizer’s dedication to making this perhaps the most eco-friendly festival anywhere on earth.

Fans who loved the mountains and environment already filled the festival by the time Planet Bluegrass stepped in as the organizer in 1989. Over the coming years, Planet Bluegrass would make great strides in making sure the festival’s impact on the environment was minimal. One of the most significant moves to reducing the effect of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival was to limit the number of fans allowed into this town of only 2,000 residents. Telluride sits in a box canyon and has sparse flat ground for thousands of fans. Planet Bluegrass and the town of Telluride got together 20 years ago and agreed to limit attendance. Since that time Planet Bluegrass has capped the crowd to only 11,500 paid attendees and volunteers.

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