Blues & Brews Celebrates 20 Years By Going Bigger, Better and Fully Digital
UPDATE: Telluride Blues & Brews will again offer a live internet video stream of the entire festival. For more details and schedule click here.
The summer music season of Colorado's Western Slope region will be capped off by four days of live tunes and craft libations at this year's Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. Celebrating 20 years means bringing a standout lineup of national touring acts and a record 56 regional and national microbreweries for the festival and its patrons.
Primarily taking place in the 36 acre venue outfitted for choice live music experiences, Town Park sits adjacent to the downtown Telluride section at the end of the scenic box canyon bordered by high elevation peaks. New amenities this year include an enhanced food selection from 13 vendors, exclusive campground music sessions, an onsite camping gear vendor provided by Project Shelter, and a Main Street parade featuring the Rebirth Brass Band.
This year the iconic Fred Shellman Stage will take on the strong top-to-bottom lineup with headliners The Black Crowes, Jim James and Melissa Etheridge leading the charge. Last year The Black Crowes frontman played a memorable set at Telluride Blues & Brews with side project the Chris Robinson Brotherhood that serves as a testament to what his core band will offer this year, while My Morning Jacket vocalist Jim James will make his first solo appearance in Telluride after a huge summer of sets at the country's biggest festivals. Melissa Etheridge's extended 135 minute slot to close the festival on Sunday promises to be another notch in the event's history of music legends playing at their highest level.
Telluride Blues & Brews never strays too far from its blues roots, and this year Booker T. Jones will be representing the electric blues category with his Hammond B3 mastery at the free kick off party on Thursday night. Booker's modern counterpart and recent collaborator on Sound The Alarm Gary Clark Jr. will also flex his prodigious and progressive blues guitar chops the following evening on the Main Stage. Also on board for Thursday's 20 Annual Celebration Show is trance blues stringsmith and Blues & Brews veteran Otis Taylor.
The modern rock landscape finds multi-instrumental soul-stress ZZ Ward, Austin's retro-rockers Bright Light Social Hour, one-man-band Low Volts, American rock guitarist/pianist John Hiatt, and Telluride favorite Anders Osborne layering the lineup.
Telluride Blues & Brews goes heavy into the cast of funk players this year with England's The New Mastersounds, the world class Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans, and the resurrected 70s psychedelic funk of The Relatives. The thriving neo-soul sound will be also be properly represented by Washington's "hippie with soul" Allen Stone and UK acoustic soul singer/songwriter James Bay.
Between the 170 individual beers offered at the Grand Tasting on Saturday, the five hand selected House of Brews local representatives Aspen Brewing Company, Durango Brewing Company, Ska Brewing Company, Smuggler's Brewing Company, and Telluride Brewing Company, and the official beer sponsor Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Telluride Blues & Brews stays true to its legacy as a premiere beer showcase in a booming microbrewery era.
When the lights go down, the party continues at the four late night Juke Joint venues. Booker T. Jones and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band with Jim James and Karl Denson claim the Telluride Conference Center. A revamped Fly Me To The Moon Saloon sees The Rebirth Brass Band and The New Mastersounds. The intimate Elks Lodge houses Bright Light Social Hour and Selwyn Birchwood Band. The historic Sheridan Opera House hosts an Allen Stone and ZZ Ward co-bill, Anders Osborne, and then Karl Denson's Tiny Universe for the Fais do-do closing celebration.
The coveted Saturday single day tickets for the 20th installment of Telluride Blues & Brews have officially sold out, but limited 3-day passes and single day tickets for Friday and Sunday are still available. All limited Juke Joint tickets are still available, as are 4-day camping passes.
To purchase tickets, click here.