Blues & Brews Survival Guide

With so much to see, do, eat and drink, it can't hurt to have a little guidance along the way. We're here to get you ready! Here's our 'How To' or Survival Guide to 22nd Annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival.


The weather in Colorado during the month of September can be a bit of everything. Sometimes Telluride can go through all four seasons in one day so it's best to be prepared for anything! Sandals, flip-flops or Tevas are a must as the highs could be in the 70s. It's a smart idea to bring a water bottle to refill for free in Town Park. Don't forget to pack a rain jacket, rubber boots, hiking shoes, a sun hat, sunscreen, and a backpack to hold extra clothes. We highly recommend wearing layers of clothing. While it is true that it has snowed every month of the year in Colorado, the snow generally begins in late October. With that said, it's not a bad idea to bring a heavy jacket. When the sun goes down, it gets chilly pretty quick. Bring a change of clothes into the festival so when it begins to cool off, you can change without missing any music. Last but not least, bring your camera. A picture is worth a thousand words and Telluride is just that!

Bringing the kids with you to the festival? There's ton of festival fun for the little ones! Check out this blog from San Juan Parent on 'how to do Blues & Brews with kids'. They won't want to miss all the activities the festival has to offer for kids during the weekend.


A lot of your time will be spent in Telluride’s Town Park, but don't forget that you are in one of the most beautiful places in the country. So we suggest coming early, and enjoying some of what Telluride has to offer both inside and outside!

Here’s a list of must-do’s during the festival and what to check out around town during your visit:

Sunset Blues Concert

Join us in Mountain Village's Sunset Plaza for our free Sunset Blues Concert on Thursday, September 17th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. featuring Hillstomp and opening act The Johnson County Coroners! Sunset Plaza is just a short, beautiful gondola ride up the mountain from the town of Telluride! The event and gondola ride are free and open to the public, and the event is rain or shine. Be sure to bring a blanket and a picnic and kick off the weekend in style! 

Blues & Brews Art Gallery

The official Art Gallery will be at Arroyo Wine Bar & Gallery, located at 220 East Colorado Ave! Stop by, have a beverage, light bites and enjoy artwork from festival photographers Barry Brecheisen & Dino Perrucci, artists Scramble Campbell & Daryl Price and other past festival poster artists. Some artwork will be available for sale. The gallery will be open daily for the festival weekend from Thursday to Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to close. 


After all, the festival is called Blues & Brews. Our sponsor Sierra Nevada is showcasing the seven different beer styles listed below all weekend long! Be sure to stop by their beer truck to try the 'Back Porch Lager' - created by the Blues & Brews staff at a unique ‘one-of-a-kind’ Beer Camp, this lager is available exclusively at the festival. We can't go without mentioning the yummy craft beers during the Grand Tasting featuring 50+ microbreweries with over 170 styles from across the nation from Noon to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 19th. Text in to vote for your favorite beer during the Grand Tasting! Look for the special brewer codes at each booth during the Grand Tasting to cast your vote. Finally, there is a second beer booth, the House of Brews, where seven different styles will be featured during the weekend from Big B’s Hard CiderBonfire BrewingDurango Brewing CoSierra Nevada Brewing CoSka Brewing and Telluride Brewing Co. Bottoms up and cheers!

Late Night Shows
Some of the best shows you’ll see all weekend are after dark at Telluride’s intimate concert venues: The Blues Stage (Hanely Pavilion), Fly Me to the Moon Saloon, Sheridan Opera House, the Elks Lodge and Arroyo Wine Bar & Gallery. Don't miss our opening celebration show, the Bal de Maison, featuring Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats with Eagle Eye Williamson, the Friday and Saturday Juke Joint shows, and the closing celebration Fais Do Do show, featuring The Revivalists! Friday and Saturday Juke Joint passes allow access to all venues for the night purchase but get there early, all venues are first-come, first served. Doors open at 9:45 p.m. each night and the VIP 3-Day Pass includes entry into all Juke Joints. For the complete Schedule of Events, click here

Blues For Breakfast

The music is free, breakfast, Bloody Mary's, Mimosas, and the full bar are extra ($). Join us for Blues and breakfast from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings at the Elks Lodge (located on the corner of Townsend and Pacific Avenue). Enjoy solo performances by Blues musicians while dining on scrambled eggs, pancakes, hash browns, sausage, coffee and juice. On Saturday, September 13th, the top six finalists from the Telluride Blues Challenge will play. The winner of this competition will take home a custom acoustic Martin guitar, a cash prize, and the opportunity to play a set on the Main Stage on Saturday evening and a full set on the Blues Stage at the 2015 festival. The following day, Cary Morin and C.W. Ayon will play at Blues for Breakfast.

Film Fundraiser 'This Ain't No Mouse Music'

On Wednesday, Sept. 16th at 7:30 p.m., join Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, KOTO-FM's DJ Jimmy Jazz, the Hotel Telluride, and the Palm Theater for the film premiere of 'This Ain't No Mouse Music!' at Telluride's Palm Theater. The event is a fundraiser for the San Miguel Resource Center, preventing domestic violence and sexual assault. For more info, click here.


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.

Ride the Gondola

The only FREE transportation of its kind in the country, Telluride’s Gondola is a must-do while visiting during the week. If you don’t journey up to the free concert on Thursday night, make sure you take the time to check out this spectacular ride. 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 runs from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday, and 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. on Sunday of the festival.

Campground Sessions
A special perk available to campers only are the additional shows in the campground exclusive to campers only (camping wristband required for entrance). Artists will be playing in the camping area each day of the festival. Don't miss the chance to see these performances in an intimate campground setting!

Sharp Dressed Fan Costume Contest
It’s time to channel your inner ZZ Top at this year’s Telluride Blues & Brews Festival and you can Win Passes to the 2016 Festival! On Friday, Sept 18th, Blues & Brews is hosting a ZZ Top costume contest. Make sure you wear your beards and “cheap sunglasses’. The Telluride Blues staff will be handing out “Sharp Dressed” tickets to the best-dressed festival-goers who will vie for audience cheers on stage. The contestant who gets the most audience cheers for their costume will be awarded TWO weekend passes to the 23rd Annual Blues & Brews Festival in 2016!

Blues & Brews Yoga Sessions
The Yoga Sessions presented by Telluride Yoga Fest provide an opportunity for everyone to unplug and unwind. It is perfect if you are enjoying the festival, a weekend mountaintop adventure or just in Telluride to relax. The Yoga Sessions offer a fluid yoga flow, activating breath practice, liberating movement and playful exercises. No matter what skill level you are, the Yoga Sessions are for everyone. The Blues & Brews Yoga Sessions are free and open to the public!

  • Location: Elks Park (located across from the Telluride courthouse on Main Street)

  • Time: September 19 and 20 (Saturday and Sunday of the festival) 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

  • What to Bring: Water, Yoga Mat, Towel and Active Wear (Come with or without! These items are not mandatory to participate.)


The 22nd anniversary weekend lineup will not upset. We’re so lucky to have such a wide spectrum of amazing artists gracing the Town Park Main Stage and our intimate nightlife venues including some Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers! Click here to see the 2015 festival lineup. Be sure to check out the full schedules for the Main Stage, the Blues Stage, the Campground Sessions and the Late Night shows. Listen to our Spotify Playlist and get to know all the artists performing this year. 

Daryl Price

The festival poster artist will be on-site at the festival signing posters and autographs in the festival store from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. daily.

Scramble Campbell

Colorado-based artist Scramble Campbell will be back in action at this year's festival. Watch as he paints amazing masterpieces LIVE during the course of a single performance. 


Who doesn't love festival food?! Click here for a full list of what the festival has to offer in Town Park. If you’re looking to get out of Town Park, or looking for breakfast and late night food, here are the top places to grab a bite to eat while you’re in town. For a list of Telluride restaurants, visit's Dining Guide.

Brown Dog Pizza - Want to catch some College or NFL Football between sets? Head over to the best Sports Bar in town - Brown Dog Pizza is located on Main Street and has delicious pizza, subs, salads and of course, ice cold PBR on tap. Also, late-night slices!

Siam - Fun fact: some of the best Thai food in the world is found in Telluride! Staff suggestions: Drunken Noodles, Pad Thai and Molly's Lobster Tempura.

Floradora - Looking for the best burger in town? Check out Floradora on Main Street for delicious burgers (get the Matty Burger), jalapeño poppers, salads, sliders and more!

New Sheridan Chop House - Easily some of the best food in town. You can eat two ways – very nice or laid back. ‘Very nice’ consists of sitting down for a nice steak and glass of wine. Or you can eat ‘Laid back’ by sitting at the bar or in the Parlor Bar for an informal meal with the same tasty menu. Tasty brunch, too. 

Baked in Telluride - Great spot to grab coffee and a quick breakfast in the morning - "B.I.T.” offers bagels, doughnuts, croissants, muffins, pizza, sandwiches, cookies and a whole lot more.

Cosmopolitan - Hands down the best happy hour in town! Half-price sushi and Cosmos from 5-6pm every day of the week!

La Cocina - Delicious menu featuring local and organic Mexican food on main street with indoor and outdoor seating. 

Diggity Doggs - Need some late night grub? Diggity Dogs usually posts up right outside the Court House and offers hotdogs with delicious toppings of your choice.

Pescado - Looking for some good sushi? Our friends at Pescado just reopened in the old Sweet Life spot on Main Street (downstairs, right beside Floradora). Follow them on Twitter for special deals! 

La Marmotte - A modern take on elegant bistro fare. An excellent romantic getaway tucked into one of Telluride's oldest building. Staff suggestions: Roast Quail, Short ribs and Molten Chocolate Cake.


Here are the staff picks to keep the party after the music ends in Town Park:

New Sheridan - Go shoot pool and play some foos in this historic old-timey bar. Great vibe, music and drinks.

Oak: The New Fat Alley - Grab some fried okra and a pint of Schlitz on the patio! The best place to mellow out during the festival and eat great BBQ.

Smuggler's Brew Pub - With a diverse menu and extensive beer list, this restaurant is not to be missed! Be sure to try the seasonal beer styles.

There - A diverse collection of cocktails and food menu, a fusion of the new with the old, the trendy with the traditional. Staff suggestions: Grapefruit martini, Blueberry Gin jam cocktail.

Tomboy Tavern - Wraparound bar, oversized leather couches, beer garden and patio in the heart of Mountain Village.

Poacher's Pub - Classic American menu with a sunny patio and wide selection of food and drinks.

Cornerhouse Grille - Casual dining in Telluride with a great selection of traditional pub fare. Check out the specials menu!

O'Bannon's Irish Pub - The one and only Irish pub in town. The bar features numberous bar games and a wide beer selection.

Click here for a full list bars in the area.


Facebook - We can’t wait to see your posts and photos! Share with us and let us know how your weekend is going on our Facebook page! 

Twitter -  Tag your tweets and photos with the hashtags #TellurideBlues and #TBBF15 to tell us about your favorite shows, photos and good times! Tag @TellurideBlues and we’ll be sure to RT.

Instagram - Fan photos are the best! Post your favorite photos from Town Park and use #TellurideBlues and tag @TellurideBlues and we'll share our favorite posts all weekend long.

Spotify - While you pack your bags, listen to our Telluride Blues & Brews Festival playlists on Spotify to get you pumped for the weekend!

Stream the festival LIVE - Can't make this year's festival? You're in luck! Telluride Blues & Brews Festival will be streaming the festival LIVE from Telluride Town Park all weekend long with the help from our local community radio station KOTO FM. Click here for more info.

Patrick Shehan2015