Summer Festivals

World Class Culture & Festivals:  Summer Festivals  |  Cultural Organizations

Telluride Summer Festivals

Main Street - Above

Telluride is a town that embraces a captivating array of vibrant summer festivals. From May to September, each and every weekend bursts with an abundance of live music, mesmerizing films, captivating art exhibitions, cultural showcases, and delectable food and wine celebrations. Music, in all its diverse forms, occupies a central role in our jubilant community. Telluride is fortunate to boast one of the most remarkable and diverse festival lineups found anywhere in the country. Our festival season commences in grand fashion at the end of May with the world-renowned Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, an event that leaves spectators in awe of the power of storytelling through film. From there, every subsequent weekend plays host to a distinctive and enthralling event, each one adding its unique flavor to the tapestry of festivities.

Among the most beloved and eagerly anticipated festivals are the illustrious Telluride Bluegrass Festival, where the soul-stirring sounds of bluegrass music resonate through the mountains, creating an atmosphere of pure joy and camaraderie. The Jazz Celebration takes center stage, immersing visitors in the scintillating melodies and captivating improvisations that define this genre, leaving audiences mesmerized by the sheer talent and creativity on display. The Telluride Wine Festival offers an exquisite blend of indulgence and sophistication, inviting connoisseurs and enthusiasts to savor a delightful selection of wines and culinary delights that tantalize the taste buds and ignite the senses.

Moreover, the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival combines the electrifying energy of blues music with the craft of brewing, resulting in a harmonious fusion of soulful tunes and flavorful libations. Finally, the internationally recognized Telluride Film Festival stands as a testament to the town's enduring love affair with cinema, showcasing groundbreaking works from visionary filmmakers and captivating audiences with its unparalleled selection of thought-provoking and visually stunning films.

Many of the summer events are free, including The Balloon Festival and Mushroom Festival.

Go to the FULL CALENDAR of Telluride Festivals & Events

Telluride Bluegrass Festival - 3rd weekend in June

The Telluride BluegrFestivals - Bluegrassass Festival in mid-June has attracted brilliant musicians for 30 years and over 10,000 festivarians to the valley each year to enjoy the world's best bluegrass musicians playing under the sun and under the stars for four days of fabulous fun.

This festival features more than Bluegrass though,as it has hosted everything from Nepalese throat singers to the Colorado Symphony

Telluride Bluegrass Festival Website

Headliners in Past Festivals include the following:

Mary Chapin Carpenter (1990)Johnny Cash (1997)
Bruce Hornsby (1990)Big Head Todd (1998)
James Taylor (1991, 1993)Jackson Browne (2000)
Willie Nelson (1982, 1999)Natalie Merchant (2000)
Lyle Lovett (1991, 2004)Bonnie Raitt (2000)
Indigo Girls (1991)Linda Ronstadt (2002)
Little Feat (1989)Allison Krauss (2003, 2005)
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1989)Vince Gill (2003)
Bruce Hornsby (1990)Spearhead (2004)
Dan Fogelberg (1993)Jewel (2005)
Mumford and Sons (2010-2011)Steve Winwood (2014)
John Prine (2006 & 2012)Robert Plant (2011)

And of course the many regular well-known bluegrass players over the years have graced the Telluride Stage such as:  Sam bush, Bela Fleck, Del McCoury, Jerry Douglas, John Cowan, Emmylou Harris, and Tim O’Brien.

Telluride Blues & Brews - September

Festivals - Blues-Brews

Blues & Brews is a three-day celebration of blues, funk, jam bands, indie, rock, gospel and soul performances —accompanied by some of the best microbreweries in the country, a wide variety of food and craft vendors, children's activities, late night shows, and much, much more.

Telluride's main street, just steps away from the festival grounds, is home to a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. After the music ends in Town Park for the evening, we move the festival scene into various music venues located throughout the town of Telluride. These are our "Juke Joints" and, once they get jamming, a walk down main street feels like a walk down Beale Street in Memphis.

Telluride Film Festival - Labor Day Weekend

Festival - Film

Each Labor Day weekend for over 40 years, famous actors and directors have come to this highly acclaimed film festival to premier many high quality films which have become well-known and popular.

Film buffs from all over the world attend this world-class event to experience  films that represent the work of both new and established artists from all cultures and countries.  Considered by film experts as one of the top five film festivals in the world, the Telluride Film Festival has been graced with participation by actors such as:

♦ Peter O’Toole, George Clooney,

♦ Meryl Streep, Penelope Cruz,

♦ Robert Redford, Daniel Day Lewis,

♦ Helen Mirren,  and Colin Firth

Highly accomplished directors have also been coming to this festival for years, and they include:  Walter Herzog, John Ford, Peter Weir, Salman Rushde, and Ken Burns.

Stellar films that have premiered in Telluride include:   The Last King of Scotland, My Left Foot, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain, The Hustler, The King’s Speech, Gravity,  Twelve Years a Slave, and even The Civil War series by Ken Burns.

The event is always sold out and many attendees have been coming every year since the festival's inception in 1973.

Telluride Mountain Film Festival  - 3rd weekend in May

Festival - Mountain Film

Every year, Mountainfilm hosts over one hundred special guests, including speakers at the Moving Mountains Symposium, guest presenters, filmmakers, film subjects, judges, panel participants, artists and other luminaries.

"Telluride Mountainfilm is the single most inspiring event that I attend each year. It is a chance to rub elbows with modern-day heroes, with people who are actually making a difference. A chance to see films that would be lost. A chance to find out what’s really happening in the world and to meet people who are living their dreams." —Ace Kvale, adventure photographer

Telluride Nothing Festival - 3rd weekend in July

Festivals - Nothing

The Nothing Festival. It’s a weekend of doing nothing, because there is no reason to race to Town Park and throw down tarps. There is no ticket line to stand in. There is no bracelet or pass involved. There are no crowds. And, there is no schedule or line-up. One should not agonize over finances and the cost of festival food and beers. If you come to Telluride the weekend of the Nothing Festival, you will not find music for it, though you might easily slide into the Moon or another venue and find a local band playing.

In the middle of July in Telluride, right around the time that the monsoons pick up, they celebrate a whole lot of nothing. Many who are not locals will not know about this. There is no advertisement or promotion for the Nothing Festival. It just is.

Telluride Wine Festival - 3rd weekend in June

Festivals - Wine

The Telluride Wine Festival is a giving organization that holds events to promote Telluride as a culinary destination, supporting the overall health, character and vitality of its community.  The mission of the Telluride Wine Festival is to stimulate the local economy, educate our attendees and donate a large portion of event proceeds to support the Telluride region’s food-producing community.  We plan to provide grants to local entrepreneurs producing food in new and sustainable ways as well as offering education for children in the Culinary Arts.  In addition, through the Monica Callard Foundation, we work to give scholarships to talented Telluride residents who would greatly benefit themselves and the community through wine and/or culinary education. Our long-term goal is to create a community kitchen to be used for cooking classes and to  provide a low-cost production facility for local entrepreneurs to create their food-based products.

Telluride Chamber Music Festival - August

Festivals - Chamber-1

The Chamber Music Festival fills the valley with classical music each August. Concerts are presented in the lovely old Sheridan Opera House.

Mountain Peaks - Wide

World Class Culture & Festivals:  Summer Festivals  |  Cultural Organizations