Tess Strokes | July 12, 2018 | Culture
Telluride’s music festival tradition is the stuff of legends.
Photo by Matt Kroll
Headlined by the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and Telluride Blues & Brews, the festival calendar draws thousands of music lovers to Telluride Town Park each summer, one of the most spectacular outdoor music venues in the world. Even B.B. King took notice: “Out of the 90 different countries I’ve been to, I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than what you have here.” While the two aforementioned festivals have longevity going for them, it’s this weekend’s rock n’ roll focused RIDE Festival that many locals (and Aspenites) look forward to the most. Even the festival’s unparalleled VIP experience offers concert goers a luxury weekend that remains authentically Telluride.
Since its debut in 2012, the festival has gained a reputation among music fans for its thoughtful performance curation—something festival organizers refer to as “handpicked rootsy, rocking talent.” Past RIDE Festival lineups have included Pearl Jam, Cage the Elephant, Widespread Panic, David Byrne and St. Vincent, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Ben Harper, Thievery Corporation, North Mississippi Allstars, The Lumineers, Cake, Los Lobos and more.
This year’s festival theme? Women Who Rock. You’d be hard pressed to find two women who rock harder than Grace Potter or Sheryl Crow. The lineup also features two nights of The String Cheese Incident, plus performances by Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and more.
The RIDE Festival’s VIP experience ($525 for the VIP Weekend Pass) includes access to the private VIP area directly adjacent to the main stage. Think comfy couches and a pillow lounge in an attractive shaded setting, lawn games and intimate tipis to enjoy quiet time in between sets. The VIP area also includes outdoor dining table seating and standing area at the foot of the stage. A VIP pass grants complimentary drinks each day during happy hour at the VIP-only bar, complimentary appetizers and Sunday brunch prepared by local chef Honga Im and VIP restroom facilities.
“Our VIP experience is awesome,” says RIDE Festival promoter Todd Creel. “There aren’tmany places where you can get this close to world class artists. Plus, the food and beverages and shelter—the whole set up—it’s what keeps the VIP crowd coming back year after year.”
Performances at Telluride Town Park begin on Saturday and Sunday at 11am and run until 11:00pm and Sunday at 10:30pm. After hours, “NightRide” music spills out into local venues like the Sheridan Opera House and The Roma for late night shows by emerging talent.
One of the Ride Festival’s lodging partners, The Madeline Hotel, is offering a Ride Festival discount for a two-room, 1,600-square-foot suite ($731 per night).
Photos courtesy of The Ride Festival