At the upcoming 40th Telluride Bluegrass Festival, held high up in Colorado's San Juan Mountains on June 20-23, 2013, the focus is as much on keeping the Earth green as it is on keeping the "Festivarians" grooving. Since the festival first began, the organizers, Planet Bluegrass, have focused on ways they can offer an entertaining music experience while leaving a small carbon footprint. Despite the fact that the organization has expanded over the years to include not just the annual Telluride event, but also other Festivals such as RockyGrass and the Folks Festival, plus educational experiences for musicians and songwriters, it revels in being the first 100% carbon neutral festival in the world.
First and foremost, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival is a celebration of music. From the main stage, which has featured the likes of Mumford & Sons, Lyle Lovett, and Emmylou Harris, to the workshops held at Elks Park stage in town, to contests, indoor concerts, and impromptu jam sessions all over Telluride, the down home music vibe is what keeps Festivarians coming back every year. This year's featured performers include Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Sam Bush, with a special set featuring select performers and the Telluride House Band. What makes this year's festival notable is that it coincides with the Summer Solstice, the full moon on the 22nd, and the longest day of the year, giving summer a unique Bluegrass style kickoff.
Festivarians at this year's Telluride Bluegrass Festival will make the journey up 8,750 feet of mountain side to the National Historic Landmark District town of Telluride, a place with Victorian charm, natural beauty, and modern amenities. Whether visitors choose to stay in one of the luxury boutique hotels, or enjoy camping in the great outdoors at one of the local campgrounds, they can be assured an experience like no other. Activities like hiking or mountain biking, sightseeing at one of the nearby ghost towns, or just soaking up all the Festival fun all add to the musical focus.
Planet Bluegrass strives to green every aspect of their Festival experience, from the food to the waste management to their carbon offset. Every effort has been taken to put into place practices and solutions to reduce the entire festival's footprint as much as possible, including the following measures:
· * Smart festival-wide waste management for reusing, recycling and composting materials to keep them out of the landfills. Waste stations around the festival are staffed by volunteers who are trained to help visitors recycle or compost their waste.
· * Water at the festival is free and filtered, not bottled. The water is sourced from the Mill Creek Basin and the Still Well reservoir, where it is directed to a treatment center and stored in local tanks. Festival goers are encouraged to bring reusable, environmentally friendly water bottles, which they can fill for free at the water booth. Artists and crews are given a Kleen Kanteen for use during the festival.
· * The festival offsets 100% of their emissions, including the traveling of guests to and from Telluride, through renewable energy credits and the purchase of carbon offsets, in collaboration with longtime partner Renewable Choice Energy.
· * The use of local and organic food where possible, a bold undertaking considering the festival is held on the top of a mountain! The organizers work with Organic Valley Family of Farms, Allegro Coffee, Red Bird Farms, and others to make 75% of all food served during the festival organic. An effort has also been made to offer food served in compostable containers.
Planet Bluegrass strives to offer the best bluegrass in the world through their festivals and workshops. If you can’t attend the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, you can still take part through the other offered events including the RockyGrass Festival or Academy, the Folks Festival, the Wildflower Concert Series, and The Song School. All events organized by the Planet Bluegrass organization are guaranteed to provide great bluegrass music with an environmentally friendly approach.
For information on all Planet Bluegrass events: http://www.bluegrass.com