Where: Telluride, Colo.
When: June 21–24
Surround sound: Kick-start the bluegrass season in the Nashville of the Rockies with heavyweights Emmylou Harris and Sam Bush. Tucked away in the San Juan Mountains, the festival is a melting pot for Americana songwriters, musical collaboration and new talent. Twenty-nine musical acts on one main stage mean it is officially time to tuck away the skis and bust out the mandolin case.
Front row: In accordance with Telly etiquette, empty chairs are free for the taking so don’t be surprised if yours gets snagged while you grab a bite to eat.
Cozy up: Town Park and Warner Field campgrounds are so close you won’t miss any of the action.
Greenbacks: Tickets sold out in February, the earliest sell-out in the festival’s history. But several NightGrass shows are still up for grabs, such as Laura Marling and Drew & Vince ($25 a ticket). Next year, buy your tickets early to guarantee a spot among the action.
Don’t miss: The classic Telluride Tarp Run, for which festivalgoers line up overnight to claim prime viewing spots. Roughly ten minutes before the gates open, bagpipe and banjo players get the crowd going with a bluegrass version of “The Lone Ranger.” Then it’s a free-for-all land-grab where anything goes.