Article and Photos by: Linda Carlson
Telluride, CO – It’s hard to imagine a more glorious venue for a band to perform. Gazing from the Fred Shellman Memorial Stage, performers at The Ride Festival are treated to a spectacular box canyon view that is second to none. 2019 marked the festival’s eighth year, and fourteen diverse bands had the opportunity to gaze upon lush green mountains (some capped with snow), as well as stunning Bridal Veil Falls, as they performed to appreciative, enthusiastic fans who traveled from parts unknown to experience this festival’s unique blend of musical offerings.
In full disclosure, I am the festival’s staff photographer; hence, this is less a review than an opportunity to share images from this year’s event and build awareness of this festival treasure.
The weekend’s festivities kicked off with a special Friday night Widespread Panic three-hour concert. WSP also closed the Saturday night line-up, following performances by Big Something, The Temperance Movement, Los Colognes, Thunderpussy, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, and Pony Bradshaw.
On Sunday evening, the festival’s main stage closer was Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, preceded by Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Rose Hill Drive, Black Pistol Fire, Dorothy, The Shelters and The Commonheart.
On all three evenings, after the main stage lights dimmed, the party moved to Telluride local establishments, including The Liberty, Moon At O’Bannon’s, Wood Ear, and The Sheridan Opera House. This after-hours round-up is dubbed The Night Ride and is well-attended by locals and visitors alike. These venues hosted Ride Festival main stagers like The Temperance Movement, Big Something, Black Pistol Fire, Tyler Bryant, Los Colognes and Rose Hill Drive, as well as bands like The Yawpers and Heavy Diamond Ring. These more intimate venues had a completely different feel from the wide open outdoor festival stage, with crowds tightly packed right up to the small, crowd-level stages. Sweat poured, and floors shook to the beat of people dancing.
Check The Ride Festival website for more photos and a summary of this year’s event, and be sure to check back early in 2020 to catch the lineup announcement for next year: https://ridefestival.com. It’s a six-hour drive from Denver that will take you through some gorgeous country.