For more than a century, Telluride has captivated travelers of all types. Situated in southwest Colorado, this former mining town has been transformed into a popular ski resort, lying among the spectacular snow-capped peaks of the San Juan Mountains. The region is well known for its starry summer nights and outstanding ski days. The town itself recalls thoughts of the old west, with Victorian buildings surrounding a charming downtown.

Although situated away from the Centennial State's main thoroughfares, Telluride is a great place to come if you enjoy mountain activities. Outdoor enthusiasts have an abundance of choices, including hiking, camping, and skiing. However, the town has gained recognition for hosting excellent music festivals, which have turned into annual events that are popular both locally and internationally. Since its founding in 1974, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival has grown in popularity and drawn some of the biggest names in the music industry, making it a summertime staple. Due to the festival's success, locals and event planners have been inspired to curate a unique lineup of performances and activities that take place most weekends from May through September. Here's a quick look at some of Telluride’s best festivals of the summer season.

Telluride MusicFest

June 26-July 7, 2024

If you've yet to experience chamber music, this festival is the perfect introduction! Teaming up with the Telluride Chamber Music Association, MusicFest is presenting “Summer Soirees” again this year. This series denotes a moment in time when friends get together to listen to and appreciate music. Chamber music with conventional classical, modern, and international influences is featured on every program. The concerts offered during this week-long event are intimate and inviting. Expert musicians showcase music that has been around for generations, adding their own stylistic flair while captivating their audiences. Check the schedule of events found on the festival's website.

Telluride Jazz Festival

August 9-11, 2024

This jazz festival is arguably the second biggest event of the summer, second only to the legendary bluegrass festival. Telluride Jazz Festival showcases all of the soul, funk, jive, and character you would expect to see on the streets of the Big Easy. This event consistently hosts some of the best jazz musicians and bands from around the globe, and the vibrant and jubilant nature of the event seems to hover in the air during the entire weekend. This festival dates back to 1977 and has become a staple of the jazz scene. This year’s lineup includes some heavy hitters such as Christian McBride, Angelique Kidjo, New Breed Bass Band, and many more. Crowds gather to watch this amazing music at the main park in town. To make this festival more unique, camping is available just minutes from the jazz. The limited camping spots are first come, first serve, so arrive early to claim your site! More information, tickets, and the 2024 schedule can be found on their website.

Telluride Film Festival

August 29-September 2, 2024

While not a music festival, this one still makes the list. Telluride Film Festival showcases some of the best new films of the year, filling the town with expert film critics and amateur buffs alike. The film schedule is traditionally kept secret, but always aims to highlight works of well-known legends alongside up-and-coming film phenoms. This festival also offers attendees access to lectures, discussions, and meet and greets with a steady schedule of guest speakers around town. Music is not forgotten during the film festival, and the weekend is great chance to catch local acts at several of the smaller venues across town! Visit their website for more information and tickets.

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival – 30th Annual

September 13-15, 2024

The Telluride Blues & Brews Festival is one of the last big festivals before the snowflakes start falling. This iconic festival offers a combination of two of the greatest aspects of summer: music and beer. Blues & Brews is a unique and merry representation of the Colorado craft beer scene, featuring 23 different breweries and 60 styles of beer and cider. The upcoming 2024 festival is diverse not only in beer but music too, with Gary Clark Jr., Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Joe Bonamassa, JJ Grey & Mofro, and Neal Francis hitting the main stage. You can expect 30 bands lighting up the stage over the course of the weekend. Blues & Brews is a wholesomely rowdy event, with the party often spilling over into downtown after the bands on the main stage have finished. It is a one-of-a-kind way to wrap up a great summer. Find out more about the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival on their website.

Get ready to start mapping out your summer escape.

In essence, Telluride's summer festivals serve as a testament to the town's enduring spirit and its ability to captivate the hearts and minds of travelers for generations to come. With each passing year, these events continue to evolve and enchant, further solidifying Telluride's reputation as a must-visit destination for those in search of unforgettable experiences and timeless memories.