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The Colorado Mountains Are Alive With Summer Music Festivals

Tellluride-Concert Over the years, Tellluride has built a reputation for top-act summer music festivals -- and they are back after a Covid hiatus. (Telluride Blues & Brews/Facebook)

Despite Covid restrictions, the ski and snowboard resorts of Colorado had a hot summer season last year with hiking, biking, scenic lift rides, and other social-distanced activities. But one key attraction was missing: Music.

Now that restrictions are lifting, the state's mountain resorts are exploding with music festivals -- from bluegrass to blues, classical to pop, R&B to alt. Long-running festivals took last summer off, but they are back with a vengeance, giving visitors a reason to stay after the gondola rides, MTB challenges and adventure activities have been exhausted.

Of all Colorado mountain towns, Telluride may be most grateful that the veil of coronavirus is lifting. The picturesque resort town is the king of summer music, and it may be worth the air flight or road trip to find out why.

The rockin' kicks off with the 10-day RIDE Festival, July 2-11, at seven venues about town -- including the Town Park. Hot contemporary acts are headlined by Rival Sons, Wayne Hays, and Citizen Cope.

A month later, the 44th Telluride Jazz Festival opens for a three-day gig. Twenty-three acts spread over three days, Aug. 13-15, headlined by Galactic Featuring Angelika "Jelly" Joseph, Robert Glasper, and all-time fav Preservation Hall Jazz Bank.

The summer winds up with the Blues & Brews Festival, Sept. 17-19, with 29 acts -- and craft brews -- from near and far. Buddy Guy, Samantha Fish, the Allman Betts Band, and Liz Cooper headline. The Grand Tasting won't be held but dozens of breweries will be pouring throughout.

On the Front Range, the 38th renewal of the Winter Park Jazz Festival returns to the Rendezvous Event Center just down the road from the ski mountain on July 17-18. En Vogue, Rick Braun, Damien Escobar, and Colorado's own DOTSERO light up the stage.

Keystone's 24th annual Bluegrass & Beer brings Appalachian string bands into the Rockies. The lineup hasn't been finalized for the Aug. 7-8 event, but the beer is on ice.

And in Aspen, Jazz Aspen Snowmass returns on Labor Day weekend at the Snowmass Village Park. The star-studded lineup kicks off with Stevie Nicks Friday eve (Sept. 3), followed by Cheryl Crow and Eric Church Saturday, and Kings of Leon wrapping it up Sunday night.



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