Telluride Events: 2018 Calendar

Telluride has enough charm, outdoor activities, and gorgeous vistas to be one of Colorado’s top summer destinations all on its own. But come May, this idyllic town takes the ultimate Colorado experience one step further, transforming into the de facto summer festival capital of the state. Diehard festivarians travel from all over the country to experience one - or many - of the nearly 20 festivals that take place in the iconic box canyon.

Below we’ve listed a complete Telluride events calendar for 2018, so you can start planning your summer and look for the perfect Telluride rental during your own favorite festival. Scroll down to learn more about each festival individually. If you're looking to extend your stay beyond a single festival, use our complete list of things to do in Telluride as a guide.

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Telluride Literary Arts Festival
Friday, May 18 to Sunday, May 20

Telluride Mountainfilm
Friday, May 25 to Tuesday, May 29

Telluride Balloon Festival
Friday, June 1 to Sunday, June 3 

Telluride WOW Festival
Thursday, June 7 to Sunday, June 10 

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
Thursday, June 21 to Sunday, June 24 

Telluride Wine Festival
Thursday, June 28 to Sunday, July 1 

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Telluride Plein Air Festival
Friday, June 29 to Thursday, July 5

The RIDE Festival
Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15 

Telluride Yoga Festival
Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, July 22 

Telluride Art+Architecture Weekend
Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22 

Telluride Jazz Festival
Friday, August 3 to Sunday, August 5 

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Telluride Chamber Music Festival
Monday, August 6 to Sunday, August 12

Telluride Mushroom Festival

Thursday, August 16 to Sunday, August 19

Telluride Film Festival
Friday, August 31  to Monday, September 3

Telluride Blues and Brews Festival
Friday, September 14 to Sunday, September 16 

Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors
Thursday, September 27 to Sunday, September 30

Telluride Literary Arts Festival - May 18-20

The Telluride Literary Arts Festival, or LitFest, uses Telluride’s dramatic background landscapes as a place for writers and readers to gather and celebrate the art of literature. But don’t expect a quiet three days of book dissection and character analysis - there’s much more to this fest than reading and writing.

From literary burlesque to poetry performances, birding outings to panel discussions, you’ll find the type of event you’re looking for. If you’re bringing your kids, there are plenty of activities aimed at keeping the whole family entertained.

The event takes place at several venues around town, all within a few blocks of each other. If you’re looking for Telluride rentals for May-20 and want to see what LitFest has to offer, take a look through our luxury homes in Downtown Telluride.

Telluride Mountainfilm - May 25-29

The Telluride Film Festival may make the most headlines, but don’t write off the season’s earlier film fest, Telluride Mountainfilm. Last year, this unique event made MovieMaker Magazine’s list of the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World, and after learning a little more about it, it’s not hard to see why.

At the heart of Mountainfilm is a mission to “use the power of film, art, and ideas to inspire audiences to create a better world.” It features nonfiction documentaries about cultural issues, the environment, political and social justice, and even climbing, and pairs them with inspirational speakers and community events to prompt action. The theme of this year’s festival is “migration.”

Take a look at our beautiful Downtown Telluride rentals here and start planning an inspirational getaway now.

Telluride Balloon Festival June 1-3

For an unforgettable spectacle and relatively smaller crowd sizes, spend the weekend of June 1-3 at the Telluride Balloon Festival.

Beginning at sunrise, dozens of colorful hot air balloons will lift off from Town Park and gracefully float through the valley, landing about a mile away. The actual launch and flight take place Sunday morning, but Saturday night also offers an incredibly unique sight. Telluride’ famous Main Street fills with the balloons, which are inflated by the roar of the propane jets. This creates what many have come to call the “glow,” and is a scene you won’t want to miss. Take a look a footage from a previous glow here.

Need any other reason to head to Telluride June 1? This festival is completely free. Check out available homes now to find the perfect luxury vacation home close to the action.

Telluride WOW Festival - June 7-10

The WOW Festival is Telluride’s top health and wellness event of the year. The Weekend of Wellness, or WOW, has become a highly anticipated event that helps attendees identify and treat health challenges through an integrated holistic approach.

This is a highly exclusive event, and will quickly sell out. A three-day pass costs $350 and gives you access to all activities, or you can purchase individual day passes for $175.

Because of the small size of the event, guests will receive customized programs and one-on-one consultations. Classes and programs are led by experts in yoga, pilates, and cycling, as well as professionals in both Eastern and Western health philosophies.

We have several vacation rentals in Telluride that are perfect for maintaining the balance you find at the WOW Festival. Look through our homes to find the perfect hot tub, sauna, soaking tub, or cozy living room that you’ll be excited to return to after the day’s events.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival - June 21-24

Ask most people what they know about Telluride, and they’ll mention the famous Bluegrass Festival. For 44 years, the best pickers and players in the world have showcased their talents with the stunning beauty of the box canyon in the background.

For four days, festival-goers escape the world and spend their days exploring town, listening to the music, hiking the nearby trails, and relaxing with family and friends. The party also serves as a true celebration of summer and takes place every year on the weekend closest to the summer solstice - the longest day of the year.

You’ll find music all over town, from the main stage to small venues during late night shows. While thousands of people enjoy camping in the nearby fields every year, we have plenty of luxury Telluride homes available for those who’d rather have a bed to return to. To learn more about ticketing packages, check out our guide here.

Telluride Wine Festival - June 28-July 1

Another long-standing tradition, the Telluride Wine Festival is celebrating the 37th year of bringing together the country’s greatest winemakers and renowned chefs. For four days, the valley transforms from its rustic mining town roots to a highly sophisticated scene where everyone is in for a fine culinary experience.

Whether you’re a novice or a sommelier, anyone is welcome to come enjoy the weekend. There will be plenty of educational seminars, wine pairings, tastings, and other activities suited for everyone. The festival takes place downtown and in the famous Mountain Village, and we have some gorgeous Telluride rentals near both locations.

For a more quiet, relaxed experience, check out our Mountain Village rentals, or to be a part of the bustling downtown, look through our downtown homes.

Telluride Plein Air Festival - June 29- July 5

There are few better places than Telluride when it comes to sitting in the open air and painting the landscape in front of you. Highly popular all over Colorado, plein air painting takes over the town of Telluride during the annual festival, and artists can be found all over town, from corner streets to river banks.

The Plein Air Festival takes place over the 4th of July holiday every year. In the first half of the week, spectators can spend their time watching the renowned artists at work. During the final three days, all works go on sale, turning Telluride into a massive art show and sale.

The festival is a fantastic event that puts on display the skill and attention necessary for plein air painting, and celebrates the age-old art. For accommodations over the long weekend, check out our Telluride rentals here.

The RIDE Festival - July 14-15

A relative newcomer to the Telluride festival scene, the RIDE music festival brings in top-name acts in rock ‘n roll and roots, with a particular focus on bands known for their live performances. Past lineups have included Widespread Panic, North Mississippi Allstars, the Wood Brothers, Beck, Pearl Jam, Cake, and countless more.

This year’s headliner is the fan favorite The String Cheese Incident, who will be playing two nights.

Like all festivals in Telluride, guests at RIDE can take full advantage of the free gondola that connects downtown and Mountain Village. A pass for the entire weekend comes out to $207.47 after taxes and fees. This festival has grown immensely in only seven years, and as such, RV camping passes and weekend car camping passes have already sold out.

For availability in our downtown and Mountain Village rentals, check out our beautiful Telluride homes here.

Telluride Yoga Festival - July 19-22

Telluride’s breathtaking scenery, the quiet of the mountains, and the spirit of the charming town all come together during the Telluride Yoga Festival to help guests further their health and wellness through this ancient form of exercise.

Yoga instructors and practitioners from all over the world meet up in Telluride to come together for hikes, music, dining, and meditation, in addition to yoga. Whether you want to challenge yourself with an all-day immersion class, try out SUP yoga at Elk’s Pond in Mountain Village, or go on one of the daily hikes, you’ll have plenty of options to see Telluride the way you want while learning more about asana, breathing, and meditation.

Plenty of camping options are available, or you can stay in one of our luxurious Telluride rentals in Mountain Village or downtown.

Telluride Art + Architecture Weekend - July 21-22

Telluride is filled with stunningly beautiful homes, and the Art + Architecture Weekend is your chance to take intimate tours of these feats of architecture and design.

Join local artists, designers, and architects as they take you through these homes, where chefs will also provide tastings in the lavish kitchens. From highly contemporary to mountain traditional, you’ll witness everything that makes Telluride such a spectacular destination.

Our Telluride vacation rentals offer beauty and design on par with the homes you’ll find on the tour, so if you’re looking to stay in one of these incredible homes, check out our listings here.

Telluride Jazz Festival - August 3-5

Another one of the most established music fests in the canyon, the Telluride Jazz Festival has been drawing top talent for more than 40 years. From traditional to progressive and Avant-garde, you’ll hear musicians pushing the boundaries of jazz.

In addition to the music, guests can explore art installations and exhibits, take part in yoga exercises, attend music education seminars, and more. There are several ticketing options available, including the Patron Experience, which gives you on-stage seated viewing, meals with the artists, and more top-shelf offerings, or the VIP experience, where there’s a covered lounge with stage views, front-row seating, and host service. If you’re hungry for after-hours entertainment, there’s plenty of it in town, with the inevitable late night shows that pop up in smaller venues.

Thanks to the free gondola, our homes in both downtown Telluride and Mountain Village make for the perfect place to stay for the Telluride Jazz Festival.

Telluride Chamber Music Festival - August 6-12

The Telluride Chamber Music Festival is more of a season than a weekend. Spanning over a week in August, world-class chamber musicians gather to play together between the 14,000-foot peaks of the San Juan mountains. It’s an awe-inspiring way to listen to musicianship at its highest level.

Celebrating its 45th season this summer, the 2018 Telluride Chamber Music Festival is attracting some of the best talent in the country, including:

  • Roy Malen, Concertmaster of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and the California Symphony 
  • Susan Feier, a former member of the Rochester Philharmonic and current member of the Stanford faculty and the Ives Quartet. 
  • Nancy Ellis, of the San Francisco Symphony
Find your perfect lodging for this week-long inspirational festival here.

Telluride Mushroom Festival - August 16-19

For more than 30 years, Telluride has been home to this eccentric gathering of mushroom maestros, who meet up to have parades, arrange expeditions, and learn about everything mushroom. Come join fellow enthusiasts for scientific talks by experts, culinary seminars from celebrated chefs, and mushroom hunts in the wilds around Telluride.

People have been enjoying the quirks and education of the Telluride Mushroom Festival for more than three decades, and it has become so popular, lodging can book up a year in advance. Typically, within six months of the event, the town of Telluride is nearly booked. Find your ideal Telluride rental and lock in your experience with InvitedHome.

Telluride Film Festival - August 31- September 3

Vying for the title of Telluride’s most revered event, the Telluride Film Festival attracts international attention over Labor Day every year. When it comes to explaining the festival, perhaps acclaimed movie critic Robert Ebert summed it up best to the Chicago Sun-Times, when he stated it was “like Cannes died and went to heaven.”

Known locally as The Show, tickets for this celebrated event go on sale in March and are sure to disappear fast. Learn all about this year’s event with our guide here, and find the ideal Telluride vacation home before it books.

Telluride Blues and Brews Festival - September 14-16

A rather self-explanatory title, the Telluride Blues and Brews festival brings together roots rock, blues, gospel, funk, soul, and jazz with Colorado’s massive craft brew scene. With far more beers than you could possibly choose from and music going all day, you’ll have plenty to do as you walk the grounds and admire the unbeatable views.

The festival takes place just a few steps from Telluride’s famous downtown main street, so you can easily move from the festival to the after-hours parties that fill up the smaller local venues. Check the festival’s site often for the full artist lineup for 2018, or get a jump on your planning and secure your Telluride vacation home with InvitedHome here.

Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors - September 27-30

As the last festival in September, the Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors has become a great way to see the changing leaves of the surrounding mountains while enjoying a world-class automotive show. Now entering its 4th year, the festival is a gathering of the world’s finest cars.

This year’s event will include a War Bird aviation exhibit in addition to classic cars and motorcycles, as well as plenty of family-friendly activities and live music. For a truly unforgettable experience, register to take part in the Million Dollar Highway Road Rally, where you’ll join the likes of other auto collectors driving through some of southwest Colorado’s most iconic towns, all with a backdrop of the changing aspens.

For a luxury home befitting of this elegant event, take a look at our Telluride rentals here.

Telluride has rightfully earned its title as Colorado’s festival capital. To learn more about these festivals or luxury lodging options during them, get in touch with our Vacation Consultants, who are ready to help in any way.  

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