Telluride Events Calendar: 2020

Your Telluride calendar of events for Summer 2020

Updated 10/1/19

Telluride Festivals Calendar

Here are all the Telluride festivals of summer 2020

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, ranging from Telluride music festivals to wellness gatherings. it's why summer is one of the best times to visit all year. Heading to Telluride in the winter? Check out our Telluride Winter Events Guide here

Below we’ve listed a complete Telluride events calendar for 2020, so you can start putting together the ultimate Telluride festival schedule and look for the perfect rental. 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.

Not sure how to get here? With new flights into Telluride, it's easier than ever. Check out our post on How to Get to Telluride to learn where to fly into, who to fly with, the best road trips into Telluride, and more.

Telluride Literary Arts Festival
Friday, May 15 to Sunday, May 17, 2020

Telluride Mountainfilm
Friday, May 22 to Monday, May 25

Telluride Balloon Festival
Friday, June 5 to Sunday, June 7 

Telluride WOW Festival
Thursday, June 11 to Sunday, June 14 

Telluride Bluegrass Festival
Thursday, June 18 to Sunday, June 21 

Telluride Wine Festival
Thursday, June 25 to Sunday, June 28

Telluride Yoga Festival
Thursday, June 25 to Sunday, June 28

Telluride Plein Air Festival

Monday, June 29 to Sunday, July 5

The Telluride RIDE Festival
Friday, July 10 to Sunday, July 12 

Telluride Art+Architecture Weekend
Friday, July 17 to Sunday, July 19 

Telluride Jazz Festival
Friday, August 7 to Sunday, August 9

Telluride Chamber Music Festival
Tuesday, August 4 to Sunday, August 9

Telluride Mushroom Festival

Thursday, August 13 to Sunday, August 16

Telluride Reserve
Thursday, August 13 to Sunday, August 16

Telluride Film Festival
Wednesday, September 2 to Monday, September 7

Telluride Blues and Brews Festival
Friday, September 18 to Sunday, September 20 

Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors
Monday, September 21 to Sunday, September 27

A Detailed Look at Every Telluride Summer Festival

Scroll down to find the Telluride summer event that interests you most, then check the link to determine which of our homes would help you have an unforgettable stay during the event.

Telluride Literary Arts Festival - May 15-17

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 vacation rentals nearby and want to see what LitFest has to offer, take a look through our luxury homes in Downtown Telluride.

Telluride Mountainfilm - May 22-25

The Telluride Film Festival may make the most headlines, but don’t write off the season’s earlier film fest, Telluride Mountainfilm. In 2017, 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 “equity.”

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

Telluride Balloon Festival - June 5-June 7

For an unforgettable spectacle and relatively smaller crowd sizes, spend the weekend of May 31-June 2 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. 

Need any other reason to head to Telluride on May 31? 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 11-14

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 18-21

Ask most people what they know about Telluride, and they’ll mention the famous Bluegrass Festival. For 45 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 Yoga Festival - June 25-28

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. (Photo courtesy of tellurideyogafestival on Instagram.)

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

Telluride Wine Festival - June 25-28

Another long-standing tradition, the Telluride Wine Festival is celebrating the 38th 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 home rentals, or to be a part of the bustling downtown, look through our downtown Telluride 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. (photo courtesy of Telluride Plein Air).

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 10-12

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.

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 $239.03 after taxes and fees. This festival has grown immensely in only eight 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.

Tip: Where to Stay for RIDE

The RIDE Festival takes place in town, but that doesn't mean in-town lodging is your only option. If you're unfamiliar with Telluride, don't count out Mountain Village locations, especially those close to the gondola, which runs until 2am on weekends for most of the summer and 12am every other night. These homes also give you a great, quiet place to come home to after a full day at the festival. 

Wild Cat Lair

This 2-bedroom home is a short walk from the gondola and features a private hot tub and gorgeous log cabin design befitting of the San Juan mountains. With an additional sleeping area, up to eight guests can stay here to fully enjoy RIDE fest. Click here for photos, availability, and booking information

Cour Contento at Kayenta Legend House

With a modern mountain design, a beautiful outdoor deck, and a location that's right next to the gondola, Cour Contento is a perfect pick for a RIDE festival getaway. With four bedrooms it can sleep up to eight guests, and also features a cozy wood-burning fireplace with firewood provided and a private outdoor hot tub. Click here for photos and booking information. 

Cabin on the Ridge

Cabin on the Ridge is even closer to town than any other Mountain Village home. It's located near the gondola's first stop at the San Sophia station, which means in addition to easy, quick access into town, it comes with some of the best views of any Telluride home (which helped it make our list of 15 homes with awe-inspiring views). When you want grand luxury, peace and quiet, views, and still have easy access to the RIDE festival, this is the home for you. Click here to learn more.

Telluride Art + Architecture Weekend - July 17-19

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 7-9

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 4-9

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 last summer, the 2018 Telluride Chamber Music Festival attracted 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.

The Telluride Reserve August 13-16

The Telluride Reserve is your chance to experience the elegance and luxury of Mountain Village. This highly exclusive event is all about the perfect pairing: bringing together the world's best wines, culinarians, and mountain homes. Through the Taste and Terroir Lunches, you can tour a collection of 17 gorgeous private homes, and at each location, the lunch will be hosted by both a celebrated winemaker and chef. 

For a full schedule of events, tickets, and lodging options click here

Telluride Mushroom Festival - August 13-16

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 - September 2-7

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 18-20

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 2020, or get a jump on your planning and secure your Telluride vacation home with InvitedHome here.

Telluride Festival of Cars and Colors - September 21-27

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 5th year, the festival is a gathering of the world’s finest cars.

Last year’s event included 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.

The Party Continues Year-Round

While summer is the most famous festival period, the events don't stop once the days get shorter. Here's a quick overview of a few fall and winter festivals worth making a trip for:

The Telluride Horror Show - October 11-13
Telluride Ski Resort Opening Day - Thursday, November 28 
Telluride Fire Festival - December 6-8, 2019
Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade - December 24
New Year's Eve Torchlight Parade - December 31
Koto Lip Sync - January 2020
Telluride Gay Ski Week - February 22-29, 2020

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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