www.bluegrass.com May 24, 2007

Greetings Festivarians!

One name has been conspicuously absent from the 2007 Planet Bluegrass lineups: Tim O'Brien. As one of our absolute favorite musicians and human beings, he wanted us to pass along a few warm words to the Festivarian community:

Tim O'Brien on the TBF stageI slowed to a near complete stop and put my career up on blocks - every thirty years or so, you need to tear down and rebuild. I'm balancing the old crankshaft, converting to biodiesel, getting new paisley upholstery, installing an authentic woody guthrie-grained blackberry eyepawed navigation system, heirloom tomato vines by each cupholder, etc.

Some people leave home for a change of scenery. Me, I stay home for that. It's been awhile. Don't worry, I'll come back strong next season. Give love, get love, repeat as necessary.

Fortunately for us, our new Wildflower Pavilion has given Tim just that right change of scenery. Wildflower Pavilion constructionOn September 7, he'll be returning to Colorado to help us christen our new Pavilion on the Planet Bluegrass Ranch, for the opening night of our Wildflower concert series. Magical, it will be. Watch for more details about the entire concert series in the coming weeks.

Thanks to Chris Thile, Sarah Jarosz, and many others, there'll be no shortage of Tim O'Brien songs at the 34th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival (June 21-24). And courtesy of this year's Telluride Troubadour finalists, a fresh repertoire of future classics will be unveiled on the Elks Park stage all weekend - the Troubadour finalists' names are now posted on bluegrass.com.

Telluride Festivarians (photo: Bert Ross)Four-day passes, single-day tickets, camping, and even a few lodging options are all still available for the Summer Solstice weekend at Telluride Bluegrass. Make sure you have your spot on a tarp for the unforgettable collaborations of Chick Corea and Bela Fleck (check out this video interview with the 2 masters), Tony Rice with Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Emmylou Harris with John Starling & Carolina Star, and countless other Telluride musical moments.

Gather your tarpmates and visit shop.bluegrass.com or give us a call at 800-624-2422. And don't forget to have a peek at the NightGrass schedule (again sponsored by Dos Lunas Tequila) - some of this year's historic moments might just be happening late into the night.

Judy Collins performs at the Folks FestWe are extremely proud to announce that the legendary Judy Collins will be performing at the 17th Annual Folks Festival (Aug 17-19) . One of the defining voices for several generations, we are honored to welcome her back to Colorado - a place she called home for many years. She joins a Folks Fest lineup that now includes Gillian Welch, Ray LaMontagne, Brett Dennen, Catie Curtis, Darrell Scott, and many others. And we're not done - look for another major lineup announcement next week.

Single-day and 3-day tickets along with camping along the beautiful St. Vrain River are on sale now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. Or reserve your space now for an inspiring week of songwriting craft and inspiration with many of these performers at The Song School (Aug 12-16).

Telluride Festivarian (photo: Bert Ross)The complete schedule for the sold-out 35th Annual RockyGrass (July 27-29) is now listed on bluegrass.com. Those of you who missed out on tickets, might want to skip these next couple sentences: Saturday afternoon we'll be featuring a mandolin trio set with legends Sam Bush, Jesse McReynolds, and David Grisman. If you love the mandolin like we do, you'll be up-front for that one. This one's only at RockyGrass, folks.

Finally, as we count down the days to Telluride with our Sustainable Festivation tips, we look at one of the most obvious, and often overlooked, ideas: reuse. As you start your packing, learn more about what you can do to help minimize the waste from our carbon neutral festivals.

The Folks on Planet Bluegrass

Sustainable Festivation Tip #2 - Reuse

Pack Your Reusable Items

Telluride Festivarians (photo: Bert Ross)For years Planet Bluegrass has been working to minimize the waste we generate at our festivals. We now mandate that all food items served by our vendors and backstage catering, use compostable materials including corn-resin cups, plates, and utensils. While these items will turn back into food once in the soil, they require energy to produce and transport.

An even better alternative is to bring your own reusable silverware. Pack your own reusable water bottle. Our hydration station will be running throughout the festival to fill your bottle with pure, clean Telluride water.

Reuse Your "Vintage" Beer Cups

The most significant area of reuse activity takes place at the beer booth. Consider the math: 10,000 people over 4 days, and 600+ kegs, equals upwards of 75,000 cups. We've experimented with recyclable and compostable cups in the past (read the complete "Cup Debacle" article at bluegrass.com), but the energy used to produce, haul, and dispose of these cups remains prohibitive.

Vintage Telluride beer cupsOur solution has been to provide a sturdy reusable plastic cup and a price incentive for reusing this cup - which we'll be increasing again this year. This has reduced the overall cups used by about 40%.

So dig around in your kitchen cupboard and bring along a stack of vintage Telluride beer cups - some for yourself and a few extra to share with your new Festivarian family. It's your chance to show off that vintage Telluride cup collection. We know you've got a stack hidden away somewhere, awaiting their triumphant return to Telluride.

Our partners at New Belgium Brewing will put a sticker on your cup for each day it's reused. Then be among the first 300 folks on Sunday to show their sticker-ful cup to get a special reusable prize from New Belgium. On Sunday night plan to bring home your vintage cups and maybe a couple more to add to your collection.

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