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Greetings Festivarians,

With just 8 days 'til Telluride the excitement around Festivarian nation is palpable. The anticipation has even spread across the ocean to the home of Paolo Nutini:

Paolo Nutini"I was hoping for a legitimate reason to get myself back to Colorado and there's none better than coming to Telluride with the boys and sharing a bill with the relentless King Solomon, Béla Fleck and of course Leftover Salmon. This is the first gig where we'll be able to showcase some new numbers.....and under a summer solstice at that. Quality!"
- Paolo Nutini

Paolo walks on-stage at the moment of solstice on Friday night. He's part of a day of music that includes Tim O'Brien, Béla Fleck, Peter Rowan, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Hornsby, and of course, Leftover Salmon. And that's just on the main stage...

Located in the center of town (check out our new Festival map), the intimate Elks Park stage hosts the preliminary rounds of our band and Troubadour contests, as well as interactive workshops with many of the festival's headliners. Elks Park stageThis year's workshop schedule includes collaborative songwriting discussions with Tim O'Brien & Brett Dennen and Tift Merritt & Darrell Scott; a new generation jam featuring members of The Duhks, Uncle Earl and many friends; a session with some of our boss guitar flatpickers; a conversation about music and the environment with The Duhks; two workshops with Béla Fleck and his worldly collaborators; and solo sessions with Academy Award winner Glen Hansard (The Frames, The Swell Season) and the legendary John Oates (yes, of Hall & Oates!). We apologize in advance for throwing so many delectable options into your already busy festival schedule...

We still have camping passes left for the new High School campground located conveniently on the west edge of town. If you'd like to exchange a Lawson Hill or Mary E Ilium camping pass for High School, you'll need to do so by next Monday, June 16 at bluegrass.com.

Songwriting workshopAs you finish up your packing for Telluride, give some thought to your festival footprint. Think reuse, reuse, reuse: dig out those vintage beer cups; pack utensils, plates, and napkins; bring along a water bottle or two. We'll be giving away a pair of 2009 Town Park camping passes to the most sustainable campsite through our new How Green Is Your Grass contest. Learn more below...

If sleeping under the stars isn't your thing, our partners at Alpine Lodging still have several places available - including some rooms located close to the festival in Telluride and some options for Saturday/Sunday nights. These rooms won't be around much longer, so give them a call right away - 800-376-9769.

Telluride Tarp lineTickets are still available for all four days of the festival - from the glorious opening day of Ryan Adams, Arlo Guthrie, Ani DiFranco, and Del McCoury; all the way through to Sunday's unforgettable closers Hot Rize & Red Knuckles, The Swell Season (Glen and Marketa from the film Once), and the incomparable Telluride House Band featuring Sam, Béla, Jerry, Edgar, Bryan, and Luke. Goosebump-inducing only-in-Telluride collaborations will abound all weekend long, in special 35th Anniversary style.

Order your tickets and camping now at shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. As always, you won't pay any handling or convenience fees for any tickets. So if you're considering the trek to Telluride, get your tickets before you hit the road.

Our continuing commitment to sustainable festivation - including the use of carbon offsets, the switch to local water in reusable containers, the management of waste through compost and recycling, and the move toward organic/local food, has been attracting a lot of attention recently. Check out the recent interview with Steve Szymanski from the always insightful GreenBase blog at JamBase.com.

FestivariansApparently, there is life after Telluride... And if you're a songwriter you should start preparing for it now. Submissions for the Folks Showcase songwriting contest must be received by this Friday, June 13.

This year's Folks Festival (Aug. 15-17) is generating quite the buzz - including being named one of 5280 Magazine's 50 "Favorite Ways to Savor the Season" (Telluride Bluegrass also made their list). The Song School is now sold-out, but tickets and camping for the Folks Festival are on sale now - shop.bluegrass.com or 800-624-2422. It's a weekend of song and spirit along the St. Vrain River in Lyons, including KT Tunstall, Nanci Griffith, Jakob Dylan, Patty Griffin, Amos Lee, Dar Williams, Josh Ritter, and many more.

But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. The 35th Telluride Bluegrass only happens once and we'd hate for you to miss the magic. Make your plans now. We'll see you next week in Town Park.

The Folks on Planet Bluegrass

Sustainable Festivation Tip #2: Packing

Radical Reuse

Nothing says sustainable festivarian more than a stack of vintage beer cups. Dig into the back of your cupboard and give them new life at the Festival. While you're scrounging through your kitchen, drag out some utensils, a couple plastic plates, and some cloth napkins.

Warner Field campersBut don't stop there. Bring along your own reusable water bottle. Maybe bring a couple. Pack up a couple used cloth shopping bags. Be creative. The best way to limit waste is to eliminate it completely through reuse.

Shopping and Packing

Express your sustainable festivation ideals with your dollar. Don't buy bottled water. Purchase products that use less packaging, then leave any unnecessary packaging at home. Bring along your own container for compost and a couple biodegradable bags. A little thoughtful time spent now, will make you into a rock-star in Telluride.

Bear in mind... In Telluride, we can only recycle plastic #1 and #2, aluminum, and glass. On the plus side, we can now compost dairy and meat as well as other organic materials in all the campgrounds.

Campsite Challenge

There are sustainable festivarians, and there are the epically creative sustainable festivarians. Solar-powered disco ball campsites: we're looking at you. And we're loving it. Town Park campsiteWe'd like to recognize everyone who is doing their part in the campgrounds, and push each other to take a few extra steps this year.

That's why we've introduced the new How Green is Your Grass campsite challenge. We'll be judging campsites based on cleanliness, sustainability, and creativity. Every day we'll choose a winner from all the campgrounds giving them gifts from our partners Chaco Footwear, New Belgium Beer, Leave No Trace, and more. Then on Monday, after pack-out, we'll award the grand prize winner a pair of 2009 Town Park camping passes.

So as you plan your campsite, remember the Leave No Trace mantra of "pack it in, pack it out." And maybe you'll be watching from the sidelines next fall as everyone else waits to hear the results of the Town Park lottery.

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Planet Bluegrass | 500 West Main | Box 769 | Lyons, CO 80540 | 800-624-2422

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