Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2010 | My Family Travels
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I just got back from the most fun weekend I can remember having in a long time! I started in NYC, hopped on a plane to Utah, and drove 6 hours to Telluride, Colorado where I competed with my bluegrass band “The Coefficient of Pickin’” at the annual Bluegrass Festival.

This all started back in August of 2009 when I auditioned to be the mandolin player/singer for my University’s Bluegrass band. Part of being in the band was going on a summer tour, and for the bluegrass band I got into this was competing in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition.

The school year flew by with our band practicing 2 hours 2 times a week and playing in some Fiddle Fests and small shows in our hometown. Before I knew it I was off to New York City for an internship without any chance to practice with my band before the competition. Luckily I was able to bring my mandolin to New York with me, so I got in some practice time.

The day came when I was leaving for the festival, and I was incredibly excited. I arrived in Utah late Wednesday night, and at 6 am the next morning my band and I drove for 6 hours in a tiny car all the way to Telluride. The first day at the festival was spent in utter bliss.

Dierks Bentley, a famous country singer, made an impromptu appearance on the main stage within the first few hours we arrived. Right after his performance, guess who came on? None other than the legendary Allison Krauss with her band Union Station. I have been listening to Allison Krauss practically since I was born, so to see her perform live was a dream-come-true!

We spent the rest of that day practicing like crazy for the band competition taking place at 10am Friday morning. We were nervous for our performance but we were having so much fun that it drowned out most of my anxiety. Ten bands performed, and four moved on to the final round.  While we were performing I just kept thinking about how amazing this experience was. We didn’t end up advancing to the final round, but our friends who came with us did and they performed the next day on the main stage! They ended up getting second in the whole competition, winning $450 and new strings for all of their instruments!

The biggest highlight from the trip was seeing, in my opinion, the best mandolin player in the world perform just feet from where I was sitting. I was in utter amazement watching him pick away at incredible speeds on his mandolin.

We also had fun jamming in the gondola, laying in the sun listening to great bluegrass musicians on the main stage, camping, staying up late talking and laughing, walking around the town of Telluride checking out the shops, and hippie watching.

We begrudgingly left the festival Sunday morning so our fiddle player Sophie could catch a flight. However, I was very excited to get home and take a shower.

If you ever have a chance, I highly recommend going to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival that takes place every summer in the middle of June. Even if you don’t know any bluegrass musicians, just the atmosphere of the festival is amazing to experience.

Check out this video to see a mini performance from my band and a peek at what the festival was really like


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