I attended the Telluride Bluegrass Festival this past weekend for the first time, and I will be disappointed if I ever miss it again. It was, quite simply, that good.
The music itself was so indescribably amazing that I will save my thoughts on the performances for a later diatribe. Add to that the scenic wonders that brought people to Telluride in the first place (ok, it was the pursuit of silver, but they stayed for the scenery), and we're only half way to explaining the magnitude of this blissful experience. The other half was comprised mostly of the people - happy, smiling, beautiful, diverse, interesting and (for the most part) conscientious people.
I have been to a number of music festivals in my life, and realized this time around that Planet Bluegrass knows how to throw a spectacular (and eco-friendly, carbon-neutral) festival, and this is the place where our inner children come out and play in full force. Adults and kids alike were hula hooping, playing bean-bag toss games, walking around on stilts, dressing up in costumes, dancing, smiling, skipping, laughing, and playing on a gigantic 4 foot tall Connect Four board. I'm surprised we didn't finger paint and play freeze tag.
Some disbelievers respond with ignorance and think this ecstatically happy adult/inner child experience was purely the result of everyone being drunk and high. Those more seasoned festevarians realize that while there were some among us who ingested their fair share of dopamine-enhancing substances, the overall vibe of happiness, joy, creativity and love was more than enough to produce the desired result.
During this amazing weekend my heart was opened repeatedly, I was moved to tears by the music more times than I could count, and I danced with a joyful abandon I had not known since childhood. All of this happened in the midst of ten thousand others who appeared to be having similar experiences.
I returned home exhausted and exhilarated, grateful to be alive, and thankful to Planet Bluegrass for making it happen.