TBF Documentaries

I’ve seen the 30th TBF DVD several times over and I love it. I was perusing Amazon one day and I found a documentary on VHS from the 17th TBF in 1990. Through a little investigating, I found that one was made for the 86 festival as well, though I was unable to find a copy of it on Amazon. Does anyone know if any other yeasr were made into films? I’d love to see how the festival evolved over time.

How cool would it be to have a showing of the documentaries earlier in the week?!

TOM??? Instead of Slideshow?

YES!!! It’s the 40th - what a great year to do this!!! Tom??? :woohoo

a) The Festival Tapes: Bluegrass Sampler short on YouTube - 8th annual TBF shots - 10:50, by Thomas Lofstrom

b) The Festival Tapes 7.0 on YouTube: Bluegrass Sampler - Telluride Bluegrass Festival - 1:01:48, by Thomas Lofstrom (TBF - 1980)

Kate Wolf, Jamie Brockett, Crossroads, Sons of Thunder w/Jimmy Ibbotson, New Moon w/Tim Goodman, John McEuen, Dan Crary, Doc Watson, Reasonable Band, Free Mexican Airforce w/Peter Rowan, Steve Goodman, Doug Dillard, Eclectricity, Hot Rize, Rising Faun String Ensemble w/Norman Blake, New Grass Revival, Ricky Skaggs band, John Hartford

Note that Mr. Lofstrom forgot to mention Doc Watson shots, and Ricky Skaggs band shots, so I added their names to the above list. Check out John Hartford at 0:35:30! This amazing multi-camera video tape footage appears to be from the 1980 Telluride Bluegrass Festival. There are video cameramen shooting on stage with handheld cameras from several locations. There are some very good close-ups and tight shots. The audio tracks are SBD.

c) The Festival Tapes 1.0 on YouTube: The Grateful Dead at Telluride - 2:03:54, by Thomas Lofstrom (Aug 15 / 16, 1987)

“I first met Bob Weir at Charlie’s Dalai Lama Party. I was screening some raw stock of The Festival Tapes in one of the cabins while recording various performances and events at the party. (see the Dalai Tapes) On one of my rounds through the cabin, I found Bob camped out in front of the video screen. “Did you record this?” he asked. “If we played Telluride, would you record us?” And so, the concert was scheduled. Uncle Bobo (Bill Graham) had some other ideas about the video. It was agreed that the audience was, in fact, the real show at a Dead Concert. Here the camera focus is on that experience, concluding with some extraordinary footage of the Band. As with all the postings here, the magic is in the details. [surprise ending!]” – Thomas Lofstrom

d) Telluride Bluegrass Festival 1985: Challenger Productions “lost video tapes” story by Monte Barry
• SBD audio recording
• 8-camera setup engineered by Glenn Hill & Monte Barry
• we videotaped TBF 1985 on four Ampex VPR-3 one-inch VTR reels


The 12th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival – June 21-23, 1985
Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band • John Hartford • Seldom Scene • Tony Trischka and Skyline • Hot Rize • Tony Rice • Nashville Bluegrass Band • Chris Daniels and the Kings • New Grass Revival • Doc and Merle Watson • The David Grisman Quintet • Peter Rowan and Crucial Country • Mark O’Connor • Bryan Bowers • Alaska’s Hobo Jim

{{{{{Get well Bob}}}}}}

:medal :medal :medal :cheers

:thumbsup Another awesome post, FestiMasterMonte, thanks for sharing with us! :cheers

Pretty sure I know what I’ll be doing this weekend. :cheers

Thanks for those links! :medal

A number of years back I ran across a company in Virginia that was closing out some of their audio/video products. They listed 9 TBF VHS tapes for sale in a single lot that were from 1980 and 1981 festivals (7th and 8th) I bought the lot and it turns out it was a treasure trove! There were 5 tapes from 1980 and 4 tapes from 1981 and each tape appears to be a full set of the following performers: 1980 - Rising Faun String Ensemble (Norman Blake), Dan Crary, Peter Rowan, John Hartford and New Grass Revival. 1981 - Buck White and the Down Home Folks, Ricky Skaggs, Bryan Bowers and a tape entitled “Two Grass Revival” (a 1981 version of the TBF House Band). All of the tapes were professionally produced by Thomas Lofstrom. The audio quality is fairly good on most of the tapes. The Hartford tape is about 60 minutes in length and has some classic tunes and footage. The NGR tape is also very good with Sam, John, Courtney Johnson and Curtis Burch doing their set. Each tape includes some good shots of the audience as well as the town of Telluride.

Also, in the last year I ran across a VHS tape of the 1990 TBF festival (17th). This was produced by Craig F. and is a 90 minute tape with individual performances by some of the artists there that year. It is in stereo sound and the video and production quality is also very good.

Like Monte, I also have wondered whatever happened to the master tapes from the 1980 and 1981 festivals. I don’t know whether audio/video was shot for all acts or just those I have tapes. However, based on the YouTube samplers I suspect there are or were more out there at one time.

Howdy all,
A few years ago I found (ebay) a VHS tape “Telluride '86”
It has a sticker on it saying Bronze Award Houston Intl Film Festival
It was done by Thomas R. Lofstrom, ECS, Ltd and is great :thumbsup
1986 was my first festival and it is great to be able see it all again
I was living in Houston at the time and soon after this enlightening musical/spiritual experience
I moved to the montanas for a while…till the currents of time landed me in Galveston
oh well, 20+ festivals later :cheers

the 86 show includes:
Peter Rowan w/Mark O’Connor and and most of our beloved house band
Seldom Scene, Nitty Gritty,David Bromberg,Hot Rize, Doc w/Sam
New Grass, Jonathon Edwards, Chris Hillman, David Grisman w house band
lots of great scenes backstage and “the people”
I gave a copy to Fred’s daughter M
and Tom showed it in camp a few yrs ago

I’m trying this year to cut down on the amount of stuff I’m bringing, so I’m not sure if what I need will fit in the truck.
I don’t know if I can find the time to get all of these put on a DVD to play on a PC either.

We’ll see. :flower

The Muleskinner newgrass band performed live for KCET - several months before the first Telluride Bluegrass Festival. Their Muleskinner album was historic - note Clarence White’s electric guitar playing on the album’s Muleskinner Blues track.


So I consider this rare video footage a prelude to your TBF documentary. It features Clarence White, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Richard Greene, and Bill Keith. Videotaped before a live audience on February 13, 1973 at the KCET television studios in Hollywood, California, this Muleskinner gem is 26 minutes running time.

Muleskinner live video on YouTube

  1. New Camptown Races
  2. Dark Hollow
  3. Land Of The Navajo
  4. Blackberry Blossom
  5. Knockin’ On Your Door
  6. Opus 57 In G Minor
  7. Red Rocking Chair
  8. The Dead March
  9. Orange Blossom Special // cuts out

Thanks Monty! There’s a whole lot for me to be watching before TBF this year. Now just to find a VCR so I can watch the VHS copy of the 17th I bought recently . . .