Vehicle pass at ME and arrival planning

Hi there!
My first TBF and some questions! I have a vehicle pass for Mary E, and am wondering when I should plan to arrive in Telluride to get a site? Also curious if once you’ve got your vehicle set up in a spot if you can leave again or if you have to keep it parked there to keep the site?
Any and all tips would be helpful!!!

Hi Monica,

Cheers to your first TBF!

Vehicle Passes for Mary E Ilium campground are for sleeping in the vehicles. (Otherwise, free parking is within walking distance) Since the campground does get tightly packed, a 4-Day wristband is also required, which is why we bundled the two as a package this year. I would talk to the campsite host if you feel like you’ll absolutely come and go during the festival, but there is no guarantee that you’ll have the same space when you return to the campsite.

Early birds get a chance to grab some of the best campsites. If you are trying to leave in your vehicle during the festival, they may have you park along the road for ease of getting in and out, so you may have less options on your campsite.

See you in June!

-BluegrassNat :sunflower:

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very helpful! thanks so much! When does access to Mary E. with your vehicle open up?

Mary E Ilium Campground Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 9am

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Usually from opening on Saturday June 10th, till Wednesday morning when the shuttles start running, you can take your vehicle in and out of Mary E without much trouble, however after Tuesday spots start filling in, and as mentioned you might lose your spot if you left. If you get there early, come into Town Park and participate in some of our PreFest party’s.

I’m planning on arriving on 6/10. If i put my table and a couple chairs in my spot, will I be able to drive out from time to time (before Wednesday) and trust that no one will move my stuff and take my spot while I’m gone? Not sure how I would get into town for the pretest party’s otherwise. Thanks!

The folks who attend TBF are solid people, no one will move or take your stuff. There is a MTN Bike/Hiking trail from just south of Mary E that goes all the way into town. It’s about 6-7 miles and takes a little less than an hour at a moderate pace on bike. If you drive into town, make friends with your neighbors and car pool!

Oh cool, that’s what is was assuming but then I saw some comment’s saying that if you drive out, someone might snag the spot you were in. I won’t have a bike with me but I’ll definitely be looking to carpool. Only two seats in my rig so hopefully I’ll be able to catch a ride with someone. Looking forward connecting and making some new friends. Cheers!

There’s a Mary E Thread here on the Forum, someone who navigates better could probably drop a link. You should post on there to see who all might be coming in early, that would want to car pool into town before the shuttles, then your rig can stay. There will be lots of people driving to town Saturday-Tuesday. Pretty easy for those without a VP to get to their vehicle and go to town.

Hi there! When you say “within walking distance”, how far do you think it might be? (Like, a range would be awesome). Just wondering what to expect! Thank you!

Parking for those in Mary E without a VP is alongside the road to the entrance to Mary E camping area. The early folks will get the closest spots, and those arriving past Tuesday might have up to near a mile walk back from parking. Depending on where you set up in Mary E, some sites are just a few 100ft from the entrance, others are 1/4 mile in.

Thank you so much for answering! Knowing what to expect is so helpful!

Not sure which specific one you’re referencing but here are threads where Mary E or Ilium are mentioned sorted by most recent: Search results for '"mary e" OR "ilium" #festivarian-events:telluride-bluegrass-festival order:latest' - Festivarian Forum


should have just tagged you, unofficial mayor of the innerwebs.

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This Forum not only introduced me to some folks I call friends now, but greatly helped us for our first TBF. Because of advice from the forum, we arrived early to Mary E, got lots of hikes and rides in, and participated in a few TP prefest events and met 75% of the then active forum members, and we’ve been coming back ever since. Now TBF is more like a family reunion than a festival, so many truly fine folks!


Can you call me at 214-773-1500? First timer and have some questions.

Hi all! Our group has been coming to the TBF for years, but have always stayed in Warner Field. This year we are staying in Mary E. What’s it like finding a spot on Tuesday the 13? Half of us are staying in a van (yes we have a vehicle pass), the other half is bringing a camper (yes they have a vehicle pass).
I’m just worried we will not have a place to camp… any thoughts?

Might not have a lot of shade options, but there’ll be plenty of spots.

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@ToddG, Thank you! We have been used to no shade at Warner, so we have shade to put up :slight_smile: :star_struck: