What are your best TBF memories?

Hi everyone! This will be year 12 for me (actually 11th TBF out of 12 years)!!! After so many festivals I have literally hundreds of “best times” in my memory. Friends, sights, sounds, the wonder of it all…it is unexplainable to those who have never been. Here are a few of my best unusual memories:

  1. Bringing people for the first time and watching their reactions (including the crying when it’s all over).
  2. Finding my dear friend Daniela’s lost TBF ticket crammed underneath the car seat after arriving in Telluride, going to the wristband exchange, and only then realizing it was gone!
  3. Catching the flu at TBF back in 2001 and throwing up in the porta-pots.
  4. Watching Sam Bush run to the public porta-pots during his autograph session.
  5. Most recently - the moment of silence last year for the sound man who passed away. 10,000 festivarians being quiet and respectful was truly a moving experience.

How about everyone else? What are your memories?

Brett (a.k.a. Hooch)

There are way to many, I’ll start with one my favorite moments that I call Goosebump moments. These are the moments that gave me goosebumps at the time and whenever I think about them after.

Chapin, Emmylou and here’s where the brain gets fuzzy, as I type this I am suddenly uncertain if it was Alisoun or Sean Colvin, singing “My Life”, accapella. I can hear it my head but I am embarrassed to say that the voice is eluding me. Maybe some one can help out. (so many festivals so few brain cells)

Campground Moment:
Victor Wooten and his son admiring our vat of chili after their Bear Creek hike.

That is too funny!

2007 will be my sixth so I’m still in the memory building process but so far:

  1. Best set from 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 still goes to Gillian Welch in 2005: Didn’t leave Nobody but the Baby with Emmylou and Alison; White Rabbit!, a haunting Revelator, etc, etc.

  2. The Waifs absolutely destroying at Fly Me to the Moon Saloon.

  3. Nickel Creek in 2005 with one microphone at the New Sheridan to close the festival.

  4. Michelle Shocked gospel set in 2003

  5. Anytime Sam plays “Same Ol’ River”

Truly one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in recent memory. I can still remember hearing a bird from behind the stage and thinking to myself what an awesome group of people I was surrounded by; paying tribute to someone they may or may not have known. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

:angel Mitch Hodge

Ha…I realized that I did not actually put down any musical memories in my initial list. Here are a few of the bands/singers whom I immediately purchased CD’s from after seeing perform:

The Nields (anyone remember them??)
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
Todd Snider
Hayseed Dixie
Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers

And I, of course, live to see Sam do his stuff.

Regarding SteamboatPaul’s comment about Victor Wooten…I love seeing Victor (and the other musicians) out and around town during the festival. Victor was literally one of the first people I saw when I pulled into town last year, so was a great way to start the festival week/weekend.

I’ve got too many to mention in one post, so I’ll mention this one first…
I went downtown to the Village Market to pick up a few things, and when I got up to the counter to pay for them James Taylor was right in front of me with a few things. Of course I didn’t want to bother him, but when he put down a six pack of beer (Heineken if I remember correctly) I told him that all beer in the market was only 3.2 and he would be better off going to the liquor store. He looked at the cashier as she was nodding in agreement and just said “Oh well!”. :wink:

My next installment - taken from my blog on MySpace:

The 18th annual bluegrass festival was magical almost to
the point of being a religious experience. Carlos Nakai, a
native American Indian flute player was telling a story
about the next song he was going to perform. He said it
was a song about the wind God, and it would start off
slow, build to a crescendo and mellow back out at the
end. As he started to play, the wind in the canyon began
to swirl about the audience. As the fever of the song
increased, so did the wind, until there were paper plates,
napkins and other pieces of paper flying above the
crowd. As the song settled down, so did the wind, and
all the paper came back down in the crowd. It was an
absolute amazing event. :thumbsup

And another from my blog:

The 20th anniversary festival was also an unforgettable
moment in my history of attending. John Hartford was
playing, and after a few songs he walked off stage as
he was playing. With a remote pick-up on his fiddle, he
started wandering through the audience. I could see him
coming in my direction, and a lot of people behind me
started to push their way forward. I held out both my
arms as he approached to keep people back, and as
he went past me he winked at me, smiled, and nodded
in acceptance.


Year five for me, and WAY too many memories to list, but here are the highlights:

  1. My first year, I camped at Illium by myself because I was invited to the festival late and didn’t have friends to stay with. A family from Utah took me under their wing, invited me into their camp, fed me, gave me drinks, and shared stories about how great the festival is. I knew right then and there that I belonged.

  2. Jewel singing acapella while Bobby McFerrin accompanied her by using his mouth to make instrument noises. (I’m sure there’s a name for what that’s called but I don’t know what it is.)

  3. Sam Bush playing “Howling At The Moon” one night last year while there was a full moon out and we were all howling at it.

  4. Nightgrass with Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers at the Fly Me To The Moon Saloon where the temperature was at least 100 degrees and nobody cared. Their thid acoustic encore in the audience called “Milwaukee” brought tears to my eyes.

  5. Having someone tell me that I’M an icon at the festival for them because I wear tie-dye from head to toe, year after year and they always stand behind me in line.

  6. Listening to James Buchanan’s “Packin’” for Telluride" every day, all day, in the weeks before the festival and bawling my eyes out because it’s like he wrote it just for me.

  7. Getting so excited for the tarp run that I have to do it every day even though I stay out late every night and am so hung over I can’t believe I can still run and then when I finally hand my number to the guy and take off running as fast as I can as he tells me to walk and the bagpipes play and I’m crying and hyperventilating as I realize that it’s moments like this that make life worth living.

Speaking of Bobby McFerrin, how about that duet with Alisoun on Sunday nite. Very Much a Goosebump moment. I listened from the fence line by Town Park Hall in the the campground and you could have heard a pin drop. sshhhiivvvveeerrsss :headphones

Here’s another one from my memory banks…

In 1986 one of the headliners was the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band doing their 20 Years of Dirt tour. Back then the stage was a little farther south and pointed more toward the northwest. As they were starting one song Jimmy shouted out “and it’s a full moon” as part of the song, just as the full moon appeared above the stage. Then later in the show they sang “Mr. Bojangles”, and David Bromberg came in to sing a verse. At the point where the last chorus was coming up Jimmy hollered out “and let’s hear you Telluride”, and the whole audience chimed in with the chorus. I recorded that set, and every time I hear it I still get goosebumps. :clap

P.S. That set is available on my website in FLAC format. :thumbsup

I’ve only got two festivals under my belt so far and already I have too many favorite memories to list. :thumbsup

If I had to pick though, I would say being the first in line for the Drew Emmitt shake’n’howdy last year… then having Sam Bush say he was going to talk to Drew about his signature because it was sloppy.

Also, the Steven Kellog set from last year when their bassist ran around the crowd in his boxers, and the guard almost didn’t let him back on stage cause he thought he was just some crazy naked guy.

The rainbow during Neko Case’s set was amazing.

I could just keep going on and on.

There are way too many but here goes:

  1. Attending our 1st festival in 1994- It was wet and COLD… We had no idea and were totally unprepared… It wasn’t funny at the time but me squatting under a foldup chair for heat.

Discovering and Enjoying Leftover Salmon on a cold, rainy day when we were trying to decide if we were insane coming to this “festival.”

1996 Matthew’s 1st festival… He stood up for the 1st time in our hotel that night…

  1. Attending the festival with my babies- Matthew was 1 1/2 and Alex was 5 weeks old… The music, the good friends that met us from ABQ, everything just seemed so complete…

. My 1st hug from Telluride Tom.

. Meeting Carolyn and family for the 1st time and how they made us so welcome as newbies.

. Watching Alex in the Freebox fashion show

Listening to Packing for Telluride everytime last year.

. Sitting around the fire in Fishbone and just chillilng

. Meeting Gerry… and all the good talking and coffee we had last year…What an amazing person!
Loved the morning coffee “klatch”

Still one of the best for me doesn’t even revolve around the music too much but rather something else I am passionate about.

2002 was a “hard time” to be at the Festival as the World Cup was in South Korea and the games were usually on at 1.30am/5am/etc. Many nights at home before going down to the fest I awoke to an alarm clock in the middle of the night only to shut it off with some force wondering what the heck was going on and then remember a few minutes later I’d set it to watch a game.

I got down to Telluride with the United States having progressed farther in the tournament than they ever had. They were going to play Germany and the game was to start 5.30am local time Friday morning.

We setup camp Wednesday afternoon and I noticed across from me was a tent flying the Union Jack. “This guy will know where the games are” I thought. Finally happened to meet him in the late evening and we discussed the Cup and he invited me to his friends house to watch England v Brazil which would start around 2am Fri morning. I told him I couldn’t make it for that game and the US game, but still needed to find someplace that might show it. He told me that he’d heard some Irish Bar was going to be open to show it.

Thursday night after strolling the campgrounds I climbed into my bag. My friend had the only timepiece in the tent and he finally got so annoyed at me pulling on his arm to look at his watch every 45 minutes that he finally threw it at me and told me to leave him alone. I woke up just short of 5.30 and jumped out of the tent. I noticed the Union Jack was down so I knew Brazil had won.

I stumbled out of Town Park onto Main Street kind of relishing the fact there were so few people up and about. I laughed at the people sleeping in the town line and strolled on down the street. Suddenly, a man staggered out of a port-a-john and looked at me with glassy red eyes and slurred “You know where the game is?” I replied that it was supposed to be on at an Irish Bar and the only one I knew was O’Bannons.

Walking down the street I came to find he was from California but never did catch his name. We got down into O’Bannons and there were maybe 5 people at the bar and the bartender staring us down. “What do you want?” the bartender asked. My friend orderd a bloody mary and I ordered an ice tea, a hot tea, I don’t really remember. What I do remember was his reply. “I didn’t get up at 5 o @#$@% clock in the @#$@#$ morning so you could have . NOW DRINK!!!” So I ordered a bloody too. And the bartender did a shot.

Slowly other people came in only to be yelled at “I didn’t get up at 5 o #@$@#$% clock in the #Q@$@#$ morning so you could sit there. Drink or get the @#@$# out!” Some folks ordered, some folks left. One guy asked us what we were drinking and bought us a drink as he didnt want anything but didnt want to be yelled at any longer. And the bartender did a shot.

Everybody was really getting into the game with cheers and groans and we started to make quite a bit of noise. Which naturally drew in some onlookers to see what the ruckus was about. Which of course led to “I didn’t get up at 5 o #@$@#$% clock in the #Q@$@#$ morning so you could sit there. Drink or get the @#@$# out!” And the bartender did a shot. The US had some great chances but couldn’t convert and the Germans put one away before halftime to go up 1-0.

Into the 2nd half and the US was robbed and Germany started showing they were scared. The crowd in the bar was pretty full by now and lots of drinks were going down really easy. More people started coming in to see about the noise and “I didn’t get up at 5 o #@$@#$% clock in the #Q@$@#$ morning so you could sit there. Drink or get the @#@$# out!” seemed to start drawing laughs from those who were in the bar. Sometimes curses rained down at everybody laughing when new people didn’t understand why everybody was laughing and then left. And the bartender did some shots. The Germans started to get hot and got some chances on goal but no other scores came.

So the score ended 1-0 and people were cheering the US team’s effort and booing the Germans. And the bartender did some shots. The guy from California and I finished up our plethora of drinks and fell up the stairs into the sunshine. The language that came from our mouths upon the realization that we were blinded from the bright sunlight and the disappointment at the loss really startled all the people waiting in the long line for their morning coffee at Baked.

And I bet most of them still wonder, to this day, why those two guys who came out of O’Bannons so early in the morning hated Germans so much.

-that and the guy falling at least 25 feet out of the pine tree behind the right hand side of the stage into the waiting arms of Telluride’s finest. not sure if it was the same year or the one before.

I was going to ask you a few days ago if the World Cup was going to be held during Telluride again this year. :rollin

What I do remember was his reply. "I didn't get up at 5 o @#$@% clock in the @#$@#$ morning so you could have . NOW DRINK!!!" So I ordered a bloody too. And the bartender did a shot.


Another amusing memory from many festivals:

Watching the mad scramble for ponchos as a rainstorm rolls in…the sudden, almost instantaneous conversion of “festivarians in shorts and tank-tops” into “festivarians in blue plastic”.

Nope. It was last summer and the US sure did not put on a good show. At least it wasn’t the same bad result as France in '98, but still not moving forward. The old coach, Bruce Arena, got the boot and they’ve got Bob Bradley in as an ‘interim’ right now.

So many to choose from, but when Steve and Ed from Barenaked Ladies sang WHAM’s “Careless Whispers” so passionately, accompanied by Chris Thile and a pile of other pickers at the Sheridan last year, I knew I had found paradise. I sure hope Chris does a nightgrass again this year! :thumbsup

I hadn’t heard about that! Were there tapers there?