WooooHooooo! So excited for Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2015.

Hello, my name’s Jim, and I’m psyched to be making my first post to your fine forum. My wonderful wife Linda got me a 4 day TBF fest pass for Christmas, and my good friend Gregg’s wife did the same, and my good friend Bob’s wife insisted that he go so we are heading your way this June. Telluride was way high on my bucket list so I am very excited to join in. We are all pretty experienced east coast festivarians and can’t wait for the sights and scenes and sounds of Telluride.

Have several questions but I guess I will start with a camping one. We are planning on getting the High School camping passes just to be close to everything and to showers (Love Festival Showers). But was wondering if splitting a pass for Mary E might be a good idea? Could maybe park the rental car there with some coolers with some brews. Also love to walk around the campgrounds and meet fellow festivarians and catch an impromptu jam or 2. Is this an illegal or dumb idea because of the bus rides and such?

Looking forward to meeting each and every one of you,

All camping passes are sold on a per person basis, not per camp, so each of you will require a camping pass for whichever spot you will be in.

The only drawback on the High School camping would be:

  1. No alcohol allowed
  2. No smoking allowed

If you can handle those rules I’d say stay closer to the festival.

I reiterate what Tom said. Also, I think the high school requires everyone to be quiet after midnight, so no late night jams. I hear good things about Mary E Ilium camping, but the bus ride is the big frowny face there. Actually, I think Hot Sugar here on the forum did time in Ilium so he may chime in.

Thanks Tom & Hooch for the advice, we are definitely leaning towards the High School for all of the reasons you mentioned. Just will miss the ‘normal’ campground scene we’ve grown accustomed to. I assume wandering through Town Park is not allowed without the proper wristband?


If you arrive on Wednesday or before you can stroll through Town Park, but once the festival starts it’s out of bounds.

Illium is very nice, but the bus ride does get annoying after a while. You really have to plan to spend the whole day in town if you are staying in Illium, as a mid day return trip can take a while.

I’d take Mary E over the high school any day. Largely because I enjoy a little bit of smoke and a whole lot of wine (beer) when I’m at festival. Not to mention the picks. There won’t be any late night jams at the high school. But if easy access to showers is more important to you than beer, smoking and late night jamming, then the highschool will be a better fit. The shuttle from Mary E will drop you off at the highschool so you can shower, but it takes a good deal of time. First you have to get everything ready, then you have to ride the shuttle in (possibly after waiting in line), then after you’ve showered, you need to head back to camp to stow your towel and soap and whatnot before you can actually head into the fest.

Staying at the High School gives you walking-distance-proximity to the party scene in town, which kinda makes up for the “no alcohol” and “quiet hours” rules in the campground itself.

Mary E is an entire scene in and of itself, but it’s that shuttle bus ride that makes it feel a little more remote.

Agreed! If you value a bit of sleep @ Festivaaaal! you’ll like THS camping. You can also attend the Nightgrass shows @ The Palm Theater and be home already…
When I camped there, it was for rest only. So the quiet time rules were quite acceptable. And if you’re discreet with everything,( :cheers) nobody cares what you’re doing around your campsite, or what’s in your thermo. :festival I like to walk, and walking in T’ride is the best there is, IMHO. And if you ride, a bicycle is ideal as well! Be sure to take the trail next to the river :thumbsup.

Thank you all for the informative replies. Great advice, but we are still kind of split on what to do. Normally we would go for Mary E and the festival camping scene because we enjoy the spirit of the festival campground so much. But since this is probably a once in a lifetime event for us 3 east coasters, just being closer to the festival and the night life and using the high school for sleeping and showering has it’s appeal.

If we were to get 4 campsites at Mary E could we get 1 site at the high school just for a tent to house towels and toiletries and a sandwich cooler? Are they uber strict in checking wrist bands at the high school? Thanks.

Yes, they check wristbands at all entry points at all campgrounds. Our very first year we stayed at Mary E. and they checked wristbands coming into camp at 2:00 AM on the last bus in from town.

IMHO, the HS is the better choice if only for the time required on the shuttle back & forth to Mary E. It alone is enough to keep me from staying there again, despite the natural beauty of the campground.

They don’t sell “camp spots”, they sell each person the permission to camp in a certain campground. So 4 people could all stay in 1 tent or 4 people could stay in 4 individual tents randomly throughout the campground. You get a wristband so buying 1 HS spot would only benefit 1 person for a shower, so pick the stinkiest one of your bunch.

Hey Jim, what I think you should do is buy your THS camping tix now so you know you’re all set, :medal then keep trolling this crew of Trolls for an upgrade to Warner Field, or quite possibly Town Park itself. This is where you’ll find your best Festivaaaal!… just one Troll’s opinion. :peace
Mary E is incredibly beautiful, and an awesome scene, but if this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage, you should try for the best! :cheers

I started out at the High School camping my first couple of years of TBF. The long hot showers are the best. Close to downtown. A grocery store across the street. A great night sleep. No hangovers.

Wow. :spill

No wonder you moved to Town Park.

:lol :lol :lol

Plenty of sleep and no hangovers??? That sounds wayyyy too much like regular life.

I would agree, keep checking this site for TP passes, that is what will make the best “once in a lifetime” experience", however I will warn you, if you do that…it won’t be a once in a lifetime experience! You will get NO sleep (sorry Hooch, passed out is not sleep), you may catch Billy Beru with his pants done,(not a pretty picture,and I have photographic evidence) and you may just pass Hot Sugar on the way to the Hospital! But you will have more fun than you thought was humanly possible in a weeks time. So my advice is look for TP passes, you will be able to secure them before fest (I got two last year two weeks before the fest with one post on this forum). Then sell those 4 day passes and Jump in strap down, hold on and get ready for two things: 1 the time of your life 2 Crunchy Frog 3 BACON?..oops that’s three things, I guess to much Crunchy Frog! :pirate :cheers

Plenty of folks get sleep in the tarp line… :flower
Warner Field ticket :peace works, too!

I stayed at Illium the first couple of years and have been doing HS ever since. I love that you are able to walk to Town Park instead of having to take the shuttle (very convenient for tarp runs in the morning). The only setback may be not being able to drink or smoke, but usually I am at the fest most of the day so it doesn’t really bother me. Also peace and quiet cant be beat after a long day!

i am no longer the NKOTB