The Ride Festival is a music event that takes place in Telluride, Colorado every year. The scenic setting acts as the perfect backdrop for world-class live musical performances. It was started as a small one-day festival and has now been expanded to three days.
The event debuted in 2012 and found immediate success thanks to its incredible lineup of top musical talent. Some of the artists who have performed at The Ride Festival in the past include Pearl Jam, Steve Earle, The Lumineers, David Byrne & St. Vincent, Cage the Elephant, Thievery Corporation, Widespread Panic, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Drive-By-Truckers, Los Lobos, North Mississippi Allstars, and Cake.
In addition to the daytime shows, the organizers also curate nightly shows called, "The Night Ride." These take place during the event at different venues across Telluride like the Liberty, Wood Ear, Sunset Plaza, and the Sheridan Opera House. In past years, admission to the Night Ride performances has been free to all Ride pass holders except for the shows that take place at Sheridan Opera House.
Apart from the great music, festival guests can enjoy other live activities like biking and hiking, or simply soak in their beautiful surroundings. Although it is relatively new, the curated lineup, fantastic performance, and breathtaking location all combine to make The Ride Festival one of the top music events in the region.
If you'd like to attend all three days of the event, you can choose between General Admission Weekend Passes and VIP Weekend Passes. Tickets are also available for single days. They range in price from $75 (Friday only General Admission ticket) to about $600 (VIP Weekend Pass).
Children under the age of 12 can enter the event for free as long as they are with a ticket-holding adult. Weekend camping passes are also available on the festival website. You will need both a camping pass and a festival pass, to enter the campground. For more information on tickets and pricing, take a look at the official site for The Ride Festival.
The drive to Telluride is via the San Juan Skyway, so you can enjoy some wonderful views on your way to The Ride Festival. It is about 67 mountain miles from the nearest city of Montrose. Before you enter the town, you'll be able to spot an information barricade where you can get directions and more information.
Remember to check road and weather conditions via the Colorado Department of Transportation. Stay alert for rockslides at all times, especially in the event of rain along your route upon entering the San Juan Mountains.
Paid street parking will be available on Colorado Avenue and many of the side streets. Motorists can look for a parking meter along each block where and purchase a receipt to place in the vehicle window. Over the weekend, cars may also be allowed to park in residential zones. RV parking and camping is available at Telluride Town Park Campground, adjacent to the festival grounds. Keep in mind that your RV must be less than 30 feet in length.
It is recommended to park your RV at the Telluride Town Park Campground for the duration of the festival and get around using public transportation. You can travel within the town using the Dial-a-Ride shuttle, Gondola (between Telluride and Mountain Village), or Galloping Goose Bus System. These are free public transportation options that operate during designated times and usually run daily during big events like The Ride Festival.
Camping options are available at the Telluride Town Park Campground. This site is just a short walk away from the main stage. You'll need to purchase an RV camping pass to camp there for the duration of the festival. Hookups are not available, and you will need to travel a short distance away to dump any RV waste. Remember to book in advance for this camping option with limited space.
The town of Telluride is small, and the only campsite available for RVs within its limits is Telluride Town Park Campground. Another option is to park your RV in the parking garage at Mountain Village by purchasing two tickets, but check your rig size first. Other campgrounds and RV parks are 15 to 40 mountain miles away from Telluride. At these, you can find amenities like electric hookups, laundry services, and WiFi.
Bikes, scooters, rollerblades, skateboards, or ATVs will not be allowed in the staging areas. The town is small, and guests can easily get around on foot. The festival is fully accessible, and facilities are available for attendees with mobility needs. The venue can be navigated by wheelchair, and a separate viewing area will be cordoned off for guests with disabilities.
Colorado weather can be unpredictable, so the best way to stay comfortable is by dressing in layers. Make sure you take a warm jacket since it can get cold at night and a poncho in case it rains. Closed, all-weather shoes are always a good idea. Not only will they keep your feet warm, but also protect them from being trampled by accident.
The town of Telluride is at a high elevation, which means that the sun's UV rays can be particularly harsh on your skin. Good quality sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are a must during the day. General admission tickets do not include seating, so you may want to take a low-backed chair or tarp. You may only see snow on the peaks, but keep in mind that snow can fall upon its own will in this mountainous region. Remember to check and follow local regulations related to bear-friendly food storage.
You can get free, filtered drinking water at one of the two Water Walls on the venue. Carry a refillable water bottle and top it up often. At a high altitude, you tend to get dehydrated faster, and the effects of alcohol and medications can be stronger. Drink in moderation to stay healthy and safe.
Campers are likely to encounter a fire ban in the communities of Telluride, Mountain Village, and the surrounding areas. Charcoal grills, wood stoves, campfires, fire pits, or other open fires of any kind are usually prohibited. You will only be allowed to cook on the stove in your RV or use a propane or gas stove that comes with a built-in "on-off" switch.
Thanks to the town's status as a prime tourist destination, you will find plenty of delicious food to be had, representing multiple cuisines types. Whether you're in the mood for an indulgent meal, a snack, a quick coffee or dessert, there are several dozen eateries to choose from in Telluride and Mountain Village.
The Ride Festival organizers are careful to select a wide array of food vendors, so there is plenty of variety for guests to enjoy. You can expect much more than the usual festival fare and the focus is on healthy eating. There will also be a ton of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free food options on offer.
Security checks will be conducted at the entrance. Once the gates open, attendees will be required to head to the Customs Gate where security personnel will be examining bags, wristbands, coolers, and any other belongings. Check the list of prohibited items on the website to make sure you're not carrying anything that's banned. Be prepared to stand in line upon entry.
Telluride is situated high up in the mountains, so be prepared for the weather to change at the drop of a hat. It can go from sunny and pleasant to rainy and wet in a matter of minutes. In the past, festival-goers have met with thunderstorms, hail, and even snow. So go prepared for the weather with the right clothing and gear for you and your vehicle.
There will be a centrally located first aid station that's clearly marked on the map. It will be staffed with professional medics who are trained to deal with emergency situations. Patrons with disabilities will be able to get any information or support they need at the Communications Center. Motorized wheelchairs can also be recharged at this location. Medical center and pharmacy options are present within the town of Telluride but may be limited in nature.