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Sounds of Telluride offseason

Transfer Warehouse’s free ‘Twilight’ Concert Series and ticketed shows bring music to the box canyon

  • Special Thanks Leslie Vreeland, Contributing Editor, Telluride Daily Planet
    • Entertainment

Trico on the truck: The band uses the truck bed as a soundstage in the Transfer Warehouse. (Courtesy photo)


“Summer is just around the corner. For now we are enjoying the quieter pace of offseason.”

That’s what the Telluride Tourism Board’s website says of this time of year, at least.

But as the light changes and the weather warms, the Transfer Warehouse has been flinging open its doors and (metaphorically) tapping its toes, not cooling its jets. There is no time to waste: “People are craving music right now,” said Austin Halpern, Telluride Arts’ exhibits and events manager. “We’re bringing visitors off the streets constantly. They instantly step inside as soon as they hear the music.”

It is easy to hear the music, given that this is an open-air warehouse. 

In fact, the lack of a rooftop on this charmingly decrepit stone building has proved so successful over the past year that Telluride Arts intends to keep this feature, instead of jettisoning it, in its redesign of the historic building. 

“The new plans that are in process will definitely incorporate more open space,” Halpern said.

A bonus feature of the warehouse — besides its wide-open roof and windows, which help to reel in curious customers — is the night sky above (nature’s complimentary features, you might say, to the musical stars on stage). The warehouse is very good at broadcasting sounds far and wide, maybe even be too good at it. 

“We actually have a hard stop on amplified sound at around 10:30 p.m.,” Halpern said. Which brings us to the event Friday night, the Silent Disco. 

“It’s our second of these,” Halpern allowed. Hosted by DJ Harry of Boulder, the music (which only you can hear) “focuses on high energy electronica sounds, mixed with punk.” Only you can hear it — and, well, other paying customers can, too. But outsiders cannot. That’s because guests will be issued headphones. 

“We hope people will put on their headphones and dance in their pods. It should be a lot of fun,” Halpern said. 

On Saturday, “there’s a much-anticipated return of Cousin Curtiss,” Halpern said. “Every time he plays, it’s a blast. He’s super-talented; usually he’s on his own. This time he’s collaborating with Chris Harden, Anneke Dean and Warren Gilbreath.” 

Friday and Saturday nights in the warehouse are ticketed shows that start around 7 p.m. and go deeper into the evening. One of the best things about this space, though, is the fading light, and a Thursday night concert series, dubbed Twilight at the Transfer, is designed to take advantage of it. 

“It’s interesting,” Halpern said. “The north side of this space holds sunlight the longest.” That is where “Old Greg” the truck is parked. 

“The truck’s bed holds daylight the longest,” according to Halpern, so as the sun begins to set, it naturally “lingers the longest on the musician” who is using the truck’s bed as a stage. The placement of the truck just so, and the effect of luminous, early evening light upon it — an artistic spotlight more natural and compelling than any Hollywood contrivance — “might be serendipitous” rather than deliberate stagecraft, Halpern said with a laugh. What is not in question is what happens next: “As the light starts to fade, you look east, and Ballard and Ajax peaks begin to have alpenglow on them,” Halpern said. 

In short, the box canyon begins to work its magic as the music begins. Said Halpern: “It’s really just about our favorite time of day.” Admission is free; the effect of alpenglow mixed with music is priceless.

For a complete schedule of events, visit

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