The 2022 Telluride Ride Festival announced its lineup Tuesday for this summer’s event July 6-10. Similar to last year, it will take place across several, more intimate venues, including the Sheridan Opera House, Telluride Transfer Warehouse, O’Bannon’s Irish Pub and The Ride Lounge in the historic Roma Building. The Ride Lounge shows are free.
This year’s artists are Arc Angels, Black Pistol Fire, North Mississippi Allstars, Tyler Bryant & the Shakedown, Suzanne Santo, James McMurtry, and Danielle Ponder. The shows will be individually ticketed, with a limited number of all access passes. For tickets, visit ridefestival.com.
Festival founder and director Todd Creel explained the decision to host five days of music throughout the Town of Telluride in the announcement.
“Like everywhere, Telluride is evolving and changing. It is a beautiful place, and those of us who live here know how lucky we are to call it our home. We are also aware of the changes that have taken place in recent years, especially since the arrival of COVID. The influx of people who have discovered the area, and those who have decided to stay permanently, have created an environment in which most working residents are having more trouble than ever finding a simple, decent place to live,” he said. “As producers of live music in Telluride, the lodging situation has become very difficult to navigate. With nightly rates set at historic highs and availability extremely limited, our visitors are finding there are very few viable options. While housing is challenging for all of the festivals, Bluegrass in June and Blues & Brews in September take place in early summer and fall, when the town is not as full. They also have the added use of Warner Field, which will accommodate several hundred more campers. The lodging situation, combined with the Open Space Commission's recent reduction of an additional 200 hundred camping spaces (due to revegetation) makes the reality of hosting 9,000 people in the park in mid-July less and less possible. With the added pressure of complaints from a few unhappy East End residents resulting in park staff having the unilateral ability to turn down the sound at their sole discretion, it appears to us at the festival that it may be time to bring music to the people in a different way.”
Creel said those factors have made the logistics of booking top-end bands, including another possible headliner for this year, more and more difficult.
“We lost our headliner late in the booking cycle due to the lack of available lodging, so it has been pretty challenging. The bands are all happy to be working again. The demand is high, so the costs for performers and production have increased significantly,” he told the Daily Planet.
Tuesday’s announcement started with a look back on the first decade of the festival, which has featured some heavy hitters over the years.
“Music. The common thread that ties us all together. Brings us together to dance and sing and share our gratitude for those special moments in our brief journey,” Creel said. “It is hard to believe it has been 10 years since we had this crazy but passionate notion of bringing rock ’n’ roll to our favorite live music venue on the planet, the Fred Shellman stage in beautiful Telluride Town Park. Over the years, we have been fortunate enough to host some truly amazing artists. Each of them had the opportunity to experience the people of this unique valley and the gift of playing on the stunning Telluride stage. Thanks to the support of the town citizens, councils and staff, we have collectively experienced incredible and memorable performances from David Byrne, Pearl Jam and Widespread Panic, along with early shows from artists like Tyler Childers, The Lumineers and Nathaiel Rateliff before they hit the big time. It has been a rewarding decade and all of us at The Ride Festival are eternally grateful to each person who has helped us and supported the endeavor of presenting quality music with authentic Telluride style over the years.
When asked if the festival is planning to change its format moving forward, Creel explained it’s certainly something to consider, but no decisions have been made past this year.
“It is hard to say for sure. Since we did not use the park last year, we will lose our traditional dates by foregoing the park this year. We may look at other dates when the town is less crowded or present some single-day headliner concerts, if the town and residents are receptive to the idea,” he said.
In closing his Tuesday statement, he thanked everyone who has been involved with the festival over the last 10-plus years. As he’s explained before, rock ’n’ roll has always been for the people.
“Thanks to everyone who has attended and to all of the people who have volunteered or assisted in any way,” Creel said. “Life is short, enjoy the ride.”