RIDE Festival Is One of Colorado's Most Beautiful & Friendly Fests

By: Cy Fontenot

There are few things more pleasing than the sounds of music complemented by the mountains of Telluride. There is a beautifully synchronistic vibe that resonates within this breathtaking box canyon in the Uncompahgre Mountains which seems to pull together the best situations, and last weekend, RIDE Festival once again brought all of this together.


The first day started off with Tyler Childers bringing some grassy vibes to the stage before a rock’n’roll extravaganza began. After Larkin Poe, Big Something really kicked of the jam vibes and then passed the torch to ZZ Ward, who was a fantastic opener for the wonderful Sheryl Crow. Following these female stronghouses, String Cheese Incident hit the stage and took the crowd on a psychedelic journey, kicking off one of the best Saturday nights RIDE has ever had. Following the Cheese, the late night crowd danced their behinds off to Kitchen Dwellers ‘til the wee hours of the morn, and it was all laughs and bluegrass from there! The crowd at RIDE proved sleep is for the dead.

Sheryl Crow. 

Sheryl Crow. 

Day two kicked off with New Respects, followed by the Quaker City Night Hawks, who really pumped the rock vibes for next-up Dhani Harrison. Chris Robinson Brotherhood followed, sending swells of sounds into the mountains and beyond, which set a strong, beautiful tone for the evening. Grace Potter’s set was next and took the crowd to the edge of tears, which really put us in a vulnerable state for what was then one of the most inspiring sets of the weekend, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. Drummer and band leader Joe Russo has the capability to build an incredible amount of energy and fluidity instrumentally, which really set the stage for Tom Hamilton to channel Jerry better than anyone I’ve seen (and I’ve been to more than a few Dead shows).

The Cheese!

The Cheese!

That’s when Cheese came back for round two, and I don’t know if anyone was prepared for their Sunday night set. Starting things off with dueling drum solos, the Colorado classic band played one of the most intriguing sets I’ve seen from them. They created such a space for the human experience in their sound that no one wanted the weekend to end.

Overall, RIDE Festival was one of the most beautiful, friendly, and fun weekends of the summer. There’s really nothing like the sounds they set up squished between the awesome peaks of Telluride. Keep an eye out for next year’s Ride Festival lineup; we’ll bring it to you as soon as it’s announced.

To view a full gallery from this year’s festival, click here.

All photos per the author. All videos and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.