Donnybrook’s Serious Statistics from the Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2011
Dogs I Saw Sitting at the Bar: 1
A small, but still impressive, statistic.
Celebs spotted: 4.5-ish
1.) Ed Helms was spotted, grizzly and incognito in a baseball cap, in the VIP section during Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Perhaps his grizzled/sleepy appearance was the result of another Ed Helms spotting the previous night by our friend Heather: playing banjo on a street corner at 3 a.m. This is the Telluride I was hoping to see.
2.) On Sunday, Donnybrook had chose to slum it in the peasant section (on the grass, on tarps), so it was a pleasant surprise to see Kelly Ripa sitting next to us, out there with the kinds of sad people who probably smuggled in a bag of wine by ripping it out of the box, taping it in three plastic bags, and rolling it up in a sleeping bag, only to drink out of it like a bladder. Not us, of course.
Apparently, the Ripa/Consuelos family enjoys the Best. Life. Ever as every moment they were spotted exuded such joy as to puzzle a Donnybrookite: buying donuts and laughing together like in a sitcom; being perkily blonde and/or handsomely Latin, bathing in the sunshine, the children playing with their hair and laughing. It was a true sight to behold. Because we’re mature, we took this photo of Ms. Ripa:
The jig is up! She knows we’re taking her picture!
3.) Various Mumfords around the festival
4.) Various Turtles around the festival
4.5ish) Some guy who looked like Colin Meloy, but then again I don’t think it was him. Isn’t there a guy who looks like him at every festival?
Key Bands I Somehow Missed Even Though There is Only One Stage: 3
1.) Sarah McSadPuppies
2.) Old Crow Medicine Show
3.) Robert Plant
Times I Rode in the Gondola with Flashing White Stuff Hurtling at My Face: 2
1.) It snowed on the gondola when we were leaving the festival. Snowed! We went from an 80 degree June day to snow!
2.) We had a bright flash photography party in the gondola one night. It’s not as fun as it sounds, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Punch Brothers Whiskey-Related Songs: 3
Or four. Or five? They were very charming, and held their own in the pouring rain, and they also did a really good Radiohead cover when they did a free show in the park. Radiohead and bluegrass! It doesn’t normally go together.
Winner of the 2005 Telluride Bluegrass Festival: Decemberists.
During the Decemberists’ set, our favorite wordsmith Colin Meloy reported that they had played the 2005 Bluegrass Festival, and had invited the festival’s top pickers to a duel, yet none of them had showed up. So they decided they were the champions by default, and pointed it out several times.
Winner of the 2011 Telluride Bluegrass Festival: Bela Fleck.
After so much fake gloating, finally Bela Fleck came onto the stage and started dueling with Meloy, as did Jerry Douglas and Noam Pickelny (I had to look that last one up on HeyReverb.com because they know what they’re talking about). It was funny and they all kicked Colin Meloy’s ass, but he sure won our hearts.