The Telluwhut Music Festival

The Telluwhut Music Festival was a series of 6 annual music festivals held during the mid 1990’s in Boulder, Co.  The premise was to provide a low-cost community festival funded by the sale of craft beer. This festival started out as a backyard talent party on a flat bed utility trailer and crested 5 years later at 1000 people over three days. Several local popular bands such as Leftover Salmon were featured and several others got their start at this festival. These would  include the Yonder Mt String Band.  the Zukes of Zydeco, Runaway Truckramp, the Velveeta sisters and others, including elements of the String Cheese Incident.

The actual pun ‘telluwhut” was a pun on ‘telluride’ and was the joke of one hilarious evening commentary provided by one Mike Cutler, the rubboard player for the Zukes of Zydeco at the time. All that was needed was an excuse to have a fun party and a free weekend with good weather. May 1994 seemed like a good start. It was so much fun we did it again in August. Both parties yielded enough donations that, after expenses, to take the primary crew of 7 or 8 “workers” to have a free breakfast on the Sunday morning after the fest.

The premise behind the festival was to have a hilarious time at the expense of creating a big pun on the “new” management of the very popular Telluride Bluegrass Festival. For years, the Telluride Festival was run by Fred Shelton and a broad discription of incredible energy promulgated by Pastor Mustard and Sam Bush at the annual June distraction. When Craig got the fest thru a couple of slick financial maneuvers, the festival became a parody of itself in it’s ultimately successful attempt to corporatize the festival and internationalize the brand. On the 6th Telluwhut festival, even Craig came to see what all the hullabllew was about. Then there were 40 kegs of free beer and Yonder Mt was the new “young band”.  But somebody overdosed and all of it came to a head when the owner of the property had a warrant out for a mushroom violation. It all was too much. Especially since we were hiding ourselves as a “wedding”. hilarious. even better that our festival was a test ground for the Burning Man light shows.

A friend and fellow festival rat and helper  named Michigan Mike Torpie took this concept to the town of Nederland  in  1997 and created Nedfest which ran14 years before Mike’s untimely death in November 2011.


For more info about the Telluwhut Music Festival:

The Telluwhut Music Festival is a registered Colorado trademark.