Durango Bluegrass Meltdown 2018

Mile Twelve band Durango Bluegrass Meltdown
Photo: Mile Twelve

As the snowmelt starts, so does the meltdown — the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, that is. The annual Durango music festival is now in its 24th year, and the three-day weekend April 20-22 is filled with concerts, jam sessions, workshops and shows. You definitely don’t want to miss it because you’ll be missing out.

Venues

There are three main venues where bluegrass bands and acts will take the stage throughout the weekend: Henry Strater Theatre, Durango Arts Center and Wild Horse Saloon, although other venues include the Powerhouse Science Center, Animas City Theatre and the Durango Elks Lodge as well as a slew of bars and pubs around town.

Lineup and Headliners

This year’s Meltdown lineup is massive with nearly 30 bands on the docket and massive names on the marquis. Headliners include the Becky Buller Band, the Molly Tuttle Band, The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys and Mile Twelve.

In 2016, Becky Buller made bluegrass music history when she won both instrumental and vocal categories at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards, making her the first person ever to win both.

Molly Tuttle is an award-winning songwriter and singer who has toured extensively with her band at many prominent festivals including Rocky Grass Festival and Wintergrass Festival, and who received a 2016 IBMA Momentum Award as Instrumentalist.

The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys  are a 1940s-style Tennessee bluegrass quartet that “remain close to their musical roots by cranking out some of the tightest and hardest-driving traditional bluegrass you’ll find anywhere.”

Mile Twelve’s five members formed the band in 2014, and the group has made big moves in a short time. They won the 2017 IBMA Momentum Award and have been touring extensively through the U.S., Ireland and Canada, including sets at major festivals such as FreshGrass Festival, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival.

Meltdown Highlights

Band Showcase
Noon-6 p.m., Saturday, April 21
Durango Elks Lodge

The Band Showcase has been a staple since the beginnings of the Meltdown. The showcase gives a stage to bands who might shy away from the spotlight or don’t feel ready for the “main stage.” And the showcase is a little more flexible when it comes to the bluegrass part of the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown; other toe-tapping music genres are welcomed and are always entertaining. Always a favorite during Meltdown, the showcase is also free to the public and will take place downstairs at the Durango Elks Lodge, from noon to 6 pm on Saturday.

Super Jam
7:30-10 p.m. Saturday, April 20
Henry Stater Theater

The name says it all: It’s a jam. It’s super. It’s Super Jam. Catch the in-the-moment music magic as musicians from different bands come together to jam. Get a bunch of pickin’, playin’, fiddlin’ musicians together, and you never know what will happen — or what kind of music they’ll make. Former Durango local and longtime bluegrass lover Annie Savage will be hosting the event and is sure to throw together some incredible collaborations for the stage.

Old Time Barn Dance
7:30-10 p.m. Saturday, April 20
Durango Elks Lodge

The Old Time Barn Dance is actually a newer addition to Meltdown — as in it’s only been around for 12 years. The barn dance is a family-friendly community favorite and has become a Meltdown must-do since it debuted in 2006. Six Dollar String Band will be playing tunes for you to kick up your heels and swing up your skirts in the Elks Lodge dance hall. Admission is free with either a Saturday or Weekend Meltdown Wristband, or it’s $10 at the door.

Durango Hotels

Whether you’re “with the band” or just want to see some bands, the Durango Econo Lodge Inn & Suites is your best bet for Durango Meltdown hotels. The Econo Lodge Durango is a hop, skip and jump north of downtown Durango, so the hotel provides easy access to all the different Meltdown venues. Book your room today and stay with us while you enjoy the shindigs and shenanigans!

Christmas in Durango

Christmas-in-Durango
Santa Claus on the Mountain at Purgatory Resort

It’s almost Christmas. Seriously, it’s three weeks away. There seem to be two types of holiday people: Those who finish all their shopping before Labor Day, and people who hate those people those who are always scrambling with last-minute shopping, decorating and planning.

To top it off, if you have kids, they’ll be out of school and sooooooo bored, or if you have family visiting for Christmas, they’ll be sooooooo bored if you don’t find fun things to do for Christmas in Durango.

Purgatory Resort

Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, horse-drawn sleigh rides — sure, those are amazing things to do at Purgatory Resort. But for extra-special holiday fun, don’t miss Santa on the Mountain from 2-3:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at the base area. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be handing out candy canes and taking last-minute gift requests — but only if you’ve been nice! That same day, Purgatory is offering free holiday wreath-making classes at Durango Mountain Institute from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It that’s not exciting enough, take your kin on a scenic snowcat tour on Saturday, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Visitors will first ride the chairlift to the mountaintop then take a ride in a snowcat while taking in panoramic views and sipping hot cocoa. The tour is $50 per person and reservations are required. Tickets may be booked by calling 800-525-0892.

People can also leave the Christmas Eve cooking to the pros at Purgatory with a family-friendly holiday buffet at Purgy’s Slopeside from 4-9 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The smorgasbord includes a dessert buffet, a Christmas cookie station and a build-your-own hot chocolate bar.

Downtown Durango

Downtown Durango manages to be both hip and happening while also being cute and quaint. The historic downtown promises some of the city’s best shopping at boutiques and specialty shops, art galleries and wineries, natural products stores and shops that peddle the three Cs: candy, chocolate and coffee.

Some of the major sights to see in downtown include the Durango train depot and the historic Strater Hotel. Enjoy a tasting flight at Four Leaves Winery, get an array of sweets for those stockings at Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory or browse any number of art galleries and markets. Check out the Winter Solstice Artisan’s Market at the Durango Arts Center that runs through Saturday, Dec. 23. The annual market features more than 40 artists who were selected to show and sell their artwork and creations, such as ceramics, glass, jewelry, textiles, photography, paintings and more.

On Christmas Eve morning, head over to the Henry Strater Theatre to ring in Christmas with the Patrick Crossing Band playing Celtic Christmas tunes and Christmas songs.

Durango Hotels

While you’re spending Christmas in Durango — or if you have people visiting for the holidays, and you can’t (or don’t want to) have houseguests — stay with us at the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Durango. We’re located on Main Avenue, just a few blocks from the hub of downtown, and Purgatory is only a short drive straight north from our front door. Come check out our newly renovated lobby and warm up by the fireplace! Book your holiday stay with the Econo Lodge Durango today.