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!

Valentine’s Day in Durango

Valentine's Day-in-Durango

Whether you celebrate it early, late or the day of, there are plenty of ways to show your love on Valentine’s Day in Durango. If you’re looking for a dinner date, you have your choice from the best Durango restaurants: from high-end steakhouses to traditional Italian, gastropub to winery fare, Tibetan or taqueria. Make a night of it in downtown Durango by exploring art galleries or catching some live music. Or, if you’re looking for something truly exceptional to do for Valentine’s Day in Durango, check out these one-of-a-kind experiences.

Romance on the Rails Brunch Train

There’s something romantic about riding the rails, eh? Kick off Valentine’s Day early with the Romance on the Rails Brunch Train Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. The Durango train has long celebrated love by giving lovers a chance to take the historic train to Cascade Canyon, take in the gorgeous winter scenery and enjoy a special brunch.

Premium class tickets include a brunch package that features a morning brunch buffet, live music, chocolate treats,  a free glass of sparking wine and a freshly cut rose! The brunch menu features fancy fare such as raspberry yogurt mousse, chocolate-covered strawberries, shrimp, quiche and smoked salmon to name a few of the delectable items passengers can enjoy.

Valentine’s Day Snowcat Dining Excursion

This year, give your Valentine an extra-special dinner they’ll never forget with a Snowcat Dining Excursion on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at Purgatory Resort . Diners will meet at the resort’s base area outside of Purgy’s to take an enclosed snowcat up to Powderhouse Restaurant. During the ride, sweethearts will fall in love with views of the Needles Mountains. During dinner, they will indulge in a menu that starts with lobster-stuffed mushrooms, spring salad, tomato bisque; features a main course of beef tenderloin; and dishes up tiramisu for dessert. The meal comes with two glasses of wine or beer, and the evening also includes live music and a cash bar.

Durango Diaries

In the spirit of other storyteller events like The Moth, the Durango Herald is launching its new bi-monthly storytelling series, Durango Diaries. The first Durango Diaries will be held 5:30-6:30 p.m. Feb. 14, and in keeping with Valentine’s Day, the first Durango Diaries topic is Love Stories. Everyone has a first love, and the crowd will hear from two couples about their amazing love stories. The inaugural Durango Diaries will be held at the Powerhouse Science Center.

Live Music

Maybe dinner is too “done” for V-Day. Or maybe you want something to do aprés dinner. A show is the obvious answer, and Durango has plenty of live music to choose from.
Catch Murs in concert at Animas City Theatre on Valentine’s Day. Murs is an independent rapper who has recorded collaborative albums with Slug of Atmosphere (as Felt), Fashawn and 9th Wonder. Murs also founded the Paid Dues festival that highlights the underground and indie rap. Greg Ryder will be playing at the Diamond Belle Saloon at the Strater Hotel, and Terry Rickard will also be playing live at The Office Spiritorium.

You can always ooomph it up even more with our “Share the Love” package. Stay at the Econo Lodge Inn and Suites Durango any night in February and get a free bottle of local wine from Durango’s own Four Leaves Winery. Book your room today!