2019 Meltdown Events
FREE FRIDAY CONCERT PRESENTED BY THE DURANGO AND SILVERTON NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE MELTDOWN
FRIDAY, 5 – 7 P.M., D&SNGRR GRANGE BUILDING, 479 MAIN AVE.
The warm-up for the Meltdown has become one of our festival’s more popular traditions. This free, two-hour concert on Friday afternoon, when the festival opens will be at a new and exciting location. The railroad has recently constructed the Grange building to host community events and to honor the importance of agriculture to our region. Go to D&SNGRR Railroad Station at the south end of Main Street and pass through the Museum where everyone can experience the spectacular exhibits on their way to the music. Enjoy exceptional bluegrass music and help us kick off the festival for the weekend with the Colorado College Bluegrass Ensemble at 5pm followed by The Fellowship of the Strings at 6pm.
BAND SHOWCASE (Free to the Public)
Saturday, Noon – 5 p.m., Elks Lodge, 9th St. & East 2nd Ave.
Since the early years of the Meltdown, the Band Showcase has provided a stage for bands that want to participate but for whatever reason aren’t ready or willing to play the ‘main stage’. ‘Bluegrass Band’ criteria are sometimes bent for the Band Showcase, but it never lacks for entertainment, and this year is no exception with Colorado College Bluegrass Ensemble 2nd and 3rd tier bands, Woodland Remedy TOTALLY HAPPY CAMPERS and Escalante Creative Strings. This perpetual Meltdown favorite continues to be free to the public and will take place downstairs at the Durango Elks Lodge, from noon to 5 pm on Saturday.
Saturday, 7:30 – 10 p.m., Henry Strater Theater, 7th St. & Main Ave.
Join the spontaneous fun of the Meltdown’s Superjam. The event has become a festival tradition and no two are ever the same. Local, regional and national talents come together to collaborate and inspire on the stage of the Henry Strater Theatre. The bluegrass community is a small circle of incredibly talented musicians. It’s often amazing to witness how individuals from different bands are sometimes old friends, past bandmates, or just like-minded individuals. It’s impromptu magic, so sit back and see what happens! FY5 will be hosting the event and are sure to throw together some incredible collaborations for the stage.
OLD TIME BARN DANCE
Saturday, 7:30 – 10 p.m., Elks Lodge, 9th St. & East 2nd Ave.
Featuring: STEAM MACHINE AND SIX DOLLAR STRING BAND
Admission free with Saturday or Weekend Meltdown Wristband or $15 at the Door.
Do you know how to tell the difference between old-time fiddle tunes? They have different titles.
In 2006, after recognizing the popularity of the old-timey music scare with bands such as Reeltime Travelers and Sweet Sunny South, the Meltdown introduced the Old Time Barn Dance, at the Elks Lodge dance hall. Steam Machine and Six Dollar String Band will host this year’s Old Time Barn Dance at the Elk’s Lodge, at the corner of 2ndAve. and 9th Street. This has evolved into a “don’t miss” event. Nobody has more fun during the entire Meltdown weekend than the kids of all ages that pack the Durango Elks Lodge dance floor.
LATE NIGHT SHOW
Saturday, 8 – 10 p.m., Durango Arts Center, 8th St. & East 2nd Ave.
Featuring: HALDEN WOFFORD AND THE HI-BEAMS
The Durango Bluegrass Meltdown presents an evening with Halden Wofford and the Hi*Beams.
Admission free with Saturday or Weekend Meltdown Wristband or $15 at the Door)
Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams ride out from the cutting edge cowtown of Denver, Colorado. Rootsy and real, neither revivalist nor retro, the Hi-Beamsâ€™ brand of country music is as boundless and electrifying as America itself.
Equal parts Hank Williams and Johnny Depp, frontman Halden Wofford pours forth a potent mix of rocked-up honky tonk, western swing, Dylanesque originals and spaghetti western epics. There is no creative limit to the songwriter, illustrator, author, storyteller, and singer. But Halden has met his match in the Hi*Beams. Each outrageous tale he spins is met by the whine and wail of the steel guitar, the furious double-neck electric guitar and mandolin, and the relentless thump of the upright bass and drums.
Sunday morning, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Durango Art Center, 8th St. & East 2nd Ave.
Gospel music featuring three and four-part harmonies and often sparse or no instrumental accompaniment has been a part of bluegrass since its beginnings. Many of the early bluegrass musicians were immersed in the tradition while growing up in deeply religious communities and have incorporated the songs and performance styles in their repertoire. The Meltdown honors that tradition by presenting three hours of fine Gospel music performed by Chokecherry Jam, Jeff Scoggins and Colorado and Junior Sisk and Friends.
The Meltdown features many indoor and outdoor (weather permitting) locations for informal jamming. The management of the Strater and Rochester Hotels welcome musicians to gather and play for their own enjoyment as well as that of the hotel guests. Numerous downtown bars and restaurants also encourage musicians to play at their discretion and may offer complimentary food and drink. Spring afternoons in Durango are often very pleasant and jamming on the sidewalks and at outdoor cafes can be a pleasant way to make new friends and expose the general public to the joys of bluegrass.
The Strater Hotel lobby is open for jamming until midnight, late night jamming is open in the Pullman room in the basement of the Strater Hotel into the wee hours.
Friday & Saturday nights, see program guide for location
Part of the fun during the Meltdown is enjoying live bluegrass and other styles of music while sampling great food and drink at some of Durango’s finest downtown bars and restaurants. See schedules on sidebar for locations and times.