Are you intimately familiar with the characters who populate the mountain town music fest? You know that one guy? Yeah, that guy…
Last September, I enjoyed the head-bobbing tunes of Telluride’s Blues and Brews festival. If you’ve never been, go. If you’ve been before, go again. Few festival locations can boast the jaw-dropping appeal of Telluride’s box canyon with its natural acoustics and jagged thirteeners looming above the main stage. The music is, of course, the main draw, followed by the dumplings, the corndogs, the chicken sammies and all the rest of the insanely delectable fest food. But what I truly love is the people watching—and I notice there are always certain disinctive types. The following guys populate every Blues and Brews I’ve ever attended. I bet you know them, too.
Bearded Dready Guy
This unkempt human is way into the festival, like waaaaay into it. Bearded Dready Guy is probably also deeply committed to selling river rocks and necklace beads made from quartz. He makes his own clothes and will dance exactly the same—the smiling hippie sway—no matter the genre of music or tempo. He responds to “Jah.”
Shirtless Shoeless Guy
He entered fully clothed, but the festival vibes effervesced with such fury, his shirt and shoes evaporated in a foggy tie-dyed puff. Or they’re at the bottom of a puddle somewhere. No matter. Shirtless Shoeless Guy, soon to be Extremely Sunburnt Guy, is front-and-center shaking his thing—though he might not make nightfall without a hops-infused snooze.
Cargo Shorts Guy
CSG needs to carry a lot of stuff with him, I guess. He may pair his multi-pocketed cargo shorts with a braided leather belt and a cell phone holster. He may be wearing one of those giant, techy sun hats the size of a satellite dish. The sunscreen on his face is never fully absorbed.
Trying To Fest Like You’re 20 But Now You’re 40 And Have a Family Guy
This rad dad probably used to be Bearded Dready Guy or Shirtless Shoeless Guy. Now he has a haircut and a child or two. He still parties hard but he’s responsible…ish.
Dancing Making Out Old Couple
Also known as Life Goals Couple. This is the couple we all hope we grow up to be. They’re tie-dyed, may have a fanny pack or two—and they can’t stop dancing together. They’re in love, just as in love as when they attended their first fest together some umpteen million years ago. Their make out sessions may not look as sexy as they used to but they’re still making out. And that’s cool, that’s really cool.
Super-Tan Bathing Suit Couple
These two incredibly bronzed humans wear bathing suits for the entire festival. Where they disappear to at night, nobody knows. But during the day, they hold hands and strut their sun-kissed bods around the fest grounds. Oilier than your corndog.
This is just a baby. This is just a baby at the festival.
The Hey, I Know You Guy
He doesn’t know you, but the 37 beers and whatever else he’s downed make him think otherwise. Prepare for “interesting” mouth aromas and a bit of spittle when he pushes past your personal space bubble to close-talk you. He will do this for an uncomfortably long time and try to convince you that you know each other. Many stories will be told, many stories. Still, this guy does not know you.
Inflatable Hammock Guy
The loungiest of loungers, he runs about in an attempt to inflate one of those giant blow-up hammocks that look like the subject of a Georgia O’Keefe painting (yada-yada, if ya know what I mean).
Red And Black Flannel Guy
This ubiquitous furry-button-down-wearing bro also has super duper skinny jeans on and his Red Wing boots have never seen dirt. He is Instagrammably adorable. His manicured shadow beard may have glitter within it…or smells of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Socks and Sandals Guy
This older gentleman is closely linked to Cargo Shorts Guy. He pays no mind to fashion faux pas. He seeks only groovy tunes and comfortable feet. Nothing says “it’s time to party” like wool socks and leather sandals.
Find him in the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd in front of the main stage, at a packed post-fest bar or waddling and bumping through the hordes of a late night concert. Can’t locate him? Don’t worry. He’ll find you.
Poop Your Pants Guy
You’ll know when you find him.
This hombre’s ponytail is bound a little too tight. He never dances. His arms are almost always crossed. And he wants everyone to be quiet. “Ssshhh,” he says. Because at a mountainous rock-n-roll concert, no one wants to hear the sounds of other people’s enjoyment.
Either you or someone in your group will spot this guy and yell, “Hey, look at that guy!” It seems he may be at the wrong festival. He dances wildly and hard and a little too fast and pretty off tempo but kind of on tempo. He’s goofy and strange and laughable…but he’s having a good time. Maybe he’s having the best time. He’s chuckling and people around him are smiling too. He’s getting a lot of high fives. That Guy is the best guy.
Writer guy Paddy O’Connell is a freelance creator, focusing on storytelling and multimedia production. Originally from Chicago, Paddy O is a combination of a Midwestern upbringing and an extreme love of the mountains and the passions they hold.