Americana fest

Musician Jack Ingram, who co-owns and produces the Telluride Americana Festival, plays the Sheridan Opera House this weekend. (Photo courtesy of James R. Martin Photography via Jack Ingram’s Facebook)

After 10 days of rock ’n’ roll during an altered-but-just-as-jamming Telluride Ride Festival, the music continues this week with the annual Telluride Americana Festival at the Sheridan Opera House.

The three-day event starts Thursday at 8 p.m. with performances by Chase Bryant and Kaitlin Butts.

Jennifer Stevens, who owns and produces the festival along with Jack Ingram and Kevin Howard of Beatdown Entertainment, said she’s excited to be able to offer live music again in the historic venue, especially after such a difficult year for the entertainment industry. That’s why the festival added a bonus night Sunday, with all proceeds going to the Sheridan Arts Foundation, the nonprofit that owns and operates the opera house, Stevens explained.

“We are thrilled to be back for another great year of music at the historic Sheridan Opera House. There is so much excitement to see live music back again,” she said. “We added a Sunday night show this year, which will benefit the Sheridan Opera House, and we hope the community will come out and support this special place as we all work to recover from the past 18 months.”

Tickets, which are available online at tellurideamericana.com, are $150 for all reserved seats on the main floor and balcony. Doors open at 6 p.m. Performers Sunday include Ingram, Bryant and Jon Randall, among other special guests, according to an opera house news release.

The Friday lineup features Randall, William Bechmann and Jessi Alexander, while Ingram and John Baumann will grace the stage Saturday. With such a stacked lineup, Stevens — who also produces the annual Mack, Jack & McConaughey event held in Austin, Texas, every April — knows everyone is in for a fun festival, as she explained that she’s looking forward to seeing all the artists this weekend.

“This is a tough question because all of our artists are incredible. I love the story behind the songs so hearing these singer-songwriters is a very special opportunity. Of course, Jack Ingram is producing the festival with me, and he is always incredible but to see him with Jon Randall will be very cool. Their album “The Marfa Tapes” (with Miranda Lambert) is just so, so good,” she said. “And I can’t stop listening to “Decatur County Red” by Jessi Alexander, so I’m excited to see her, too.”

The trio behind Beatdown Productions purchased the festival from founder Steve Stagner in 2019.

“Jack has joined us at the festival a few times over the years, and he always brings terrific energy. There is no better team to take over what we have built than Jack, Jennifer and Kevin,” Stagner said in the news release.

While capacity had to be limited this year due to best public health practices, Stevens explained that there will be some “big announcements” in the near future.

“The festival has grown in reputation and popularity, while keeping loyal to the intimate experience created by working in the Sheridan Opera House. It’s such a unique venue, and a perfect place to really experience the artists in an intimate way,” she said. “This year with the back and forth of protocols and safety standards, we took a conservative approach to how many seats would be sold, but a few remain, so please join us. Looking into 2022 look for some big announcements this fall.”

Since reopening the Sheridan Arts Foundations has required anyone and everyone attending an event at the opera house to show either proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test or vaccination.

“For our own events or when we host ticketing for rentals, like the Telluride Americana Festival, ticket purchasers get a confirmation email after purchase and a reminder email 24 hours in advance of the show about the rule. It's also in our event descriptions. If renters are running their own ticketing, it's up to them to spread the word, but we use our own security to enforce the rule at the door. We will keep this policy through the summer and then reassess,” said Maggie Stevens, the opera house’s public relations and marketing director.