News: Telluride approves proposed Phish concerts

AEG Live’s Don Strasburg talks in a Telluride Town Council meeting earlier today. Photo by Merrick Chase

Telluride has officially opened its doors to Phish.

Now will the band take it up on the offer?

It’s likely that the popular jam band and promoter AEG Live Rocky Mountains will soon announce two Phish shows in August, The Denver Post has learned. Earlier today, the Telluride Town Council OK’d the usage of its Town Park for the two shows, August 9-10 – the final step from the town’s end.

“That doesn’t mean it’s confirmed,” Don Strasburg, an AEG talent buyer who flew down to Telluride for the meeting this morning, said from the Montrose Regional Airport. “The band is interested in playing Telluride, otherwise they wouldn’t have asked so many kind people to work so hard to get the approvals required. However I have worked harder on things that have not happened. Things change. Things happen. And it’s never done until it’s done.”

Strasburg admitted that the biggest hurdle in confirming a couple shows like this was securing the venue. After Tuesday’s unanimous 7-0 Town Council vote, the ball is now in Phish’s camp.

Tuesday was Strasburg’s first trip to Telluride to discuss the deal, but AEG has partnered on the show pitches with Planet Bluegrass – whose president, Craig Ferguson, has made several trips to the southwestern Colorado city. That said, Ferguson is also consistently making the trip back and forth between Lyons, the home of Planet Bluegrass, and Telluride, the home of his largest fest, the Telluride Blugrass Festival.

“I am pleased that we were able to get through this critical hurdle,” Strasburg said. “But I have learned from years of experience that getting ahead of oneself typically leads to a letdown.”

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Ricardo Baca is the founder and co-editor of Reverb and an award-winning critic and journalist at The Denver Post. He is also the executive director of the Underground Music Showcase, Colorado’s premier indie music festival. Follow his whimsies at Twitter, his live music habit at Gigbot and his iTunes addictions at Last.fm.

Merrick Chase is a Telluride-based photographer. See more of his work here.

A couple other shots from today’s meeting: