Missed Burning Man? Try the Telluride Fire Festival

When snow and fire collide – The Telluride Fire Festival brings a slice of Burning Man to Colorado this January.

Erin Ries and Chris Myers are regular ‘burners’. The creative couple from Telluride, Colorado take their dress up box of colourful paraphernalia and head to Black Rock City for the annual art and performance festival in the desert.

One thing was missing long after the dust had settled and the last man burned on the playa. Regular meet-ups around the USA for fellow burners certainly fed the withdrawals. But while the art work created by Burning Man artists each year delight the 60 000 odd burning crowd they are then dismantled and packed away in warehouses and storage sheds never to be seen again (every Burning Man showcases new work each year).

Ries and Myers had an idea to bring those artworks back to life, celebrate their creators and put them both in front of folks that may never have the opportunity to head to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The Telluride Fire Festival was born.

Now in it’s second year. The festival celebrates the fire of life with a schedule of fire themed creations, performances, parties and more over a four day period from January 14 to 18.

From welding workshops, fire spinning workshops and fire burning rituals to dance parties, a Fire Ball and giant fire breathing sculptures from Burning Man artists including a 40 foot wide Numinous Eye and an Owl with a 28 foot wing span known as Hin Han the Guardian of the Milky Way.

Rob Garza (of Thievery Corporation) will be performing an intimate DJ set for a select 250 people, there’s a VIP Fire Circle for those who purchase the all access pass, a Fire Ball on the Saturday night with some serious Burning Man dress up potential and a Meet the Artists closing party.

Most events and workshops are free in the Mountain Village plaza and down town on Main Street. If you want to kick the celebrations up a notch or five then purchase a four night All Access VIP Pass for US$195, if you just want to experience Rob Garza tickets are US$60 and the Fire Ball is US$100.

Celebrated artists this year are Jamie Vaida and Alvin Sessions, James Reinhardt, Ryon Gesink, Charlie and Gail Holthausen, Keith D’Angelo and more.

For more information, lodging and tickets visit the Telluride Fire Festival website.

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Read more: Ten of the best ski area summer festivals

Read more: Ten reasons to pay Telluride forward

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.


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