Festival How To

With Spotlight Health starting on Thursday and Festival 1 and 2 close on its heels, final preparations are underway for what we hope will be an invigorating, inspiring and memorable Festival experience for all. Please check out this handy guide to navigating the Festival. From registration to transportation to what to expect during your stay in Aspen, we have you covered.

Download the Aspen Ideas Festival Mobile App
With real-time agenda information, presenter biographies, maps, Festival updates, videos, photos, and social-sharing options, the app is your guide to the Festival. The Aspen Ideas app is compatible with iOS and Android devices. Be sure to allow for push notifications and location awareness to receive up-to-the minute updates of schedule changes and important announcements.

More About the Festival Schedule
Due to the dynamic nature of the Festival, times, venues, and speakers are all subject to change. The mobile app is the best real-time source of information. Additionally, Daily Updates are sent via email, posted on the website, and distributed every morning on printed flyers.

The registration desk is located in the Paepcke Building Lobby and is open during regular office hours.  Registration begins for:
Spotlight Health:  June 25 at 10 AM
Festival 1: June 28 at 11 AM
Festival 2: July 1 at 10 AM

Aspen Ideas Festival Celebration of Ideas
Following the Afternoon of Conversation on July 1, all Festival 1 and Festival 2 attendees are invited to a reception on the lawn adjacent to the Benedict Music Tent, from 5:15 – 7:15 PM

Transportation Around Aspen
While Aspen is a very walkable town, there are several options for transportation (offered as part of the Festival) that will get you in and out of town. The Ideas Festival Shuttle will run on a continuous loop, making stops at several hotels around town. See detailed information on the Transportation Guide and Aspen Map, which can both be downloaded here. Find the Aspen Institute Campus Map here.

Enjoy Aspen’s bike share program! Festival pass holders will receive a 10-day pass to use WE-Cycle bikes, sponsored by the Walton Family Foundation, to get to and from campus and locations in town. See detailed information on the Transportation Guide, which can be downloaded here.

Parking on the Aspen Institute Campus is extremely limited during the Festival. Attendees are encouraged to park at the Rio Grande Parking Garage, and take the Parking Garage Shuttle. See detailed information on the Transportation Guide and Aspen Map, which can both be downloaded here.

Transportation from Denver
The Aspen Institute has partnered with Colorado Mountain Express (CME) to provide additional daily shared-ride shuttle service from Denver International Airport to Aspen. We are pleased to offer a discounted, one-way rate of $99/person to our guests and participants. Book reservations by calling (800) 525-6363 or (970) 754-7433.  You may also book discounted travel online at least four hours prior to travel.

Pre-Arrival Reading
Take a look at the Festival’s iBooks page to download books written by Festival speakers. Speaker biography pages on our website also contain links to their titles on Amazon.

Attire and Weather
Mountain weather is notorious for being unpredictable. While temperatures during the day can sometimes reach 90 degrees, it is common for it to drop into the 30s and 40s once the sun sets. Sunny weather also quickly transitions to a brief afternoon downpour. We recommend a light jacket or layers for evenings, as well as a good raincoat. You will also most likely be walking a lot, whether around our campus or around town, so comfortable shoes are a plus.

Don’t Neglect the Altitude
Aspen sits at about 8,000 feet above sea level. Once you arrive here, you may notice that you get a bit more winded and feel more tired than usual. To mitigate the impact of the altitude, be sure to hydrate more than usual, and to take it easy with physical activity. Higher elevation also means a higher exposure to harmful UV rays, so wear sunscreen, even if you normally can get away without it. Don't worry; if you begin to feel weary due to the altitude despite your best efforts, there are first aid stations equipped with oxygen located around campus throughout the Festival. Attendees can also use the oxygen bar located in the U.S. Trust Live Well Lounge.

Enjoying Aspen
If you want to take a break from sessions to enjoy the mountain air, there are many ways to experience nature right in town! The Rio Grande Trail is perfect for taking a relaxed stroll, while the Ute and Hunter Creek trails provide more strenuous ways to earn a view. If you have a little more time to spare, take the RFTA bus to the Maroon Bells and enjoy the famous mountains and hike around scenic Maroon Lake.