High Sierra goes big but keeps it intimate


By Jonathan Keller



 June 29 - July 2
Quincy, Calif.

Started by an independent production company from Berkley, Calif., in 1991, High Sierra Music Festival is the cornerstone example of what a summer festival should be. The four-day festival offers nearly 80 national and regional acts on five day-time stages and five additional late-night venues. What makes the festival such a great draw each summer is its combination of great diverse music and community.

Located on The Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds, the festival provides an environment with opportunities for attendees to swim, bike, fish, golf and hike in the vicinity of a quaint mountain town. By keeping the attendance at around 10,000, High Sierra constantly has a general feeling of community that is helped by: Artist Playshops, which gives attendees a chance to see both emerging and established artists in an intimate setting. Grizzly Radio, community radio for the festival that broadcasts live performances from multiple stages on multiple frequencies throughout the weekend, and the High Sierra Kidzone, which features parades, arts and crafts, circus performances, special musical performances, activities and games.

One of the best features of High Sierra is the accessibility of the artists. Since most artists play multiple sets throughout the four days, most of them actually hang out to sit-in with others or mingle with the crowds as if they are attendees themselves.



Béla Fleck & The Flecktones

My Morning Jacket

Nickel Creek

Greyboy All-Stars

Umphrey’s McGee

The Greyboy Allstars

Keller Williams

The Radiators

Son Volt


Railroad Earth

The Disco Biscuits

Garage a Trois

The Radiators

ReBirth Brass Band

Emeline Michel

Peter Apfelbaum & the New York Hieroglyphics featuring Abdoulaye Diabate

Robert Walter’s Super Heavy Organ

Porter Batiste Stoltz

Tea Leaf Green


Drew Emmitt Band

Joe Craven

The Slip

The Mother Hips

Hot Buttered Rum

The Everyone Orchestra

Surprise Me Mr. Davis

Hairy Apes BMX


Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Mia Dyson

The New Mastersounds

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

West Indian Girl

Chris Berry and Panjea

Steel Train

Toubab Krewe

Kris Delmhorst

SambaDá and Leva Samba

The Brakes

Apollo Sunshine

Scott Law Band

Jamie Janover

Adrienne Young and Little Sadie


The Chris Chandler and David Roe Show

Stymie & the Pimp Jones Luv Orchestra

Backyard Tire Fire

Shady Deal


Blue Turtle Seduction

Naomi and the Courteous Rudeboys

Sneakin’ Out

Raina Rose


Future Rock


The Old Nationals

Gran Bel Fisher

Stevie Barsotti with Will Sparks

Living Folklore



(As calculated by mapquest.com from Denver, Co., to Quincy, Calif.).

Total Est. Time: 16 hours, 2 minutes

Total Est. Distance: 1,127 miles


ALONG THE WAY: If you are heading to the Sierra Mountain Range, you must make a stop to check out Lake Tahoe. Only two and a half hours from the festival site. It is one of the highest and largest lakes in North America.  Reno (the little Vegas in the mountains) is only 1.5 hours away for 24-hour gambling and boozing and those casino buffets.





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