By Jonathan Keller
June 29 - July 2
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
The Greyboy Allstars
The Disco Biscuits
Garage a Trois
ReBirth Brass Band
Peter Apfelbaum & the New York Hieroglyphics featuring Abdoulaye Diabate
Robert Walter’s Super Heavy Organ
Porter Batiste Stoltz
Tea Leaf Green
Drew Emmitt Band
The Mother Hips
Hot Buttered Rum
The Everyone Orchestra
Surprise Me Mr. Davis
Hairy Apes BMX
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
The New Mastersounds
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
West Indian Girl
Chris Berry and Panjea
SambaDá and Leva Samba
Scott Law Band
Adrienne Young and Little Sadie
The Chris Chandler and David Roe Show
Stymie & the Pimp Jones Luv Orchestra
Backyard Tire Fire
Blue Turtle Seduction
Naomi and the Courteous Rudeboys
The Old Nationals
Gran Bel Fisher
Stevie Barsotti with Will Sparks
(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.