For this Adventure of the Week, TMS Blog Editor Julie Brown writes about the High Sierra Music Festival, which took place in Quincy over the Fourth of July weekend.
Who: Julie and lots of friends
What: High Sierra Music Festival
When: July 5 to 8
For years, my friend has always told me that I should go to the High Sierra Music Festival. But being on the Fourth of July weekend, I’ve always had to work and made excuses. Not this year. I finally put my foot down and bought my four-day ticket to this little festival with a big heart. And after four whirlwind days of solid music, dancing the night away, 95-degree-cool temps, camping in stables with an endless crew of friends, and immersing myself in an eclectic community of music lovers, I’m sitting here writing this and thinking: Did High Sierra really happen? I’ll definitely be attending the High Sierra Music Festival again next year, and for years to come after that.
The town of Quincy is small and quiet. But for four days, the High Sierra Music Festival transforms this sleepy town into a pulsing city of tents that never goes to bed. When we arrived, camps were set up in a matter of minutes. Shady Grove, the most popular camping area, was filled to the brim immediately. Good thing our friends beelined to the stables, and reserved a nice area under the shade. Conveniently located next to the Vaudeville Tent where dozens of bands played all day, this was our home sweet camp for the weekend. And we filled it with friends of friends of friends from Tahoe and Davis and Reno and SLO and beyond.
I can’t give you an exact rundown of this and that. It’s all blurred together in a mesmerized medley of color and eclectic people and dancing and hot sun and good music and late nights. But I can give you a couple glimpses of favorite moments:
Like watching Tahoe’s hometown band, the Dead Winter Carpenters, kill it on the Grandstand stage in front of hundreds of patrons.
Stumbling upon a silent disco at 3 am, where to the observer people danced in silence, but to the participant, a massive dance party could be accessed via head phones.
Falling in love with new music — the folksy Elephant Revival, Rubblebucket whose lead singer is full of rad personality and jumped into the crowd to dance with the rest of us, Delicate Steve, Kids These Days, David Garza… there was so much!
Rediscovering music legends like Toots and the Maytals. And getting to know the bands I already listen to. STS9 put on one crazy light show.
Destroyed guitars and crowd surfing.
Lotus drew me right up front. And I spent the last few late night hours of the weekend with Paper Diamond and Big Gigantic, closing out the festival with some sweet beats and jams.
High Sierra sold out this year. And I am very happy that I got to be part of the celebration. It was my first time at High Sierra Music Festival, but definitely not the last.
Mountain Hardwear Pinole 20 Degree Sleeping Bag
Snow Peak Spork
Eagle Nest Single Hammock