High Sierra Music Festival 2017
Music festivals offer an escape from reality unlike almost any other kind of event. Festivals like Governor’s Ball, Lollapalooza, and Electric Zoo are great, but being in a big city, they don’t offer the same kind of complete escape and separation from the hustle and bustle of daily life like other rural-based festivals do. High Sierra Music Festival, located in the heart of the Feather River Country, near Lake Tahoe, in Quincy, CA, provides the holistic, freeing escape that many festival-goers so yearn for. The location, the music, and the people who attend all come together to form an environment where, for four hot summer days, life fervently thrives.
Settled among rolling hills and mountains, in the midst of endless forests of conifers, modern day minstrels could be heard playing their tunes all day and night, from four stages scattered throughout the grounds, ranging in size from massive to intimate. Mostly centering around the jam band world, attendees were whisked away by heroes of the genre like the Trey Anastasio Band, Gov’t Mule, Ween, and STS9. However, almost as impressive as the star-studded list of headliners, was the collection of lesser-known musicians from a broad range of genres like soul, funk, R&B, world, Americana, rock, and even the occasional electronic group. While lots of music festivals are mainly about seeing your favorite revered artists, High Sierra is also a place of discovery.
When taking a breather from the music, relaxing in the shade of the trees, and taking in the clean mountain air excluded dullness from the environment. For those who camped off-site, abundant hiking was a welcoming nearby activity, along with bathing in picturesque streams and lakes that cross and dot the countryside. Aside from the soulful music and the refreshing, wild terrain, the people who attend the event are what make it so special. High Sierra is like a summer camp for adults. Elaborate group camping set-ups created a lovely atmosphere of sharing, community, and inclusiveness; festival veterans reunited and rejoiced, while still welcoming newbies to the party. As the hours grew late, the trees were illuminated by glowing lights, mobile art installations roamed around the grounds, and much unbridled festivities grew in intensity, but not to the point of disaster, as is the case at many other festivals. Respectfulness was ubiquitous at High Sierra – everybody took care of each other and made sure a good time was had by all. And so closes another spectacular year at High Sierra Music Festival: incredible music, breathtaking scenery, and a marvelous group of individuals coming together to celebrate life.