High Sierra 2017 Review

In Buzz, Music Festivals by JoLow

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In an  interview with Festival partner,Rebecca Sparks she said “The People at High Sierra Make the Festival Special.” I couldn’t agree more. It was clear that many High Sierra festival goers had been there from its 1991 inception. The festival was filled with people of all ages and was very family friendly. The lineup consisted of funk, bluegrass, jam bands and live electronic acts many of which played multiple sets throughout the festival. We loved the entire festival, but here are some of the reasons High Sierra was so special.


Grateful Dead Playshop

ALO guitarist Dan “Lebo” hosted a Playshop (famous to High Sierra) titled “The 40th Anniversary Of Terrapin Station.” Lebo and his supporting cast covered every Grateful Dead song from the 1977 album. We were lucky enough to watch from backstage and chat with some major Dead Heads.

Snarky Puppy

This was my first time ever seeing Snarky Puppy and they did not disappoint. Each member of the group brought their own flare and personality as the crowd enjoyed one of the last shows of the festival.

El Ten Eleven & Boombox Late Night Show

I was lucky enough to attend the El Ten Eleven and Boombox late night show, which ended up being a major festival highlight. First El Ten Eleven graced the small late night venue with an amazing set. To close out the evening, BoomBox created one of the best dance parties of the festival playing till about 4AM.

Trey Anastasio Band

Trey and his band proved to be an excellent headliner for High Sierra Music Festival. The band played two amazing sets- opening and closing with a bang. The highlight of the show definitely were the finale when the group performed an acappella version of “The Parting Glass.” It felt as if the entire place stood still during this moment. Each member of the band had their opportunity to steal the spotlight throughout the performance.

Other music highlights included STSP, Galactic, Keller Williams, Con Brio, The Suffers, Sunsquabi, and Greyboy Allstars


It doesn’t get much more beautiful than the scenic views from Quincy, CA. Once you’re in the festival grounds, you’ve got gorgeous mountain views every way you look. The festival also gives you the option to easily leave and explore the surrounding areas. There are multiple places you can drive to nearby to cool off in the river. The most popular one being a 10-15 drive away with a great swimming area and multiple waterfalls.


At most camping festivals you are ushered into the campground and meticulously directed to park in a row of cars where you will be camping for the duration of the festival. Not at High Sierra! In fact, it’s pretty much free for all to find the best campsite to call your own. Although it was super hot during the day, finding a nice campsite on Hillside proved to be perfect. The trees provided natural shade that kept inside the forest a lot colder than when you got into the festival. You could also dig out your campsite and make it your own by digging stairs and flat areas. Additionally, within the fairgrounds itself, people could set up camp right next to the stages. Not so bad to be able to crawl out of your tent and be able to listen to live music!


The silent disco at High Sierra raises the bar for other festivals thanks to ZerOdB. What made this one special was the fact that festivals goers could take headphones anywhere throughout the festival grounds. Whether you wanted to dance all the way to your campsite, dance by the food tents or hang out by the silent disco field, there were no boundaries. For festival goers that couldn’t get enough music, the silent disco was perfect as lasted 24 hours. The DJs that played throughout the festival always had a group of people dancing no matter what time of day it was.

Thanks to all the artists, vendors and festival goers that made this festival special. High Sierra, we’ll see you again next year.

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