The Top 4 Reasons you should attend High Sierra Music Festival

by Kara Murphy on June 28, 2010

The twentieth Annual High Sierra Music Festival, which takes place in Quincy, CA, is almost upon us and if you’re still seeking out plans for the long weekend of July 4th, then you should consider heading up to the mountainous town located eighty miles North of Reno to experience four days of music, exercise, workshops, parades and much, much, more.

Formed in 1991, the family-oriented, kid-friendly festival attracts between 7,000 – 8,000 attendees as well as a myriad of influential music acts that span across neo-hippie jam band-friendly genres including roots rock, electronica, afrobeat, jazz, bluegrass, and funk. There’s a lot of entertaining options offered up on the Plumas Sierra Fairgrounds to consider so without further ado, here are the top four reasons you should attend High Sierra Music Festival (HSMF)…

1) Rock out to the eclectic musical line-up (obviously)

Since its inception, the festival has consistently attracted established bands, some even on a recurring basis (The Slip has performed 12 consecutive times), and this year’s roster is no exception. In fact, with headliners including The Black Crowes, Widespread Panic, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Femi Kuti and Positive Force, Ozomatli, The Avett Brothers, as well as Bay Area-based sensation Big Light, many who are performing at least two separate sets, this is the most eclectic line-up in the festival’s history. To view and customize your own schedule, click here.

2) Have fun while contributing to the greater good

Whether you’re eco-conscious, charitable, or both, opportunities abound to exercise green responsibility and give back to those in need. The Conscious Alliance Food Drive will be giving out a limited edition HSMF poster to anyone who donates 10 or more non-perishable food items while Rock the Earth will reward cell phone recycling with 35 free tracks from eMusic as well as entries into a sweepstakes for festival memorabilia.

On the environmental end, Simple Fuels will ensure that all generators run on biodiesel fuel and transform all their vendor supplied plates, napkins, cups, and cutlery into compost. Clean Vibes pledges to provide every automobile and campsite with two bags – one for trash and the other for recyclables. They’re still looking for help and will give volunteers a free festival pass. Basically, their whole objective is to make sure everyone leaves the festival grounds cleaner than how they were found.

3) Unwind in a beautiful setting

Free Yoga, Pilates, hooping, and belly dancing classes will be provided outdoors every single day. Feel like swimming? There are local rivers as well as on-site pools. All the while, you can watch the daily parades performed by the artists and puppeteers hailing from local artistic Mecca, Willits. Festival attendees can even dress up and join the parade if the inspiration strikes.

4) Expand your horizons

Workshops for kids of all ages and films covering topics such as the origination of funk-jazz, the birthplace of the West Coast festival scene, and the dynamics that create the unique bond of a band are just a few of the options. You can also learn how to get your music placed/licensed in films, soundtracks and television shows from some of the executives that make those decisions or find out how to digital rights management, copyrights, and music publishing can work to your advantage.

No matter what, HSMF promises to be a fantastic and fulfilling experience for all those in attendance. Four-day passes, which include camping, cost $195 for adults and $50 for kids. Single-day tickets start at $50.

Finally, for those of you with an iPhone, the iSierra app. is beautifully constructed (nice work, Seed Labs) and is free to download here. Hope to see you at the festival.

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