I have been to a lot of music festivals. While most of them have been amazing, none of them have been as organized as High Sierra Music Festival. This is the 27th year that the festival has existed, and it shows. In addition to being a well-run festival, I also found the staff, musicians, and attendees to be amongst the nicest people I’ve met.
For example, using a blanket to stake out the perfect location in front of a festival stage is super common. On many occasions, I have been yelled at by festival attendees for stepping on their blanket or blocking their view by standing in front of their picnic setup. Many attendees of High Sierra brought blankets to sit on, however, every time I needed to pass they’d move it so I could get by. In fact, a few festival guests even started conversations with me, many of them asking if I needed a drink or something to eat. Why are HSMF attendees so nice?
Perhaps it has something to do with the daily parades, with costumes provided for those that want to participate. Or maybe it’s the daily wine and beer tasting in an air-conditioned building. It could be the daily yoga sessions, or the time spent relaxing at the pool. Whatever it is, attendees of HSMF have found an oasis and want to keep it that way.
I enjoyed the reasonably priced food trucks. In fact, I ate all of my meals from a truck and I didn’t feel price gouged. I wanted to eat all of the food options, but I was unable to visit each one. However, I did enjoy some ravioli’s, a gyro, grilled cheese, cheeseburger, breakfast burrito, tacos, corn dog, and pizza. They also had lots of organic veggie, vegan and gluten-free options.
The band lineup at High Sierra was fresh to me. I saw bands I love and discovered a lot of new bands I didn’t know. For example, they had music from a few bands I follow like, Con Brio, The Brothers Comatose, Tank & The Bangas, and Deer Tick. As well as some new discoveries that I am in love with like Gene Evaro Jr, and Sweet Crude. The lineup also included Trey Anastasio Band, Ween, STS9, Gov’t Mule, Andrew Bird, Snarky Puppy, Galactic, BoomBox, The Record Company, Ott & The All-Seeing I, Lebo & Friends, and more. I feel like I discovered new bands every day.
PROS • With 27 years of experience, the festival has had a lot of practice and it shows. They operate a well-oiled machine that provided 4 full days of enjoyment.
• Every band plays at least 2 sets. If you miss their first set, you can always catch their second set the next day. Also if you loved their first set you can see them again 24hrs later.
CONS • Quincy, California is 4+ hours away from San Francisco.
• Temperatures in Quincy averages about 100 degrees in July.