Festival Tour Summer ’19 pt.1

J. Grant StaffordSummer '19 Festival TourLeave a Comment

7/2/19. 10pm. Quincy, CA.

Shelby and I left North San Juan around 10:30am this morning. First stop was for the trailer in Nevada City. We hitched that right up and then headed to Dupre’s Bakery, a family business in Colfax, for forty-five loaves of San Francisco Sourdough, Rte 174 to 80W and made 2 stops in Sacramento for dry ice and açaí. In Quincy by 3pm.

The drive from Sacramento is about 3 hours and it’s a beautiful one with California gold in the foothills up and into the heart of the Northern Sierra via the Feather River gorge.

The Feather River looks a lot like the Yuba with its smooth, granite boulders, but its gorge is steeper and deeper than the Yuba’s, at least from what I’ve seen, but one can’t drive up the Yuba River valley.

Quincy is a mountain valley town. Mostly forest service employees and some local businesses. There’s some special spots. Shelby and I day-dreamed about living here for a minute. But, it’s remote. Well, Sierraville is only thirty minutes, and Truckee about an hour. We may take that route 89 through Truckee on the way home.

At this moment, I’m in the camper and we’re parked on the side of the Old Quincy Schoolhouse, that was built in 1905. Amber is parked in her van, and Josh and Chloe just got here about fifteen minutes ago. He’s got a diesel E350 that’s just as loud as my truck. That same van broke-down on hwy 12 east of Napa during BottleRock.

Eric, Josh, and Chloe were on the way back to the hotel when Josh called me and I was just about to climb into bed with Shelby. Granpa Jay, the van broke down. We’re on the side of the highway. So, I drove out there and called AAA. We got a tow back to the hotel parking lot, and finished the weekend. Now, that E350 is running well with it’s new alternator. It made it up the mountain.

High Sierra check-in tomorrow at 9am. Earlier is better so we can get in and get parked before the main ingress of vendor arrivals. Always arrive early to a gig. It let’s you settle in and get orientated without the rush. I don’t like to rush if I don’t have to. Sense of urgency is maybe important; but sense of timing? That is pure gold.

I “insta-blammed” a lot today. Gonna try to document the fest but reception at the Plumas County Fairgrounds is still so so and has been that way for years.

It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the festival for so many years. This is my 15th year attending and 14th vending. It’s such a sweet vibe. Not many more like this one in California. You’d have to go to Colorado or further East to get to a festival with a similar line-up.

High Sierra is the first festival of a five-festival tour over the course of the next 50 days. Summer Tour. It’s also the first time in a long time I’ve had festivals lined up in August and we’ve got two in Belden Town, which is a little resort on the Feather River about twenty miles downriver from here.

So many memories I could share from High Sierra over the years. It used to be the big one for me, and it was a big job, but now it feels like a nice-sized fest. John played in front of the booth for four years starting in ’09. Now he’s on the line-up. And now Eric is performing this year. We know a lot of people at the festival this year. Should be great vibes.

7/4/19. HSMF. 8am.

Just waking up in the camper. It’s parked on a slight tilt so our heads were just a bit below our feet. We found a great spot for crew camp. It’s just on the other side of the volunteer camp area, where I had set up my tent in ’14 & ’15. Those were tight years. The land-grab at High Sierra is serious. Everyone is coming out with their family, friends, and crew and they all want the best chill spot possible for hanging during the fest. And HSMF is compact, so the campers, RVs and tents are inside the fairgrounds along with the stages, booths, and installations. I love it.

Dave M. came by and said hello, set-up trades for tickets to the late-night shows. Just text me the shows you want to see. High Sierra will be thirty years old next year, and it will also be sixteen years since I first attended it. Amazing. Now, I’m here with my wife, an probably be here with kids in a few years. It’s a reunion. I know so many people here now…going all the way back to my Santa Cruz days.

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