Mountain Vibe enjoys sweet sound of success at 9th fest

Tahoe Onstage

If you ever go to Mountain Vibe, you will want to come back every summer.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Pheonix Gruneich

Mid-July is what we Vibers look forward to every year. Blue Mountain Center in Wilseyville, California, is where we call home for the weekend. Some at Mountain Vibe unplug from the world, some only take their phones out for pics, some leave their kiddos at home and enjoy a kid-free weekend and some bring the whole family. I would say more families and kids came this year than any other year prior. It’s great the next generation gets to enjoy this, as well. Maybe one day they will all take it over. No matter who comes with you, everyone enjoys their time.

A hot year this round, so the watering hole and creek were extra refreshing, but people always make time for the bands they want to see, even if Mr. Sun is present. Bands really stepped up their game this year, along with new bands joining the vibe. Josh and Matt of Cloud Parade Productions made the sound larger than life. Lots of new friends joined in and it’s most wonderful when everyone stays all weekend.

Pheonix Gruneich / Tahoe Onstage

A new disc golf course led to a tournament, how cool is that? Campers didn’t dare forget all the off-road fun and places to ride the toys! Lots of RVs at Mountain Vibe 9. Thursday usually is jam night onstage, but most stayed around their camp and hung out with friends. Jam sessions were not lacking at various campsites, though. Walking around listening to everything and taking it all in is what I like most. Friday some are still arriving and quick to set up camp to enjoy with the Vibers. Some even show up on Saturday but again it’s better when you stay the whole weekend. Campsites — and toys brought — are stepped up every year to deck out and make things comfortable. In my view, it was definitely the best year for the campgrounds. The more Vibers the sweeter the success. Mountain Vibe has indeed achieved the campfire dream turned into reality.

I reached out to several folks for their perspectives and here’s what they had to say:

Pheonix Gruneich / Tahoe Onstage

Jeramie Busse of Overland

Jeramie Busse, leader singer and rhythm guitarist for Overland, the Friday night headliners: “There is a very strong emphasis on community amongst most musicians. That really helps bring people together with a sense of unity and acceptance, no matter what kind of music you play you can find a place with everyone at Mountain Vibe. For us, Music allows expression in such creative ways, both mentally and physically. We make sure each year we get to play, that we challenge ourselves to put on a better performance than the last.”

Jenny Drachman, wife of Mountain Vibe founder Allen Drachman: “Every Mountain Vibe holds special meaning to me. But I especially enjoyed myself this year. Seeing my 3-year-old son dancing with his friends makes me proud that they will grow up with an appreciation for music and community. One of the very special things about Mountain Vibe is the investment our MV family makes — whether you’ve attended all nine years, volunteered, played with your band, or worked behind the scenes. Once you make the trip, you are already thinking to the year ahead. You can’t imagine missing out because you are a part of the family now.”

Miki Rae shared her thoughts after playing her first Mountain Vibe: “My experience at MV9 was incredible and I hope to be back at the future Mountain Vibes. Playing my music for all of those beautiful people filled me with such a positive and powerful feeling. Everyone was so kind and sharing with one another. We all started out as strangers, but in the end we were all friends and family.”

Tahoe Onstage

Ashley Velez of Mama Foxxy and the Whiskey Gypsy Rebels at Mountain Vibe 2018.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Pheonix Gruneich

Ashley Velez, lead singer of the band Mama Foxxy and the Whiskey Gypsy Rebels: “There’s something cosmically magical that flows through the air at Mountain Vibe Music Festival. At our fourth year in the tribe, it’s magnetic to feel the vibrations through the music, the interactions, and the love the moment you enter the meadow. Our latest song, “Mountain Vibe,” was inspired by the undeniable enchantments of this festival as we submerge you into that weekend of bliss through our melody.”

Mountain Vibe founder Allen Drachman (Al or Al-T for his pals) was happy with a great year for No. 9:. “We had more than 200 more people this year. A huge part of that was our website and the utilization of social media. Those were the big keys to our success. It continues to grow, too, which is wonderful. We are ramping it up for Year 10 and have exciting things in the works. Thank you Mountain Vibers.”

As always, thanks to the staff, volunteers, vendors, helpers, bands, kiddos, friends and family. See you next year, vibe tribe.

— Pheonix Gruneich

Tahoe Onstage

Forrest Day headlines Mountain Vibe on Saturday night.
Pheonix Gruneich / Tahoe Onstage

  • Mountain Vibe 2018 bands
  • Friday: Overland, The Big Fit, Swoon, Island of Black & White, Two Peace, Mama Foxxy and the Whiskey Gypsy Rebels, Well Secluded, Miki & Robbie, False Rhythms, The Human Will
  • Saturday: Forrest Day, Mojo Green, Planting Seeds, Street Urchinz, Coast Tribe, J-RAS & The Higher Elevation, Burnt, Radiokeys, Rossmorr, Mourning Mountains, Arkaen, Northerner

    Tahoe Onstage

    Like giant bumble bees, John, Matt and Stephen of the Party Patrol buzz about the festival.
    Pheonix Gruneich

    Tahoe Onstage

    Miki Rae

    Tahoe Onstage

    Jenny Drachman

    Tahoe Onstage

    Swoon fills the Wilseyville evening on opening night.

About Pheonix Gruneich

Photojournalist Pheonix Gruneich is a native of Southern California where her love of music began. She moved to Tahoe when she was 16. She now resides in the Carson Valley. She is a lover of arts and, most of all, live music!

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