Schellraiser 2023: Meat Puppets, Joy Formidable, Asleep At The Wheel

Blue Water Highway plays an early show at the first Schellraiser Music Fastival. Tahoe Onstage photos by Shaun Astor

The Schellraiser Music Festival has released the lineup for its second year, which stays consistent with 2022’s inaugural event of oversized bands and performers with styles ranging from Americana and outlaw country to lo-fi electronic to swinging country tinged alt punk to flat out rock and roll with strong leanings toward the esoteric and creatively convention pushing side of the sound spectrum packed into the smalltown mountain valley of Eastern Nevada.

Scheduled to kick off the summer in 2023, Schellraiser, named for the off-the-grid feeling Schell Creek Mountain Range that bookends the valley that the old mining town of McGill sits in, exists in a seemingly untouched corner of Nevada – just outside the historical town of Ely. Taking place over several days at a park beside a large natural warm springs fed pool, Schellraiser will have two stages set beneath the trees. The environment adds an essential ingredient to the festival experience, with the quaint environment leading to interactions between attendees and the regulars at The McGill Club bar following the shows close out nightly, and campers at the adjacent festival-owned Schellraiser Campground having musical sessions or sharing drinks beneath the stars underneath the dark sky valley after the festival wrapped up each night.

Headliners for this year’s June 1-3 festival include enduring rock band, the Meat Puppets, along with Welsh rock group The Joy Formidable, Americana group Blitzen Trapper, and western swing band Asleep At The Wheel.

Rounding out the three night festival are over two dozen other nationally touring performers including The Secret Sisters, Murder By Death, Jenny Don’t & The Spurs, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, White Rose Motor Oil, Blackwater Holylight, The Paranoyds, Tropa Magica, Noelle & The Deserters and the Mellons.

2022’s Schellraiser Festival was able to use the smalltown feel to set the tone for some atypical sets, with performers calling up others on the day’s lineup for impromptu collaborations, the entertaining announcements of a local dispensary running a free ‘Canna-Bus’ shuttle service between festival grounds and the local dispensary throughout the days, as well as bumping into performers at slot machines and hotel swimming pools in the local lodges over the course of the weekend.

With a portion of last year’s ticketing fees going to benefit the Northern Nevada Railway Museum and the improvement of the excursion train tracks running between the East Ely Station and the town of McGill last year, Schellraiser’s ticket sales are also a vehicle to help with the restoration of McGill’s historic buildings.

Lodging options include the nearby Schellraiser Campground which caters to tent and car camping, as well as offering furnished glamping yurts onsite. Several quirky and historic hotels are in Ely lying 10 minutes up the road from the festival site.

With a June 1 weekend date, eastern Nevada’s Schellraiser Music Festival is poised to bring on the summer with a mix of bands and performers in a scenic location that feels miles away from any other music festival on its scale in Nevada.

-Shaun Astor

ABOUT Shaun Astor

Shaun Astor
Shaun Astor cites pop music singers and social deviants as being among his strongest influences. His vices include vegan baking, riding a bicycle unreasonable distances and fixating on places and ideas that make up the subject of the sentence, "But that’s impossible…" He splits his time between Reno and a hammock perched from ghost town building foundations. Check out his work at www.raisethestakeseditions.com

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