Wanderlust in Squaw Valley has drawn thousands of people to the enchanting valley to get in touch with their mind, body and soul through yoga, meditation, outdoor adventures and inspirational speakers. What can sometimes get lost among this cascade of activities is the quality of the music lineup, which usually boasts the most eclectic festival mix you’ll find in Tahoe over the summer. This year is no different.
The July 14-17 festival is half the brainchild of Jeff Krasno, who has been able to create a festival that combines two of his passions, yoga and music. Krasno worked for RCA Records in the 1990s and founded his own hybrid record label and management company, Velour Music Group, in 1999. He has worked with Kaki King, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dar Williams and Soulive, among others. Soulive also just happens to be his brother Eric Krasno’s band … no big deal. His musical background combined with his wife Schuyler’s yoga retreats helped to inspire the vision for Wanderlust, which launched its first festival in 2009.
From the outset, music has been an integral part of the Wanderlust experience and this year’s lineup is going to leave an impression on all who choose to delve into the positive vibes, whether singing and dancing in the middle or dropping into some poses on the outskirts of the crowd.
Reggae royalty Stephen Marley is the quintessential headliner choice for a yoga festival in Tahoe. The whole of the Marley family provides the soundtrack to approximately half the summer adventures taking place at any one time in and around the lake. His positive vibes and humongous catalog of music will be a welcomed with open arms and open ears, a weekend-favorite to be sure. Beats Antique already has established themselves as regional darlings with its many trips to area over the years. The hypnotic rhythms and surreal atmosphere of its gypsy dance music will leave people dancing and grinding on each other in a primal burst of celebration. The outlier of the headliners is indie-psych rock band Yeasayer, but when the band’s beautiful wave of distorted haze inevitably washes over the the crowd, especially from its latest offering “Amen & Goodbye,” many will be found in corpse pose happily absorbing the sonic spectacle.
The wide swath of performers continues to impress as you move through the undercard. There is an array of DJs to move people through electronic washes of color. Tasha Blank, DJ Drez, JUFRO and Kaminanda all bring a creative touch to the dance floor with Amore One and DJ Taz Rashid also providing spiritual beats. Dustin Hilton, Son Little and Cleome Bova offer captivating performances for lovers of folk, blues, and soul and desert rocker Gene Evaro Jr. will add a little funk and grit to the proceedings. People looking to stretch their musical consciousness even further will be fulfilled by the transcendent, ethereal music of double bassist and composer Garth Stevenson or the liberating pulse of Parashakti’s Trance Dance.
Taken all together, the music at the 2016 edition of Wanderlust Squaw Valley LINK is truly a fantastic kaleidoscope of sound and will be one of many highlights of a festival full of them.