June Lake Jam Fest welcomes back live crowds

The June Lake Jam Festival is rather intimate as far as festivals go. It’s never had more than 1,000 on a single day.
Photo By Rupert Coles

Imagine jamming together friends, family, a magnificent mountainscape, listening to 14 cool bands. Wait, this is not a “Sunshine Daydream.” A real live June Lake Jam Fest will be held Sept. 10-12.

The annual event in California’s Eastern Sierra was a live-streamed affair in 2020 but it will be back at its old stomping and singing grounds this year at Gull Lake Park, elevation 7,500 feet on the June Lake Loop, about 20 miles north of Mammoth Lakes.

“June Lake Jam Fest is a highlight of the year, for sure,” said Jon Siembieda of Hunter & The Dirty Jacks. “The setting is pristine, like a postcard. The crowd is fun and lively, but it still feels intimate and not too big. The lineups are always well thought-out, and it’s all for a great cause – helping kids learn music.”

This year’s festival will benefit the nonprofit June Lake Loop Performing Arts Association.

Bands include Groove Session, Cubensis and the Dead Winter Carpenters. After-party shows will be held at the T-Bar Social Club.

Full Moonalice plays on Saturday, Sept. 11.

“June Lake Jamfest is a gem of an event which focuses on strengthening the ties within our music community,” said Jesse Dunn of the Dead Winter Carpenters. “An abundance of love and care is poured into the entire production and it is a pleasure to play for friends and fans in the Eastern Sierra.”

The festival began in 2015, an idea born out of an anniversary party.

“My husband and I wanted to celebrate our 30th anniversary,” said founder Janet Hunt. “I was going to try to get Cubensis to play private party at the Brewery, but it only fit 100. I thought there’s a lot of people in the Eastern Sierra that would love to hear this band play so I started thinking we should make it a community event and if its going to be a community event I want it to raise some money for something. I had a relationship with the Mono Lake Arts Council, that’s how it all stated.”

June Lake is a fishing town. The event caught on with the community, as it saw its benefits to the arts community and that the tie-dye crowd is mindful of the environment. Most concertgoers attend every year and the festival has grown from one to three days.

As they perform, the bands face fantastic mountain scenery.

“If you are a band that plays at night, it might be easier,” Achilles Wheel guitarist Paul Kamm said. “But we’ve done afternoon, early evening sets with the sun is spectacularly displaying those mountains and it can be both inspiring and distracting.

“The festival is not huge but it has that kind of charm. We have lots of friends on the Eastern Sierra and we want to give a big shout out to everyone as we move into the next chapter.”

One of the most intriguing bands at the June Lake Jam Fest is a supergroup, Full Moonalice, a large ensemble that recently added the T Sisters – Erika, Rachel and Chloe Tiejen — and Chambers Brothers member Lester Chambers and his son Dylan. The other well-known members are John Molo, Barry Sless, Roger McNamee and Pete Sears.

-Tim Parsons

  • June Lake Jam Fest 7, ‘Family Reunion’ Edition
    When:
    Friday through Sunday, Sept. 10-12
    Where: Gull Lake Park, June Lake Loop
    Website: https://www.junelakejamfest.org/
  • Friday, Sept. 10
    4 p.m. – Mountain Sky Trio
    6 p.m. — Jelly Bread
    8 p.m. – Dead Winter Carpenters
  • Saturday, Sept. 11
    10 a.m. – Tracorum
    Noon – Hunter & The Dirty Jacks
    2 p.m.  – The Storytellers
    4 p.m. — Shaky Feelin’
    6 p.m. – Full Moonalice
    8 p.m. – Cubensis
  • Sunday, Sept. 12
    10 a.m. – Hempstring Orchestra
    Noon – Alex Jordan Band
    2 p.m. – Scott Pemberton Band
    4 p.m. — Achilles Wheel
    6 p.m. — Groove Session
  • T-Bar Social Club pre-and-after-parties
    2588 CA-158, June Lake
    Thursday, Sept. 9 — The Storytellers, 8 p.m.
    Friday, Sept. 10, – Lightning Dan & the Crawdads, 10 p.m.
    Saturday, Sept. 11 – The Alligators, 10 p.m.

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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