Back at it again: High Sierra Music Festival 2019

In my mind, the colorful “how’s it goin” hippies who yearly frequent the High Sierra Music Festival all reside at the Plumas County Fairgrounds throughout the 51 weekends I’m away.

For the better half of a decade, I’ve ventured 80 miles from Reno to celebrate The Fourth of July weekend and get a little dirty in Feather River country. This beautiful place has a way of luring you back. Each time, I’m immediately greeted by the same flock of festival goers and staff. Greg at the gates of the main stage smiles and makes you feel like you’re old friends, home again.

The spirit of the holiday was alive in the red, white and blue spanks and bandannas.

I watched Mandolin Orange from North Carolina first. They played Peter Rowan’s “Land Of The Navajo” to juxtapose the celebration of independence.

The two-piece is Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz. Each have quick fingers for string instruments as well as wonderful voices. His is strong and subtle, hers, flowery and rich.

A quick walk around the festival proves the whole gang is back together.

Hey, there’s that pony-tailed guy with a soul patch! Oh no wait, there he is!

There’s that guy eating a sushi hand roll while seated, staring directly and contently at a wall.

And of course, there’s that golden sequin pimp. But don’t worry, you’ll see the same people handfuls of times throughout the weekend for some reason.

On Independence Day, a day to celebrate freedom, at probably one of the most liberal, gluten-free places you can imagine, I heard this quote told to a child: “Boys are boys and girls are girls. No matter what your teacher tells you at school.”

But we can’t judge a group from a single person.

Here’s another direct quote: “I want a pet skunk so bad,” a woman said to herself very seriously.

A true marketplace for thoughts and ideas.

— Tony Contini will be talking to bands and seeing shows for (four) days – check back here for features and photos!

About Tony Contini

Photographer and journalist Tony Contini graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in art photography. He loves working with bands and telling stories. Photography portfolio:

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