The 4th Annual Lost Sierra Hoedown is now just two months away. While there are bigger and flashier festivals around Northern California, the Hoedown offers an experience that is something different. The event began in 2013 as a senior project of Sierra Nevada College students with two goals in mind: supporting the historic Johnsville Ski Bowl and bringing sustainability to music festivals. In it’s fourth year, those values are still there.
The Lost Sierra Hoedown offers 4 days of music, camping and camaraderie. The lineup for this year includes a little bit of everything. Although the roots of the festival are based in Americana, with no shortage of banjoes and mandolins – there’s a little bit of everything sprinkled in. The Stone Foxes join the headliners this year, bringing a bit of straight rock and roll flavor to the event. The wildly popular Rabbit Wilde will also be returning for a rare northern California appearance. The Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit will also be back to provide some rowdy fun after a summer hiatus. There’s just too many good things happening in the lineup to mention them all!
The event is held right at the Johnsville Ski Bowl, near the town of Graeagle, about one hour north of Truckee. The ski area is the home of the nation’s first ski races. Local miners created their own “snowshoes”, up to 11 feet long, and secret mixtures of waxes and pine tar “dope” to increase the odds of winning those early races. Those same miners reportedly also created the first know ski lift, by utilizing the ore carts that were already in place for mining operations. The Plumas Ski Club continues to hold several longboard races a year at the Ski Bowl.
One thing that separates the Lost Sierra Hoedown from other festivals is that there is just one ticket that covers everything. That ticket covers four days of music, onsite camping, parking and admission for kids 12 years and under. It also includes an awesome ceramic pint glass from Earth-In Canteen, eliminating the use of plastic cups at the event. One day tickets for the event are not available. In order to protect the venue, ticket sales are limited to only 500 tickets, and those will definitely sell out as full 4 day tickets. That in itself changes the nature of the festival, bring a strong sense of community and camaraderie. Amongst that community you will find many Alpine Meadows people.
Ticket prices for this year’s festival have risen significantly. This year’s tickets are priced at $160 for the 4 day ticket. That’s a bit of a jump over previous years. Event organizers have had to deal with reality though. In the first couple of years, everybody was willing to donate time or materials to support the new event. But as the event has continued into it’s fourth year, the expenses keep building. Permit fees alone for the event have more than doubled over time – as have expenses for the simple things like sanitation and security. The reality is that similar 4 day festivals in the region will cost anywhere from $250 to 500 for a 4 day ticket when you factor in extra costs for camping and parking. The Lost Sierra Hoedown continues to be a true bargain.
The Lost Sierra Hoedown has sold out every year for the last three years and this year will be no different. Ticket sales are beginning to move fast, so we encourage you to commit soon and not be “that guy” having a freak out at the gate because no tickets are available. There’s also still some volunteer spots available to earn your ticket to the event. As always, we look forward to seeing our Alpine Meadows friends for an amazing autumnal equinox weekend.