SNC Senior Tom Letson, Rob Armenti and Robbie Moen jam it out backstage.
SNC Senior Tom Letson, Rob Armenti and Robbie Moen jam it out backstage.

Remember, it’s a hoedown not a music festival. In 2013, a few dedicated patrons including Sierra Nevada College students and alumni Drew Fisher, Rachel Blum and Cody Wilkins created the Lost Sierra Hoedown, a sustainable musical get together with a mission. On Sept. 18-22 at the Johnsville Ski Bowl, the Hoedown returned and the show continued as if the year long hiatus had never happened.

The Hoedown is a temporary utopia where like-minded people go to stomp their feet, cook up Whisperlite delicacies and explore the natural beauty of the Johnsville Ski Bowl. It lasted four days and in all that time the music never stopped. During any hour of the day there was sure to be a group of people playing all varieties of instruments from guitars to spoons. The bass player for Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit even whipped out his mustache for a birthday solo. The mustache solo is an art form that has been perfected by the Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit and must be seen to be believed.

A few other bands that rocked the Hoedown and helped kick up a whole lot of dust included Miner, Sneaky Creatures, The Dead Winter Carpenters and Willie Watson. Tom Letson, SNC senior, played a mean banjo with Bobcat Rob Armenti on the third night of the Hoedown. Justin Miner, lead singer for the band Miner, stated on stage that it was probably their “best show ever.”

Unlike many simple festivals, the Johnsville experience goes further than the music. Attendees occupied their time during the day mountain biking in the Sierras, participating in morning yoga, skinny-dipping in Eureka Lake or simply recovering from the night before.

Strangers became friends, friends danced and sang, and it all happened for a purpose: To bring back the Johnsville Ski Bowl. According to the Plumas Ski Club website, the people of Johnsville were strapping on skis way back in the 1860’s. Early miners would haul down the 2,600 foot ski run on elongated wooden skis called longboards and the ski bowl became one of the first ski lodges in the country.

Hoedown-LongboardsAll of the proceeds from the Hoedown go to the Ski Johnsville Fund, which aims to bring back the ski bowl and celebrate the times that men and women had there 150 years ago. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company even sponsored the event and promised all of the proceeds from their on site beer sales to the fund.