Dance the summer away

By Priya Hutner · 


Summer in Tahoe and the surrounding area offers a rockin’ good time this festival season. From the Sierra to the Bay Area, there’s more music and fun festivals to keep you dancing all summer long. Bask in the sun, party under the stars, and enjoy the line up of outdoor fun. Get your tickets online and if a show is sold out, check out Craigslist and Facebook. For more live music and Tahoe and Truckee, check out the Entertainment section in every edition of Tahoe Weekly or visit

Harvey’s Outdoor Concert Series

June 11-Sept. 9 | Stateline
Harvey’s brings out the big guns for this year’s Outdoor Concert Series, kicking off on June 11 with Brad Paisley, Harvey’s then continues to blow up summer with Aerosmith on July 3. July’s lineup features Imagine Dragons on July 18, Train on July 21 and Kenny Chesney on July 22. Jackson Browne will perform Aug. 7, Elton John returns on Aug. 8, followed by Slightly Stoopid on Aug. 13. Country artist Dierks Bentley will bring his Sounds of Summer tour to Tahoe on Aug. 23. The summer series wraps with Sammy Hagar on Sept. 5 and The Dave Matthews Band on Sept. 9.

Reggae in the Hills

June 12-14 | San Andreas
Get your irie on at this reggae extravaganza featuring uniquely designed stages with amazing lighting, extravagant shading structures, rich visuals and theatrical prop design. Headliners include Ky-mani Marley, Don Carlos, Bushman, Kabaka Pyramid, Stick Figure, House of Shem, E.N Young and more.

TOCCATA Summer MusicFest

June 17-23 | Local venues
The Tahoe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus kicks off its 10th Summer MusicFest with “Going For Baroque: Summer Solstice Series.” This festival is a tribute to the Classical and Baroque Masters, TOCCATA’s forte and features guest flutist, Josue Casillas.

Valhalla Summer Festival

June 17-Aug. 26 | South Lake Tahoe
The Valhalla Art, Music & Theatre Festival is a unique celebration of music, theater and the visual arts. The festival is set against the magnificent backdrop of Lake Tahoe and the Tallac Historic Site. In its 34th year, the Festival begins in mid-June with events and activities that continue throughout August. Highlights include master Scottish fiddler, Alasdair Fraser, and Beppe Gambetta, a true live master innovator of the acoustic guitar, along with Calidanza, bringing a fusion of traditional Mexican folk and contemporary dance. Add a production of “Midsummers Night Dream,” comedy and music on the lawn with local artists for a summer of fun.

Tahoe City Solstice Festival

June 18-21 | Tahoe City
Celebrate the start of summer with the annual Solstice Festival featuring the Farmers’ Market, Solstice Stroll Classic Car Show, live music at local venues, Tahoe City Wine Walk, North Tahoe Plein Air Open events, the Solstice Sip ‘n’ Shop, and kickoff of the summer Concerts at Commons Beach. The great outdoors take center stage during the events, guided tours, clinics and more at the Alpenglow Mountain Festival and during Adventure Sports Week.

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

June 19-21 | Boonville
Epiphany Artists present another intriguing lineup of the best in roots reggae and world music on two stages and in our late night Dance Hall. Come sing, dance and drum. Welcome the summer sun and embrace the sweet sounds of reggae and world music. This festival unites music and nature lovers from throughout the world. Headliners include Jimmy Cliff, Thievery Corporation, Steel Pulse, Common Kings, Soul Syndicate, The Mighty Diamonds, Big Youth and more.

Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival

June 27 | Stateline
The 3rd annual Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival returns with a reggae festival featuring an impressive lineup of artists to kick of the Hard Rock’s Base Jam concert series with co-headliners, Iration and Matisyahu. Also performing are top reggae groups The Green, Don Carlos, Fortunate Youth, Vokab Kompany and Squarefield Massive.

High Sierra Music Fest

July 2-5 | Quincy
This four-day festival features an eclectic mix of some of the most famous national and international names in jam band, newgrass and funk. Other represented genres include bluegrass, roots rock, electronica, reggae, jazz and afrobeat. The festival also offers films, movement play shops, yoga and Pilates. This years headliners include The String Cheese Incident, The California Honey Drops, Galactic, Boombox and more.


Beerfest & Bluegrass Festival

July 3 | Northstar
Northstar hosts the 9th annual Beerfest & Bluegrass Festival in The Village featuring live music from top Bluegrass bands including Grant Farm and The McCoy Tyler Band. With more than 30 local and regional breweries on tap, special children’s treats and activities, there is plenty to do.

4th of July celebrations

July 3-4 | Local venues
Looking for a great way to spend the July weekend in Lake Tahoe? Look no further than the live music, festivities, parades, fun runs, old-fashioned games and lots of fireworks to light up the Sierra with two days of firework celebrations from the shores of Lake Tahoe to Truckee.

Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival

July 10-Aug. 23 | Sand Harbor State Park
Imagine your toes in the sand, a fantastic bottle of wine nearby, a gourmet meal in hand along a performance of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” or the musical “The Fantasticks” all while basking in Lake Tahoe sunset. And, the Monday Night Showcase features a lineup of live entertainment and musical performances including “Broadway on the Beach,” an annual celebration of Broadway favorites, the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra, Beatles at the Beach, the Sierra Nevada Ballet, the Reno Jazz Orchestra, “Perfectly Frank,” with Bobby Caldwell and performances by Truckee’s InnerRhythms.

Art, Wine and Music Festival

July 11 | Squaw Valley
The Village at Squaw bursts with color, taste and sound as fine artists, craftsmakers, performers and musicians come to participate in this two-day event. The Art, Wine & Music Festival features wine tasting, performance stages, restaurants, shops and walkways lined with fine art booths and exhibits.

Lake Tahoe Bluegrass Festival

July 11 | Stateline
The inaugural Lake Tahoe Bluegrass Festival brings together Grammy-award winning musicians and artists for an all-day music event featuring Greensky Bluegrass, The Del McCoury Band, Jerry Douglas’ Earls of Leicester, The David Grisman Sextet and New Monsoon as part of the Base Jam series.


July 16-19 | Squaw Valley
Wanderlust Yoga Festival is an all-out, ecstatic yoga celebration. The festival brings together the world’s leading yoga teachers, top musical acts, renowned speakers, exquisite chefs and thrilling performers, weaving together an experience that surprises and delights. Musical performances include Michael Franti, MC Yogi, Thievery Corporation and Rob Garza, along with many others.

California World Music Festival

July 16-19 | Nevada City
A world of music under the cool, tall pines of the Sierra Foothills featuring eight stages of music from around the world, camping with family and friends, workshops, international food, crafts and kids’ activities. The festival features Beats Antique, King Sunny Ade & His African Beat, Todo Mundo and Buffy St. Marie.

Lake Tahoe Dance Festival

July 22-24 | Tahoe City
A highlight of summer in Tahoe City is the Lake Tahoe Dance Festival, known for bringing its first-rate artists from around the world. Enjoy this year’s diverse program celebrating the innovators of dance from classic works that helped shape the art form to the most promising choreographers of today.

Bass Camp III

July 25 | South Lake Tahoe
The Bass Camp Festival creates high-profile electronic dance music events year-round at seasoned, iconic venues and unique, undiscovered locations all along the west coast, but with its strong roots in Lake Tahoe, its return for the annual flagship Bass Camp Festival. This festival lineup includes Zeds Dead, Kill The Noise, Savoy, UZ and Tommie Sunshine.

Base Jam

July 30 | South Lake Tahoe
Ziggy Marley co-headlines with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue bringing more reggae to Tahoe. Marley and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, a funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop band promise to heat up the BaseJam Summer 2015 Outdoor Concert Series at Hard Rock.

Guitarfish Music Fest

July 30-Aug. 2 | Cisco Grove
This three-day family friendly celebration of art, music and community works to raise awareness of overfishing and pollution in the world’s oceans and provides education for stewardship of fresh watersheds, rivers and streams. Headliners include Tiny Universe, Kinky, Dead Winter Carpenters, Afrolicious, Con Brio, Polyrhythmics, Guitarfish Guitarmageddon, Jelly Bread, Mojo Green and more.

Lake Tahoe SummerFest

July 31-Aug. 6 | Incline Village, Nev.
If classical is what your looking for, look no further then to a magical musical experience at Sierra Nevada College. In its fourth season, Lake Tahoe SummerFest offers an array of classical music favorites performed by a dream orchestra comprised of the top players from the most renowned orchestras in the country. From Mozart to Mendelssohn, Beethoven to Bach, there is something for everyone in this year’s program.

Outside Lands

Aug 7-9 | San Francisco
The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival offers an amazing lineup of some of the best musicians around. Join Elton John, Wilco, Mumford & Sons, The Black Keys and Ben Harper. With plenty of music, food, fun, comedy and more, this festival will be a rockin’ good time.

Brews, Jazz & Funk

Aug. 8-9 | Squaw Valley
Festivalgoers may sip on a wide array of tasty beers from 40 breweries, as well as enjoy an incredible line-up of music on both days. Music headliners include Thick Newton, The Revivalists, Mingo Fishtrap, the Rebirth Brass Band and more.

Lake Tahoe Music Festival

Aug 18-22 | Local venues
Enjoy beautiful music on the lakefront and other intimate settings on the West Shore, Tahoe City and Truckee. The Lake Tahoe Music Festival Academy Orchestra features soloists Chris Kachain, renowned guitarist for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra, and Laurie Hamilton, concertmaster for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. This summer enjoy the music of Mozart, Schubert and Haydn.

Burning Man

Aug. 30-Sept. 6 | Black Rock City, Nev.
A city in the desert. A culture of possibility. A network of dreamers and doers. One of the biggest festivals of the year, Burning Man brings experiences to people in grand, awe-inspiring and joyful ways that lift the human spirit, address social problems and inspire a sense of culture, community and personal engagement. A life changing and transformative experience that brings music, art and creativity together along with 60,000 people to dance, play, love and be.

Alpen Wine Festival

Sept. 6 | Squaw Valley
Listen to live music and sample wine. This festival event includes a silent auction and raffle to benefit Can Do MS.

Nevada City Film Festival

Sept. 10-13 | Nevada City
Enjoy world-class independent films and meet filmmakers from across the globe all in a festive environment. This festival highlights independent and international films, live comedy, workshops and local filmmakers.

Guitar Strings vs. Chicken Wings

Sept. 11 | Squaw Valley
Battle of the bands meets battle of the wings in this unique event that raises money for Tahoe Institute of Natural Sciences. Participants pay $5 or $10 for voting tokens and wander the Village experiencing some of the region’s bands while sampling Squaw Valley’s hot wing recipes. At the end of the evening, only one band and one wing will reign supreme.

Trails & Vistas

Sept. 12 & 19 | Local venues
Trails & Vistas offer two locations to hike and enjoy live performances and art installations while taking in the beautiful surroundings of Tahoe at Spooner Lake on Sept. 12 and at Donner Ski Ranch on Sept. 19. The World Music Concert held on Sept. 12 at Sand Harbor features the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Peter Joseph Burtt and King Tide, world-renowned violinist Scarlet Rivera, Jazz harpist Motoshi Kosako, Tahoe Bagpiper Sean Cummings, double neck guitarist Ian Ethan and the Tsurunokai Taiko Drummers.

American River Music Festival

Sept. 18-21 | Coloma
Many years ago, the magic of the American River put a spell on some friends who were river guides and loved to play music. The spell cast the crazy notion to create a music festival to be held throughout the friendly river community of Coloma-Lotus. The 9th American River Music Festival features Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, The Shook Twins, The Painted Horses, The Infamous String Dusters and more.

Lost Sierra Hoe Down

Sept. 24-27 | Graeagle
The Lost Sierra Hoedown is a weekend of simple outdoor living and human-produced music you can dance to. With more folk, country, bluegrass and Americana than you stomp your boot to. This hoedown raises funds and awareness for the re-opening of Johnsville Historic Ski Bowl. The Lost Sierra Hoedown Lineup offers one-of-a-kind, artfully crafted musical adventures headlined by Miner, The Haunted Windchimes, Good Luck Thrift and more.


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Priya Hutner
Priya is a writer, personal chef and meditation teacher. Having moved to the mountains from Sebastian, Fla., she embraces the Tahoe lifestyle and loves to ski, hike, paddle and swim. Priya is the owner of The Seasoned Sage, a business that prepares organic meals and facilitates workshops that promote a health-conscious lifestyle. Priya writes feature articles about music, art, food and recreation. She loves to immerse in story. Whether jumping from a plane, eating obscure foods or hitting the Tahoe-Reno music scene, she is always up for adventure and experience. She is currently writing a memoir about her experience living on an ashram and working on a series of cookbooks.