Tag Archives: GUITARFISH FESTIVAL

GUITARFISH IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE MUSIC FESTIVAL

Guitarfish Music Festival is one of the best-kept secrets for local music lovers and those travelling from afar wanting to bask in nature, soak up some beautiful Cali sun and listen to some great music. About 20 minutes from Truckee, it’s location make it an easy jaunt from the Bay Area, as well as the surround Reno/Tahoe areas and the idyllic location and super sweet vibes make it the perfect summer escape. Prepare for a festival experience that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and engaged, rather than depleted and over-stimulated.

Dance – River

July 25-28, 2018 – 9th Annual Guitarfish Music Festival at Cisco Grove Campground in Emigrant Gap, California. (Photo by Foster Snell)

How many festival sites have their own private river?? Guitarfish does! The south fork of the Yuba River runs along the south border of the beautiful Cisco Grove Campground which becomes the festival site for the duration of the event. During the heat of the day, attendees truly can ‘dance, river, repeat’.

The Funk-Fueled Lineup

The 2019 lineup features the likes of Kinky, The California Honeydrops, Yak Attack, Afrolicious and more. It’s an absolute treat to see these artists in an intimate setting, surrounded by the trees and boulders that make the dance floor into a natural amphitheater. The size of the festival (about 2000 people) means you can get up close to the stage and still have plenty of room to move, or hang a hammock in the trees nearby and still enjoy an unobstructed view of the stage.  Get a taste of what to expect with the official Guitarfish 2019 Spotify Playlist.

2019 Lineup Highlights – Not To Be Missed

Do check out: Kinky – Mexican dance-infused alt-rock; The California Honeydrops – vibrant energy and infectious dance-party vibes; Portland based livetronica power trio Yak Attack; dance fusion party instigators Afrolicious; Smoked Out Soul – hip-hop, funk, soul fusion; Earth Arrow – Afro beat/hip-hopjammed out eight-piece Diggin Dirt.

A Truly Family Friendly Experience\

July 25-28, 2018 – 9th Annual Guitarfish Music Festival at Cisco Grove Campground in Emigrant Gap, California. (Photo by Foster Snell)

The festival is uber family friendly! They have a dedicated family camp and stage (the Starfish Stage) with special activities and performances for the younger music lovers. The sweet community vibes of the festival help to create a safe and positive space and the organizers work hard to foster this atmosphere and make the festival an inclusive experience accessible and enjoyable for all ages.   

Don’t just take our word for it, here’s what others had to say about Guitarfish Music Festival.

“Ultimately though what makes Guitarfish so special is the community of people who attend. Spreading love and parading the ‘come as you are’ attitude with each action, the attendees create a energy that is like no other, and will have you wishing you never left.” Buzznet

“A hidden gem of an event in California with incredible live banks, beautiful forest, the Yuba river and insanely sweet vibes. This is where we let our hair down and celebrate some of the best musicians around, from funk to soul.” Yogascapes

“It’s the perfect place for music lovers to unplug from their hectic daily routines and reconnect with themselves and a pop-up community of around 2,000 humans.” Tahoe Weekly

The 9th Annual Guitarfish Music Festival is coming up July 25-28, if you’re looking for an event that’s true to its humble beginnings, where you can drop right in and feel like you’ve instantly joined the family, this is it!

For complete event info and tickets go to:  www.guitarfishfestival.com

Dance, river and repeat at 9th Annual Guitarfish Music Festival – July 25-28,2019.

The 9th Annual Guitarfish Music Festival is happening July 25-28, 2019 at the Cisco Grove Campground near Truckee, CA. The four-day festival is an intimate family-friendly camping and music experience made extra special by its magical setting in the Sierra Nevada. In addition to the super funky lineup, in 2019 attendees will see a new section of reservable RV sites, more art and interactive experiences and the same great vibes and relaxing afternoons by the river.   

On the funk-fueled initial lineup for 2019: Kinky – Mexican dance-infused alt-rock; The California Honeydrops – vibrant energy and infectious dance-party vibes; Portland-based livetronica power trio Yak Attack; dance fusion party instigators Afrolicious; Smoked Out Soul – hip-hop, funk, soul fusion; Earth Arrow – Afrobeat/hip-hopjammed out eight-piece Diggin Dirt; plus Mestizo Beat, Sal’s Greenhouse, Sambada, Midtown Social, The Ries BrothersBiddadat, Joy & Madness, The Golden Cadillacs, The Humidors, Peter Joseph Burtt & the King Tide, Pamela Parker & the Fantastic Machine and Jimmy Leslie’s Guitarfish Family Band.

Reserved RV sites are selling fast and are expected to sell out before the event. Each reserved site has power and water, and comes with 1 x vehicle pass. Guests can fit as many friends and fam on the site as they wish (as long as each has a wristband and extra vehicles have the appropriate vehicle pass). There are spaces available in Sections A & I (more availability) and Sections B & G (limited availability). More information and site map can be found at guitarfishfestival.com/camping-rv-sites.


About Guitarfish Music Festival
Established in 2011, Guitarfish is an annual event known for its funk-tastic, groove-fueled musical lineup and beautiful setting high in the Sierra. The stage features world class live music from funk and soul to rock and electronica and everything in between. The setting, the stunning Cisco Grove campground, comes complete with a natural amphitheater for a music bowl, ample shaded camping and its own swimming hole. Guitarfish offers everything else you would expect from a large-scale festival – great music, yoga, kids activities, vendors, workshops and art – in an intimate, family friendly setting. Since 2016, Guitarfish has been partnering with the Joshua Tree Music Festival to co-produce the event.  

For more info and tickets on GUITARFISH go to: www.guitarfishfestival.com

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SPOTLIGHT – BARNETT ENGLISH

There are dreamers then there are the dreamers that are actually doers and bring their dreams to life. Meet Barnett English a creative passionate spirit who has been a lover of music festival’s for multiple decades. His mobile organic espresso café, “JavaGogo”, which caters up tasty coffee mixed drinks and smoothies at events, has taken him to more then 600+ music and camp out festivals. While attending and serving up brews at a Didgeridoo festival in Joshua Tree National Park in 2002 he fell in love with the area and its scenery. The mystical and magical morning and sunset views and landscape captivated him so much that he envisioned it being the perfect place for a new campout music festival.

6 months later Barnett relocated to the eclectic artsy Joshua Tree and began plans to launch the 1st Inaugural Joshua Tree Music Festival. The festival took place in April of 2003 to such overwhelming demand that in 2006 he decided to add a second edition in the fall and once again it was met with success. Both festivals have since continued to run consistently over the course of four days in May and October and have grown in size and popularity while still maintaining the quality and vibe that Barnett initially desired. His choices of talent and artists that have played throughout the years have been eclectic and diverse spanning genres and drawing influences from all corners of the Globe. Its been the perfect gathering for families and those kindred spirits just wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Beyond the music Barnett and his creative team have also featured a variety of workshops that include yoga and Qigong classes as well as meditational healing circles, massage areas and even vitamin boosting booths offering up shots of B-12. There are tons of arts and crafts on hand and even a Kidsville area for the youngsters to jam out, learn and become part of a community.  Being the Renaissance man that he is and of course starting out with his own JavaGogo café, Barnett also understood that good food and drink are essential for a four-day campout to ensure fans get properly nourished. Thus each year Joshua Tree Music Festival continues to expand on great food vendors that offer up an array of healthy and tasty options. 

Clearly wanting to continue on the heals of his creative success, in 2016 Barnett decided to partner with Guitarfish Festival an intimate camping and music experience that takes place in a magic setting over a mile high, in the woods, on the South Fork of the Yuba river at the Cisco Grove campground each year in July. GF has been going strong with its fusion of great music, art, swimming and family style camp-out and 2019 will make its 9th consecutive year.  Its no doubt that Barnett English was set out to do more then just serve up tasty coffee mixes and by his track record now of success with both Joshua Tree Music Festival and Guitarfish Music Festival, his passion and future for curating festivals seems like his clear path.

In a day and age where music festivals are everywhere and the market is oversaturated by more and more promoters looking to build massive National and International rock, Hip Hop and alternative festivals similar to Coachella, Outsidelands, Lollapalooza and others, Barnett has carved out his own niche and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. 

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mr. Avant-garde festival producer and curator Barnett English and chat about life and what inspires him most about his festivals…

Sason Bishope Parry:  How is life treating you?  

Barnett English:  Truly grand.  One slightly alarming thing though, the rapid rate at which the days fly by is, well – shocking!!!   

SBP:  Tell us a little about yourself and where you grew up?

BE:  I grew up in vanilla suburbia USA, in Louisville, KY.  I’ve always remembered my past by what music was playing at the time.  At age 5 driving with my mom in a brown Dodge Dart listening to “Band of Gold” by Freda Payne on the am radio.  At age 8 sitting in our den w/ my dad while he played Floyd Cramer, Peter Duchin, Sinatra & Dean Martin albums over and over.  By age 10 I was collecting albums, splitting the $5 cost w/ my older brother, Sam.  By age 15, I was in deep, and music saved me as I navigated my teen years.  I always knew I wanted to live somewhere else, so the day after I finished school at Indiana University, I moved to California.  Now 33 years later, it’s safe to say it suits me out west!

SBP:  What is JavaGogo and how did that open the door to music festivals for you?

BE:  I was about to turn 30 years old and I felt it was time for a change.  So in one month I quit my job, rode my bicycle to Cabo San Lucas, moved in with a new girlfriend and started building a coffee cart.  The espresso craze was just cranking up.  A friend suggested I contact a music festival (the High Sierra Music Festival in Bear Valley, CA – now in Quincy, CA) to sell coffee there.  So I did and I was hooked.  Four days and nights of dancing to great music, making friends and money, I knew then that I’d have to keep doing this.  So I did and i am!  To date I’ve been to over 700 music festivals vending w/ JavaGogo (every Coachella, 25 high sierra music festivals and more etc). 

SBP:  Did you always know that you wanted to be a festival producer?

BE:  No idea. But by going to all those music festivals, I was convinced of the powerful positive benefits of gathering in groups, in the great outdoors and enjoying music.  On a whim, I went to a small Didgeridoo festival in Joshua Tree, CA.  I arrived in the dark, so I had no idea of my surroundings until the sun came up.  WOW!!!  Magical night skies gave way to sweeping views of the national park.  That weekend I mentioned to the campground owners that they should have a REAL music festival here.  Finally they said, “Well if it’s such a great idea, why don’t you do it?  So I moved to Joshua Tree and produced the inaugural Joshua Tree Music Festival w/in 6 months!

SBP:  How did the idea for Joshua Tree come about and how hard was it doing the first one in the desert?

BE:  Ignorance is bliss. I figured we could plan for a long time to make it happen, but then you never really learn unless you do it.  Hence the short run up to the first one.  Trial by fire!  I’ve learned more from each festival, and am still learning, and improving upon each fest (upcoming fest is #30).   

SBP:  So much goes into your festivals.  Do you have a core team and how many people work with you to bring them to life?

BE:  YES!  For years I would have lots of help around the time of the festival, then work year ’round solo.  But now, we’ve got a team of full time super heroes making it all happen.  I feel like we are just getting started!

SBP:  Where do you draw your inspiration?

BE:  I personally have had so many life changing positive experiences with friends at festivals.  Real quality time!  Now, at our festivals, I have an endless stream of conversations with folks who come up to say “This festival changed my life – thank you!” Usually in tears of joy.  THAT is rewarding!

SBP:  What is your favorite type of music and who curates the music at the festivals?

BE:  I live for finding my new favorite band or song or album.  I obsessively listen to new music, scour festival lineups around the world, peruse scores of music blogs, and have dozens of friends who recommend artists they see.  So to answer your question, I curate the music.  I strive to have a line up that is diverse, and the music over the course of the weekend will take you on a journey.  The artists set times are sequenced – like a live mixed tape. 

SBP:  What artist or band that has played moved you the most?

BE:  I met Gene Evaro Jr. here in Joshua Tree back in 2008 or 2009.  He might have been 18 or 19 then?  I was meeting someone at a cafe, and their were two guys on stage playing – Gene on guitar and Ben on drums.  I grew up listening to the Allman Brothers, a band with 8 musicians strong and Gene and Ben were grooving like the Allman Brothers.  Since then Gene has played nearly every festival (twice a year).    

SBP:  Are both the Sumner and Fall Joshua Tree Music Festivals similar? 

BE:  Yes, similar music vibe – a family friendly global music experience.  We were just too excited to wait a whole year!  So after our third spring festival, we started the FALL festival in 2006. 

SBP:  Tell us what people can expect for the 2019 Joshua Tree Music Festivals?

BE:  Many people ask “what are the big changes for this year.”  We strive to make thousands of small incremental changes in each and every area.  We go thru all 42 departments, and make improvements in all.  Be them large or small.  And together all the little improvements add up to one BIG change! 

SBP:  Do you have other festival projects in the works?

BE:  YES!  In addition to producing the two Joshua Tree Music Festivals and Guitarfish Music Festival, we roll JavaGogo to over 20 festivals a year selling coffee. We also have a fleet of Cozy Camper Trailers (33 of them) that we rent to other festivals and events in the region.  We are also hosting two major yoga festivals at our Joshua Tree venue – Shakti & Bhakti Festivals – so our production team will help them make those fests happen.  We also have been hired to produce aspects (sound, light, staging, art, etc) for Sierra Stake Out and Babes Ride Out (two motorcycle events).

SBP:  Besides JavaGogo and your festivals do you have time for anything else?

BE:  My favorite job is being a papa to Lola, age 13.  Spending time with Lola and my beloved Lynne is what I do in my spare time!

SBP:  Tell us about Guitarfish Music Festival and how it’s different from Joshua Tree Music Festival?

BE:  Guitarfish is in a MAGICAL setting – a mile high in the Sierras, on the Yuba River, near Lake Tahoe.  That is the main difference.  Otherwise our audiences and musical styles are similar!  

SBP:  What can people expend from the 2019 Guitarfish Music Festival?

BE:  A phenomenal line up!  The Cisco Grove campground, under new ownership, is making some super positive upgrades to their infrastructure as well.

SBP:  All your festivals have a family friendly appeal, was that part of your vision?

BE:  Not so much at the very beginning in 2003 but ever since the birth of my daughter in 2005, YES!  It’s what makes our fests unique and special.  We truly cater to families and the positive vibrations are truly higher because of it.

SBP:  Do you have other dreams and goals that you would like to pursue?

BE:  I see future careers in writing and in creating up-cycled junk art, and developing our own festival site!

SBP:  What is one secret about you that no one knows?

BE:  I love the Bee Gees.

SBP:  What’s next for Barnett English?

BE:  Besides a shower lol, I wake up each day, driven by the desire to create an even greater festival experience for people and to witness more of those positive life changing moments!

For more info on Joshua Tree Music Festival visit: www.joshuatreemusicfestival.com

For more info on GuitarFish Festival visit:  guitarfishfestival.com

JTMF – Facebook       Instagram      Twitter @joshuatreefest

GF – Facebook       Instagram      Twitter  @GuitarfishFest



13th Annual Fall Joshua Tree Music Festival


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlPx3IwBzpA

GUITARFISH FESTIVAL 2019


Initial lineup announced for the 9th Annual Guitarfish Music Festival – July 25-28,2019.

The 9th Annual Guitarfish Music Festival is happening July 25-28, 2019 at the Cisco Grove Campground near Truckee, CA. The four-day festival is an intimate family-friendly camping and music experience made extra special by its magical setting in the Sierra Nevada.   

On the funk-fueled initial lineup for 2019: Kinky – Mexican dance-infused alt-rock; The California Honeydrops – vibrant energy and infectious dance-party vibes; Portland based livetronica power trio Yak Attack; dance fusion party instigators Afrolicious; Smoked Out Soul – hip-hop, funk, soul fusion; Earth Arrow – Afro beat/hip-hopjammed out eight-piece Diggin Dirt; plus Mestizo Beat, Sambada, Midtown Social, The Ries BrothersJoy & Madness, Peter Joseph Burtt & the King Tide, Pamela Parker & the Fantastic Machine and Jimmy Leslie’s Guitarfish Family Band.

New for 2019: An additional section of camping has been added opening up over 50 new reservable sites with water and power hookups. Attendees can reserve their site for the weekend and fill it with as many friends and family as will fit.


About Guitarfish Music Festival
Established in 2011, Guitarfish is an annual event known for its funk-tastic, groove-fueled musical lineup and beautiful setting high in the Sierra. The stage features world class live music from funk and soul to rock and electronica and everything in between. The setting, the stunning Cisco Grove campground, comes complete with a natural amphitheater for a music bowl, ample shaded camping and its own swimming hole. Guitarfish offers everything else you would expect from a large-scale festival – great music, yoga, kids activities, vendors, workshops and art – in an intimate, family friendly setting. Since 2016, Guitarfish has been partnering with the Joshua Tree Music Festival to co-produce the event.  

For more information and tickets go to guitarfishfestival.com.