KVMR to air back-to-back music festivals: High Sierra & WorldFest | TheUnion.com

KVMR to air back-to-back music festivals: High Sierra & WorldFest

Steve Baker
Special to Prospector
KVMR California Worldfest on-air crew and volunteers gather in the broadcast tent during a recent festival. Longtime broadcast producer and bearded Wesley Robertson, who passed away in March, is second from the right.
Photo by Connie Coale


WHAT: KVMR live broadcast of High Sierra Music Festival

WHERE: Plumas County Fairgrounds, Quincy, Calif.

WHEN: Thursday-Sunday, July 5-8

BROADCAST HOURS: 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday; 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday; 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday; 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday

FREQUENCIES: 89.5 FM & 105.1 FM Truckee, kvmr.org streaming worldwide

TICKET & FESTIVAL INFORMATION: highsierramusic.com

KNOW & HEAR WorldFest

WHAT: KVMR live broadcast of California WorldFest

WHERE: Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley

WHEN: Thursday-Sunday, July 12-15

BROADCAST HOURS: 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday

FREQUENCIES: 89.5 FM & 105.1 FM Truckee, kvmr.org streaming worldwide

TICKET & FESTIVAL INFORMATION: Visit WorldFest.net, email boxoffice@WorldFest.net, or call 530-274-8384 for more information and tickets. Tickets also will be available at gate.

It isn’t every day you get to hear back-to-back live broadcasts of major music festivals, but this is definitely the month for it on KVMR 89.5 FM.

This July really gives the Nevada City community radio station a chance to shine with remote broadcasts of the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy this weekend and California WorldFest at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley next week (Thursday through Sunday, July 12-15).

As the crow flies, it’s about 50 miles between the two festival sites. But as the crow drives, it’s more than double that in length and nearly two and a half hours apart.

High Sierra broadcast producer Sacramento Dave and his 10-person crew will log plenty of mileage pulling off the Plumas County Faigrounds show, only to return home just a couple days before the KVMR’s 23rd annual broadcast of WorldFest since it began in 1996.

More backstage

WorldFest broadcast producer Lynn Heintz, meanwhile, is staying home to prepare the station’s broadcast with a crew of about 25. Plans include broadcasting from additional stages this year, plus a mix of live or recorded interviews from backstage.

According to Heintz, longtime KVMR broadcaster Mikail Graham is serving as a liason between WorldFest producers The Center for the Arts and the live radio broadcast, including the loan of a bigger control board to handle the additional sites.

“It’ll be a mixture of everything that’s going on at the festival,” said Heintz. “By day, you might hear music for 20 minutes, then an interview and back to another band.”

The WorldFest broadcast begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 12, with an emphasis on native American and indigenous music. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the broadcasts goes from 10 a.m. to as late as 11 p.m. with headliners Magic Giant (Friday), Galactic (Saturday) and the Trevor Hall Band (Sunday).

It’s Heintz’s second year as WorldFest broadcast producer and he also engineers the afternoon 2-6 p.m. shift simply because, “I like the challenge of engineering.”

For almost the entire run of the festival in Grass Valley, the late Wesley Robertson had been the WorldFest broadcast producer, until he stepped aside three years ago. The popular program host and volunteer broadcaster died after a car accident in March with at least 600 friends and fans jamming the Miner’s Foundry for a memorial later that month.

Wesley cutouts?

Two six foot tall cutouts of Wesley have begun appearing at various locations — at the radio station, the memorial, special shows, and, yes, festivals.

“Oh, he’ll be in the (broadcast) booth with us, that’s for sure,” Heintz said.

Ditto for High Sierra this weekend.

“Yes, I have him,” said Sacramento Dave with a smile. “He’s getting a little worn out from all the appearances, but don’t worry, he’ll be there.”

This marks Dave’s third year at High Sierra.

“Wesley was always my partner here,” he said. “This will be the first time I’m doing it without him.”

Before joining KVMR, Sacramento Dave said, “My life revolved around Burning Man. Now I’m doing exactly the same as I was dong at Burning Man, only I’m doing it here.”

That included help run a radio remote broadcast and a performance stage at the fabled Nevada festival.

High Sierra times

The High Sierra broadcast starts at 8 p.m. Thursday (tonight), 2 p.m. Friday and at noon Saturday and Sunday. Late night jams and special concerts go to 2 a.m. early Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The bill includes The String Cheese Incident, Grace Potter, The Chris Robinson Band, Ernest Ranglin, Antibalas, The California Honeydrops, Ruthie Foster, Foundation of Funk, Hippo Campus and something called Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, among many others.

“What I like about these festivals is the surprises you aren’t prepared for,” Dave said. “Maybe a band from back east on a side stage. The treat is a packed festival of all different kinds of music.”

Heintz agrees, citing the same thing at WorldFest.

“It’s the unfamiliar acts that are the best,” he said. “You don’t know what you’re going to get until you hear it and then you do really find out why you really do like world music all over again. Every year, we look for the surprises. Every year, we aren’t disappointed.”

Hey, back to back, newbies that astonish. Headliners that roar. And plenty of the spirit of KVMR’s live remote broadcast legend Wesley Robertson to go around for everyone.

On The Air is a weekly irreverent look at Nevada City’s volunteer-driven, eclectic community radio station at 89.5 FM and streaming at kvmr.org. Complete KVMR schedule available at the station’s website, http://www.kvmr.org.

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