Bringing the Ocean to the Mountains: Family-Friendly Guitarfish Festival Comes to Cisco Grove

July 30, 2014

Bringing the Ocean to the Mountains: Family-Friendly Guitarfish Festival Comes to Cisco Grove

by Stacey A. 
This weekend Guitarfish, an intimate 3-day family, arts, and music festival, returns to the Tahoe area for its 4th year to raise awareness of overfishing practices and water pollution.
Mark Peschoff, the head of sales and marketing, describes the festival as "an incredibly fresh mix of up-and-coming vibrant, happy music."
Peschoff promises a variety of music. Headliners include Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers, Wheeland Brothers, Mother Hips, and Con Brio. Peschoff brought the Wheelan Brothers back for a second year based on their popularity at last year's event and because he thought their Orange County beach vibe brought something special to Guitarfish.
A long time festival goer himself, Peschoff thinks it's important to go to a festival not only to see your favorite artists but also to discover new music and expand your playlist. This is the case with Con Brio, a band with an eclectic lead singer that many people haven't heard of but is gaining popularity in San Francisco. Peschoff is confident Con Brio "could be your next favorite band."
The festival takes place off the I-80 Cisco Grove exit, approximately 20 miles from Truckee on 350 acres of campgrounds with nearby hiking, climbing, swimming, fishing, bird watching, and mountain biking. Ticket prices are $75 for a one-day pass and $129 and $169 for two and three-day passes which include camping. They are available at the gate, but the event is on track to sell out. Tickets can be purchased online here. The festival grounds will open at 10 a.m. Friday to set up campsites, and all sites are first-come, first-served. Dogs are allowed for a $20 fee plus a $100 deposit and must be on-leash. 
Guitarfish is a family-friendly event. Kids twelve and under are free and only have to pay a campground fee. The festival expanded the family camping zone this year to meet the demand of last year's families. Kids activities include a bounce house, face painting, and hula hooping. Some of the artists are even playing private concerts just for kids, and there will be kid-specific workshops with a science and conservationist message.

Guitarfish 2013 food trucks and craft vendors
Guitarfish offers an abundance of activities beyond the music. An array of vendors from California with a focus on local, sustainable, and organic options such as BigBlueBBQ, Uncommon Kitchen, Frozen Fantasies, Nourish, and Lagunitas Brewing Company will be in attendance, as well as several arts and crafts vendors. Daily yoga is from 9-10:30 a.m. and included in the ticket price.
Catering to mountain biking enthusiasts, Guitarfish offers three daily complimentary shuttles to the Hole in the Ground trail. Shuttles can be arranged to more difficult trails on request, and riders can donate 10% of the cost of their Guitarfish ticket to a mountain biking advocacy organization of their choice. 

Complimentary shuttles run to Hole in the Ground mountain biking trail.
Several big names in the art scene have teamed up to make Guitarfish an unforgettable experience. Ken Rose, who built the 2011 Burning Man temple, has created a special piece of art just for the festival.  Andrea Brook, co-founder of the Earth Harp, is bringing her Sonic Butterfly to Guitarfish. A beautiful fusion of art and music, the Earth Harp rests on a four-foot platform with twelve strings extending out 100 feet into the trees on each side, creating the butterfly wings.
For more information visit


Mountain Wellness Playground: Soda Springs, Friday through Sunday, tickets $75-300
Yoga Squaw'd: First Street in the Squaw Valley Village, Wednesday 5 p.m., Free
High Fives Dinner and a MovieCalifornia 89 in Truckee, Friday 7-11:30 p.m., $25


Our intern, Stacey Alonzo, is an outdoor enthusiast, yoga instructor, aspiring journalist, Burner, and lover of food, drinks, live music, and travel.