The Lost Sierra Hoedown was created in 2013 by a team of three inspired Interdisciplinary students, Drew Fisher, Cody Wilkins, and Rachael Blum, who created a music festival for their service learning requirement. The goal of the festival was to raise funds for the reopening of the local Johnsville Ski Bowl in Graeagle, CA. The hoedown highlighted the majestic Sierra Nevada range, and encouraged people to support a community based ski hill. “People have lost touch with the roots of skiing, and Johnsville is keeping the culture and core of the sport alive, and that’s something we are trying to support,” said Wilkins, the team’s social entrepreneur.
The students were extremely lucky to recruit a music industry mentor, Azariah Reynolds, who became an integral contributor to the vision for the event. Throughout the development process the Lost Sierra Hoedown was designed to be a “back to the roots” event focused on Americana music, ski history, outdoor activity, community, and a healthy lifestyle. With this mission in mind, the team integrated music, outdoor recreation, simple living and sustainable event practices to create an extraordinary weekend. Blum, the team’s sustainability chair stated, “It’s our chance to take something and make it different; people should say they’ve never been to (an event) like this.”
The team partnered with CA State Parks and numerous other individuals and organizations to bring the festival to life.The first Hoedown in September 2013 attracted 12 bands and 500 people, and raised $6000 for Plumas Ski Club. It was such a big hit that Fisher and others on the team organized another round in 2014 which was even more successful, raising $10,000 for the ski bowl. “The first Hoedown was pure magic, and we didn’t think we could do it again, but I think the event got even better. Our lineup was epic, the camping space improved and we had more time to enjoy it all”. The fall 2015 Hoedown will offer a one-credit class to SNC students, taught by SNC Alumnus Drew Fisher, for participation in putting on the event.