Quincy businesses reap big sales from High Sierra Music festival goers

A thronging crowd fills the Vaudeville Tent and spills all around it during a performance by Orgone on Friday, July 5. High Sierra Music Festival staffers confirmed a sold-out event with about 10,000 people attending the four-day festival. Photos by Laura Beaton
Laura Beaton

  “This is by far the best week of the year,” said Manroop Sandhu, son of the Relay Station owners, after the High Sierra Music Festival was over.

  The Relay Station, a gas station/convenience store on the corner of Pioneer and East Main Street, is the closest store to the fairgrounds.

  According to Sandhu, sales were fantastic. He attributed the business’ success to better preparation and lots of stock on hand to satisfy customer demands.

  Sandhu said the store sold more than 500 bags of ice before 10 a.m. Saturday, July 6, and ran out of some brands of beer.

  Quincy Thrift owner Traci Morrow echoed Sandhu’s claim that the festival brought the best sales week of the year to her store.

  Carey Candy Co. owner Amy Carey said sales were good for her too. Carey said she had some good conversations with out-of-towners, many of whom shopped at her store Wednesday, July 3, when they were temporarily housed in the field at the end of Railway Avenue.

  Quincy Natural Foods’ general manager, Lucinda Berdon, said the co-op’s sales nearly doubled the week of the festival. She said Wednesday, July 3, was a record-breaking day for the co-op with about $77,000 in sales.

  Restaurants in town also experienced high sales, as did hardware stores, Rite Aid and other businesses. Visitors to town were seen dining out, shopping for food and purchasing swimming pools, lawn chairs, beach umbrellas and more.

  Sav-Mor Foods staffers said their sales were great, both during the festival and after, when locals ventured out onto the streets again.

  Although some Quincy residents may head for the mountains or lakes during High Sierra, Quincy business owners, virtually across the board, reported high-volume sales.

  Ice was one of the biggest sellers, as temperatures reached the triple digits July 4 and festivalgoers tried to keep their food and drinks cold.

  Many stores in town ran out of ice and called for extra deliveries. Cashier Kisha McNutt of One Stop in East Quincy said sales at the combination convenience store and gas station were great.

  She said One Stop ran out of ice but sold more of everything in the store, including gas and cigarettes.

  High Sierra Music Festival reported a sold-out event, with about 9,000 tickets sold. Spokesperson Casey Lowdermilk reported there were around 8,000 campers.

  Lowdermilk said more than 50 vendors sold their wares on site, and two semitrailer loads of ice were consumed during the four-day event.

  Many performers at the festival praised Quincy for its natural beauty and great small-town atmosphere during their shows.

  The Whiskey Sisters from Austin, Texas, said they were glad to get out of the heat wave back in their home state. They, like most performing artists, played several sets throughout the four-day festival.

  A variety of venues allowed performers to reach audiences of thousands of listeners in the Grandstand and Big Meadow stages as well as more intimate crowds at the Vaudeville tent, Music Hall and the Funk’n Jamhouse.

  A kids’ area complete with arts and crafts activities, face painting, hair braiding and much more allowed parents the opportunity to spend time kid-free while the kids enjoyed romping with playmates.

  In addition to nightly parades, the last day of the festival featured a kids’ parade. Kids attired in costumes and paint paraded around the festival grounds with the festival’s official parade performers, Third Planet Ceremonial Celebrations and friends.

  High Sierra organizers are already planning next year’s event, to be held at the fairgrounds July 3 – 6, 2014. Go to their website for highlights of the festival and a chance to win a pair of tickets for next year’s festival at

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