07/17/08

Rex Jam Report #2 – High Sierra

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High Sierra Music Festival,
Quincy, CA – July 5, 2008
Band: Ratdog
In support of Plumas County Save our Schools, music and arts programs.

While the firefighters fought to control the blazes, several thousand people found ways around the fires to make it to the High Sierra Music Festival this past weekend. This was my second time attending the High Sierra Music Festival. I went as a patron in 2002. I had a great time that year, went to a lot of the play-shops, ran into old friends, played for 3 days straight…. This year I had a great time as well, but the experience was wholly different.

This Rex Jam really was Theresa Reed-Hayle’s baby. I was not originally supposed to be at High Sierra, but I knew High Sierra is a great festival, and, I all I really needed was a good excuse. Since Theresa was also significantly involved with the production of High Sierra, I figured I’d see if she could help me justify my expense in travel ling all the way to California for the festival. She asked me to help her in the FestivALL (VIP) hospitality area, and of course with the Rex Jam. Theresa and I have been working closely together via phone and e-mail in coordinating the Rex Jams, it is so nice to now have a face and a personal energy to put with the voice and the e-mail. It was awesome to work with her. She worked tirelessly – crazy 20 hour days – and managed to keep a smile on her face and a positive attitude. It really was my pleasure to work with her in helping coordinate the Jam.

We assembled our crew and discussed some good tactics for collecting. We knew that the darkness was going to be to our disadvantage, but we had glow sticks ready for the containers. I briefed everyone with my experiences at Mountain Jam and we decided we would start the collection right after Bobby started his set, and then continue collecting as long as we could. The more time in the crowd, the more donations we could collect. Theresa has also arranged for the MCs to talk up the Rex Jam over the course of the weekend, which I know helped keep people aware of what we were doing. Also, we had an incentive item, a “Jerry Jams” 3-CD set – to give to people who donated $20 or more. The Grizzly Radio was playing tracks from it all weekend, between bands. We were 8 or 9 people moving through the crowd – all of whom were friends of Theresa’s including her husband and brother – and we were awesome, if I do say so myself!

I had been excited last time, when tallying the donations, but this time was even better. I knew we had done well when after everyone came back, we only had 8 or 9 “Jerry Jams” CDs left. We started out with 100 of them. I seriously almost started to cry as I tallied the containers, each seeming to have more than the last. In the end, we had collected almost $3000 during the Rex Jam that night. I could barely believe it. We were so thrilled… and of course, it only served to inspire us to continue doing better and better as the summer progresses.