Tahoe music fest back home at Homewood | SierraSun.com

Tahoe music fest back home at Homewood

The days of the Lake Tahoe Music Festival’s nomadic wandering from stage to stage around North Tahoe and Truckee are coming to an end.

The festival has found a permanent home at Homewood Mountain Resort, returning to where the festival began 25 years ago next summer.

“It is a very exciting time,” said Ellen Persa, the festival executive director. “And to launch it on our 25th anniversary is so appropriate.”

The Lake Tahoe Music Festival is known for its eight classic music concerts held each summer that draw approximately 10,000 spectators. The organization also educates young and adult musicians in its music academy.

The nonprofit is now looking at ways to grow, including expanding education programs and branching into winter activities.

“We’ve limited ourselves over the years to just summer events,” Persa said.

The festival is planning five concerts at its new Homewood location next summer, while the initial event will still be held in Tahoe Donner and the finale on the west end of Donner Lake.

The Homewood concerts will be on a temporary stage at the mountain’s parking lot next year with seating for 200 people stretching up the ski hill from the base.

“We are very happy they are making Homewood their home,” said Art Chapman, owner of Homewood Mountain Resort.

Within two or three years, festival organizers said they hope to have permanent facilities built as part of Homewood Mountain Resort’s redevelopment. Chapman is still planning to apply for permits to redevelop the ski resort.

“We will de developing an amphitheater and bringing music back to the West Shore,” Chapman said.

Businesses and residents on the Tahoe’s west shore are happy to have the music festival back where it started, said West Shore Association board member Rob Weston, who owns West Shore Sports in Homewood.

“It’s going to help business, and it is going to help the revitalization of the West Shore,” Weston said.

When the Topol Pavilion, the original home of the music festival, closed and the concerts began moving to other locations, the community “sorely missed” the event, he said.

Meanwhile, Persa is busy planning for next year, booking the 25th anniversary artists and looking forward to the festival’s first year in its new home.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” said Persa. “This is an incredible gift.”

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