July 23, 2022 About 900 campers arrived for check-in on Wednesday and another 2000 on Thursday for the much-anticipated Night in the Country 2022 (NITC) in Mason Valley, Nevada. NITC pays the City of Yerington approximately $25,000 in room tax for these camp spaces.
NITC hosted its first music festival in 2000 after Travis Crowder (CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Mason Valley) and then-Chief of Yerington Police Department Rod Pellegrini began formulating this idea to sustain the Boys & Girls Clubs of Mason Valley into the organization for families and communities that it has become.
The Club(s) name is plural because it includes families and children in the communities of Mason Valley, Silver Springs & Stage Coach, Dayton and Hawthorne.
NITC 2022 is in full swing now with all campsites filled and all concerts sold out. The music festival brings in approximately 11,000 people for the performers on each of the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening shows. Local resident Justin Aguilar is the Festival Director for Night in the Country.
On Friday morning, Travis Crowder hosted Yerington City Councilman Frank Pizzo and Pizen Switch Times Journalist Leah Wilkinson on a whirlwind tour of the NITC venue “a’la golf cart”.
We began at the NITC Volunteer Center/Ray Voshall Building at the Lyon County Fairgrounds where a volunteer offered homemade breakfast burritos to sustain us on our tour.
Travis introduced volunteers who have been returning each year to NITC (70% of them “keep coming back”)! Every volunteer hour is compensated at $12 that in turn goes to the volunteer’s choice of non-profit local and Nevada regional charities. There are over 32 non-profit charities that benefit from the volunteers that largely operate NITC. Hundreds of volunteer hours add up to sustaining: Yerington High School Lions Pride Booster Club; Lyon County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue; Desert Pigs; Active Neighborhood; Class of 2023; Deeann Peeples Scholarship Memorial; Hawthorne Pop Warner; Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Story Counties; Hoops for Heroes; Jerry Ogolin Memorial Scholarship; Josh Farler Helping Hands Foundation; Lyon County Fair & Rodeo; Mason Valley Assembly; Mason Valley Gem & Mineral Club; MCMWTC Bridgeport; Operation Local Support; Pizen Switch Shrine Club; Reno Cigar Lions; Reno-Tahoe Young Professionals Network; The Professional Association; Through a Child’s Eyes; VFW Post 8084 Yerington, NV; Walker Basin Conservancy; Walker River Baseball; Walker River Girls Fast Pitch; Women’s Reno Rugby Team; YACC Yerington Area Cat Control; Yerington Animal Protection Society YAPS; Yerington Food Pantry; Yerington High School Volleyball; Yerington Pop Warner Football; Yerington Rotary Club; and more…
Another aspect of Night in the Country is the onsite medical facility: Humboldt General Hospital (HGH) from Winnemucca establishes a fully operational clinic with physicians, nurses, an ambulance, and even a helicopter. HGH provides medical services for people attending NITC with minimal to no impact on the local hospital and emergency services.
Lyon County Sheriff’s Office volunteer organization Search and Rescue verifies the identification/ages of all NITC participants to issue 21 years of age & over bracelets and under 21 yoa bracelets. Every effort is made to officially enforce alcohol laws and to prevent underage drinking.
Law enforcement officers and dispatchers from jurisdictions all over Nevada participate at the Night in the Country Music Festival each year. This includes a mounted patrol with 12 horses and riders from Winnemucca.
Most traffic for Night in the Country is routed through a Densmore Lane checkpoint entrance (connected to Pete Hendrichs Lane). As each vehicle enters the NITC site, a security check is performed by 2 people: a volunteer and a security officer. Weapons, excessive alcohol, and any illegal contraband are not allowed at the festival.
Water trucks are utilized to keep the dust down and fill pools. D & S Waste Removal conveniently patrols the Festival’s camping avenues to pick up bags of trash set out by overnighters as instructed by organizers. This is another “attention to detail” that NITC planners have made to minimize the need for attendees to haul out trash when the Festival is over.
Outhouses are frequently emptied and cleaned. The showering units are also sanitized regularly.
Travis escorted us to the VIP lounge and staging area, Club 149, and the posh Cabana tents.
Mason Valley volunteer Larry Shipley, his colleague from Model Dairy, with other friends & volunteers contributed time and effort in all aspects of setting up for the Night in the Country 2022 Music Festival, creating 1980s themed decor, games, etc.
20 pound bags of ice were in high demand. There was plenty for everyone. Drinks, ice, showers, etc. could all be purchased on a ticket system.
It seems an insurmountable task to recognize the year around effort that goes into producing a major regional event like Night in the Country.
Night in the Country 2022 Musical Festival coordinators make every effort to keep attendees on site during the event weekend with the goal of safety first and to minimize impact on local services.