by Geralda Miller, rgj.com
PYRAMID LAKE -- More than 6,000 people are expected to converge at Pyramid Lake for a five-day gathering called Symbiosis. It begins Thursday.
It is the first special event to be held at the lake, which is on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe reservation, since the Grateful Dead played there in 1986, drawing around 10,000 concert-goers.
Symbiosis organizers said they've booked more than 170 "cutting edge" bands for what they're calling an underground festival.
"We're not trying to book the big artists," said Kevin Kochen, one of the event producers. "We're not a mainstream festival."
The California-based founders began the festival in 2005 in the Santa Cruz Mountains and held events in 2006, 2007 and 2009, growing 50 percent each time.
Organizers said they chose Pyramid Lake because it is on the direct course of the annular eclipse, which happens Sunday afternoon.
The tribe gave the organizers a one-year special permit and is getting a percentage per person, a vehicle fee and a fee for special services.
With tough economic times and having to cut budgets, the tribal council is looking for ways to bring in money, said Scott H. Carey, tribal planner.
Carey said the tribe expects to bring in around $250,000 because of the event weekend.
"It should be a real good test run to see how events can run out there," Carey said. "We hope that this one is a success and that it can put the lake on the map as an events venue."