Arts Devo

All the festivals at once



And all of my creeks are overflowing/Flowing over former banks/If you’ll only say you’ll help me/I’d repay you a thousand times … Boy, have mercy on me/It’s springtime—MaMuse, “Springtime”

Chico, have mercy on me First things first: MaMuse’s “Springtime,” possibly the most sensual song ever written by a local artist, needs to be on your Get in the Mood Playlist (go now and download it—

The song is also an appropriate lead-in for the upcoming ridiculous weekend of live music, which is spilling over with too many options thanks to four(!) music festivals in three days, Friday-Sunday, April 20-22. The clouds have parted, the weekend will be sunny and warm, and Chico will be gettin’ busy.

Valley Fever: Friday and Saturday nights, various venues. You can read about the creators of this two-day fest in this issue (page 24), and you can take it from me that every one of the seven shows taking place at four downtown venues is loaded with great visiting and local bands—21 total! I’ll likely make it out only on Friday, and though I’ll try to catch some of everything, my top priorities are the strange garage-rock of Bay Area singer/songwriter Kelley Stoltz (at Duffy’s) and the party punk rock of Phoenix funmakers Playboy Manbaby (at Argus). Tickets are $20 and available at Naked Lounge. Visit Valley Fever’s Facebook events for the full schedule.

Wildflower Music Festival: Saturday, noon, End of Normal (2500 Estes Road). This annual outdoor mini festival in the orchards is a benefit for Wildflower Open Classroom, and in the spirit of Chico’s groovy nature they have a legit jam crew headlining, the Jack Johnson-approved Animal Liberation Orchestra. Openers include SLO’s Moonshiner Collective and locals Kyle Williams, Triple Tree and Hot Flash. Tickets ($40) and more info can be found at

California Nut Festival: Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Patrick Ranch. It’s a nut fest—with food, drinks, ag info, entertainment, games, chef demos … and nuts—but the musical program alone is an impressive event. Split between two outdoor stages is a well-composed 10-act roster of folk, Americana, rock, world, country and jazz from around the North State, featuring the likes of Joe Craven and The Sometimers, Pat Hull, Sunday Iris, Brad Peterson and more. Tickets ($30, includes six tastings and six drink tickets) and info at

CAMMIES Finale & Award Show: Sunday, 2-7 p.m., at the Hop Yard. The CN&R is super stoked that our annual free festival of local music is taking place at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. this year. The Hop Yard is the brewery’s new venue, a large outdoor space out by the hop fields with a satellite bar made out of the large metal containers that housed the brewing tanks shipped over from Germany back in the day. There will be two stages, 13 bands (XDS, Smokey the Groove, Citysick and many more), food trucks, games and plenty of vendors. More info at

Debra Lucero

Painting by Jen Street

Arts champs Tonight, April 19, 5:30-7 p.m., at the Museum of Northern California Art, the board of the Chico Arts & Culture Foundation is holding a shindig to recognize a handful of local “Arts Champions” who, according the press release, “provide great vision, problem solving, and leadership in supporting arts as a central part of Chico’s cultural vibrancy.” The six recipients are nonprofit guru Alexa Benson-Valavanis, City Councilman Andrew Coolidge, City Clerk Debbie Presson, arts organizer/promoter Debra Lucero, university gallery director/curator Kelly Lindner, and musician and former arts commissioner Paul Friedlander. Arts DEVO raises a glass to you all!