Festival season

A guide to Nor Cal’s 2012 spring and summer music festivals

Jake Shimabukuro at Cal World Fest.

Jake Shimabukuro at Cal World Fest.

Photo By alan sheckter

As the heat rises up and settles here at the top the north valley, Chicoans start to get that familiar itch to flee to the hills and coast for relief, and hopefully for some groovy tunes as well. Festival season is upon us, and for the next three months, Northern California features plenty of musical getaways for a variety of musical tastes.

Gone this year, after a 33-year run, is the peace-loving Harmony Fest in Sonoma, but another, smaller, younger fest—the Huichica Music Festival—is debuting in Sonoma in its absence. Here’s a simple guide to the biggest offerings for 2012.

Strawberry Music Festival

May 24-28, Camp Mather, Groveland (near Yosemite National Park).

Featuring: Alison Krauss and Union Station, Brown Bird, Joan Osborne, Robert Earl Keen, Ruthie Foster, The California Honeydrops and more. Tickets $190-$200 for three- to four-day passes (includes camping), $65 for single day (no camping). Info: (209) 984-8630, www.strawberrymusic.com

Freedom Dance

May 25-27, Tehama Gold Ranch, Flournoy

Featuring: The B-Side Players, Moksha, Dylan’s Dharma, Perpetual Drifters, Ira Walker, Soul Union and more. Tickets $85 for three-day pass (includes meals, quantity limited). Info: 833-0119, www.facebook.com/freedomdance

Huichica Music Festival

June 1-2, Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Sonoma

Featuring: Beachwood Sparks, Papercuts, The Donkeys, Little Wings, Cotton Jones, Sea of Bees and more. Tickets $75-$240 for a variety of choices of one- to two-day passes that include just music, or music and farm-to-barrel-to-table dinners, plus VIP options. Info: www.huichicamusicfestival.com

The Bounce Festival

June 15-18, Belden

Electronic music festival featuring: MartyParty, Figure, VibeSquaD, Signal Path, Black Rock City All-Stars, Coop Da Loop and tons more. Tickets $160-$200, plus $111 parking (carpooling encouraged). Info: www.thebouncefestival.com

Sierra Nevada World Music Festival

June 22-24, Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Boonville

Featuring: Jimmy Cliff, Luciano, Israel Vibration, Third World, Locos Por Juana and many more. Tickets $160 for three-day pass, $60-$70 for single days. Camping is available (extra fees apply). Info: (916) 777-5550, info@snwmf.com, www.snwmf.com

Wild Mountain Faire

June 30-July 1, Concow Campground, Concow

Featuring: Prezident Brown, Dehli 2 Dublin, Spark ’n’ Cinder, Swamp Zen, Alli Battaglia & The Musical Brewing Co., Soul Union, Twisted Strategies and more. Tickets $50 for three-day pass (includes camping), $20 single-day. Parking passes required ($5/day). Info: wildmountainfaire@ymail.com, www.wildmountainfaire.com

Kate Wolf Memorial Festival

June 29-July 1, Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville

Featuring: K.D. Lang & The Siss Boom Bang, Lucinda Williams, Marcia Ball, Jimmy LaFave, Leftover Salmon, MaMuse, Tim & Nicki Bluhm and many more. Tickets for children and adults range from $40-$185 for many choices of single- or multi-day passes (some with camping, some without). Extra charge for vehicles. Children 9-under are free. Info: (415) 256-8499, www.katewolfmusicfestival.com

Vans Warped Tour

June 23, the lot at AT&T Park, San Francisco

Featuring: Newfound Glory, Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard, The Used, Senses Fail, and tons more. Tickets $36 (general admission). Info: www.warpedtour.com

High Sierra Music Festival

July 5-8, Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds, Quincy

Featuring: Ben Harper, Matisyahu, Built to Spill, Toots and the Maytals, Galactic, S2S9, The Slip and more. Tickets $160-$199 for two-, three- & four-day passes (includes camping), $40-$99 for several options of teen (13-16) and kid (5-12) passes (4-under, free). Info: (510) 547-1992, www.highsierramusic.com

California World Fest

July 12-15, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley

Featuring: Ani Difranco, Cake, Tommy Emmanuel, Delhi 2 Dublin, Fishtank Ensemble, Joe Craven Trio, MaMuse, The Railflowers, plus kids’ games and programs and many more performers. Tickets for children and adults range from $35-$160 for single- or multi-day passes and camping, and from $15-$140 without camping (4-under free). Info: (530) 891-4098, info@worldfest.net, http://worldfest.net

Reggae on the River

July 16-17, Benbow Lake State Recreation Area, Garberville

Featuring: Toots and the Maytals, Pato Baton & the Now Generation, Midnite, Calypso Rose, Fantan Mojah and more. Tickets: $110 for two-day pass (single-day tickets available at the gate). Info: www.reggaeontheriver.com

The Gaia Festival

Aug. 3-5, Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville

Music and sustainable-living festival featuring: Michael Franti & Spearhead, Yonder Mountain String Band, Kinky, Orgone, David Lindley, MaMuse and many more. Plus, sustainability and health speakers and workshops. Tickets for children and adults range from $40-$185 for many choices of single- or multi-day passes (some with camping, some without). Extra charge for vehicles. Children 11-under are free. Info: info@thegaiafestival.com, www.thegaiafestival.com

Outside Lands

Aug. 10-12, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Jack White, Beck, Big Boi, Norah Jones, Metallica, Regina Spektor, Explosions in the Sky, Thee Oh Sees and many more, plus food, wine and art. Tickets $225 for three-day pass. Info: www.sfoutsidelands.com