It’s music festival season already, and the bounty is great
Do you like music? Prove it then. It’s nearly summer already, and that means multi-band, multi-day marathons of music have been nurtured and groomed and are ready to receive the pent-up groove of thousands of music fans throwing themselves into the heat of these annual communal gatherings.
Nearby festivals are mostly of the world-music-oriented variety, but no matter the flavor you prefer, there is a sampler on its way that should sate at least part of your musical palate.
Sierra Nevada World Music Festival
June 18-20, Calaveras County Fairgrounds, Angels Camp
This is the Jamaica-flavored kick-off for the region’s festival season. Geared mostly toward reggae and world music, the SNWMF brings Mark Twain’s Frogtown in the Sierra Nevada foothills to life. The Festival Village is host to arts, crafts and foods with a decidedly international flavor, as well as the Village Stage, which hosts a variety of music and dance acts. Aiming up a hillside is the main (Valley) stage, where the jams and the dancing go until 3 a.m.
Some of this year’s performers include: Burning Spear, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Israel Vibration, Femi Kuti, El Gran Silencio, Gentlemen, Midnite, Don Carlos, Beres Hammond, Maxi Priest, Fermin Muguruza, Peter Tosh Celebration (w/Fully Fullwood Band), O-Maya, Rocker-T, Marcia Griffiths and more.
Tickets run from $45-$50 per single day to $95 for a three-day pass (available through Ticketmaster outlets). Kids 12 and under are free. Camping is available. For details and directions: (916) 777-5550; www.snwmf.com.
Father’s Day Festival
June 17-20, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley
This is the 29th year of this annual bluegrass festival. In addition to four days of live bluegrass, gospel and old-time music, there are workshops, children’s programs, a luthier’s pavilion and of course tons of impromptu jamming.
Featured performers include: Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Gibson Brothers, Bluegrass Cardinals Reunion, Dirk Powell Band, Continental Divide, J.D. Crowe & the New South, Mountain Heart, Ron Spears & Within Tradition, Bluegrass Patriots, Pine Mountain Railroad, Carolina Road and tons more.
There are many options for tickets (individual-day/multiple-days, teen/adult, member/non-member), and the range is $20/single day to $90/four-day pass. Children 12 and under are free. Camping is available. For more info on tickets and to get directions: (707) 573-3983; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kate Wolf Memorial Festival
June 25-27, Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville
Honoring the life of Kate Wolf, the influential NoCal folk singer-songwriter who died of leukemia in 1986, this memorial festival has an impressive roster of new and old folk (and other genre) stars, plus games and crafts for the kids and plenty of organic/veggie-focused grub.
Currently booked: Joan Baez, Steve Earle & the Bluegrass Dukes, David Bromberg Quartet, Greg Brown, The Waybacks, Rosalie Sorrels, Jimmy LaFave, Tom Paxton & Anne Hills, Nina Gerber, Peter Rowan & the Rowan Brothers, Paul Kamm & Eleanore MacDonald, Mary McCaslin, Banana Slug String Band and more.
Tickets (includes camping): Adults: $35-$50/single-day; $115/weekend; $125/three-day. Youth (7-14): $10-$18/single-day; $35/weekend; $45/three-day. Children 6 and under are free. Info: (707) 829-7067; email@example.com; www.cumuluspresents.com/kate. Tickets: (707) 829-7067.
High Sierra Music Festival
July 1-4, Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds, Quincy
By July, the festivals start spreading their wings a bit, musically. The High Sierra Fest adds jazz, funk, rock and even electronica to the world and reggae music, on multiple stages. All the requisite vendors, crafts and children’s programs are available.
Performers include: Galactic, Leftover Salmon, Steve Earle & the Bluegrass Dukes, moe, Chris Robinson, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Richard Thompson Band, Jerry Douglas, Donna the Buffalo, The Radiators, Los Lonely Boys, Garaj Mahal, Dan Bern, The Slip, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Jacob Freed Jazz Odyssey, Jessica Lurie Ensemble, Hot Buttered Rum String Band and many more.
Tickets (includes camping and off-site parking): 4-Day/$145-$165; 3-day/$130-$155; 2-day/$110-$125. Kids (6-12)/$10 per day. Children 5 and under are free. Info: (510) 420-1529; www.highsierramusic.com.
Vans Warped Tour
July 8, Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Marysville
The touring skateboard and punk rock/alternative/emo/hip-hop marathon stops for a long day at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre, with two stages of music featuring: The Beautiful Mistake, The F-ups, New Found Glory, Coheed & Cambria, Taking Back Sunday, Flogging Molly, Anti-Flag, Bad Religion, NOFX, Yellowcard, Flogging Molly, Thursday, Story of the Year, Atmosphere, The Sounds, The Vandals, Alkaline Trio, Ima Robot, Guttermouth and more.
California World Fest
July 15-18, Grass Valley Fairgrounds, Grass Valley
Put on by Chico-based Maple Creek Presents, the CWF lineup has the same pedigree as the eclectic performers festival organizer Dan DeWayne books throughout the year for Chico State’s Chico Performances.
The music, as well as dance performances and various workshops, is spread across seven stages and will include: Lucinda Williams, Youssou N’dour, Tommy Emmanuel, Peking Acrobats, Badi Assad, Samite, Alasdair Fraser, Joe Craven, Les Yeux Noirs, Laurie Lewis & Tom Rozum, Samba Ngo, Tiempo Libre, Mary Youngblood, Habib Khan with Emam, Radim Zenkl, Wild Magnolias, O-Maya, Chico’s Crazygrass and dozens more.
Tickets (includes camping): Adult: $100/4-days; $90/3-day; $65/2-day; $40/single-day. Youth (13-16): $45/4-days. Child (5-12): $25/4-days. Under-5: free. Discounts for tickets w/out camping. Tickets at gate are more. Info & tickets: (530) 891-4098; www.worldmusicfestival.com.
July 17 & 18, Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View
The traveling two-day freak show is back stronger than ever. Although the Pixies are committing only to the L.A. and New York dates, and bands like Wilco won’t be making it out west, and even though you have to drive all the way to Mountain View to check it out, this year’s diverse caravan looks worth it.
Confirmed so far: Sonic Youth, Morrissey, P.J. Harvey, Le Tigre, String Cheese Incident, The Flaming Lips, Modest Mouse, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Mike Watt, Basement Jaxx, Von Bondies, Broken Social Scene, Danger Mouse, Gomez, Polyphonic Spree, The Coup and more.
Tickets: $50/2-day; $29.50/single-day. Tickets available at www.BGP.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. Info: www.lollapalooza.com.
Reggae on the River
August 6-8, French’s Camp, Piercy
The self-proclaimed “best reggae and world music experience” puts on its 21st edition of reggae’s annual mecca.
The summer festival season winds down with: Barrington Levy, Bounty Killer, Bunny Wailer, Capleton, Daude, East Star All Stars, Kekele, Luciano, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Midnite, Morgan Heritage, Mr. Vegas, Nasio Fontaine, Ozomatli, Steel Pulse, Quinto Sol, Warrior King, Wisdom, Andrew Tosh and way, way more to come.