icandy at the Railroad Square Music Festival, by Estefany Gonzalez
icandy (photo: Estefany Gonzalez)

Review & Photos by Estefany Gonzalez

The Railroad Square Music Festival has come a long way since the first year when the event only took up half of the Aroma Roasters’ parking lot. Since then, it has evolved into an all-day festival that shouldn’t be missed.  The best part—it’s free to attend.

The third-annual festival combined live music, jugglers, trapeze artists, and other circus acts. The fusion of performance art and music continued even after the last days of the Handcar Regatta, a Santa Rosa steampunk festival that brought in people from around the world.

The biggest difference this year was the addition of the West End Farmers Market. It not only brought on a whole new variety of food and handmade trinkets, but also an additional stage. A record number of five different stages allowed attendees to see a variety of different bands throughout the day.

The smallest out of five stages stood out among the rest. The Busker Stage was located next to the children’s area and audience members could hear kids banging on pots and pans between songs.

Both Buck-Thrifty and Charlie Davenport of Rags didn’t let the size of the stage or surrounding sound interfere with providing top-notch performances.

Another great act to catch was La Mandanga, a Spanish band with a gypsy twist to its sound. The band’s music had tall shirtless men and pixie-looking women dancing.

The Dixie Giants, a brass instrument band, played a slow song for those who “wanted to deal with slow dancing and deal with worn off deodorant.”

The night came to an end with The Easy Leaves, an Americana band who has played festivals like Outside Lands. The band closed out the night with a record release of its newest album The Wheels.