This episode first appeared on KQED.org.Download: Mixtape: Northern California’s Best Music Festivals (Podcast #407)
Music festival season unofficially kicked off over Memorial Day weekend, with the latest installment of the BottleRock Napa Valley festival attracting 120,000 attendees for three days of food, wine, and over 80 bands ranging from the Foo Fighters to the Napa Youth Symphony. The number and types of music fests has grown considerably in recent years — among this year’s new offerings are not one, but two new music and comedy weekends coming to the Bay in June — surely to the dismay of those fans who might prefer to see bands in more intimate, contained environments.
The multi-day festival experience may not be for everyone, but it does provides a great way to sample a large variety of acts in a single setting. Where else but Outside Lands could one see Metallica, Kamaiyah, and The She’s, along with dozens of other bands, at the same show? How awesome is it that Allah Las, Cass McCombs, Beachwood Sparks, and Christopher Owens’ new band Curls are all headed to the Huichica Music Festival?
In this mixtape, we check out a variety of local bands playing at music festivals across Northern California. In addition to sampling a great mix of Bay Area music, the collection also highlights the variety of unique fests happening around the area over the next few months.
If you’re looking to get out of town, consider one of the many festivals that combine music and the great outdoors, like Deathstock III, Hickey Fest, and the High Sierra Music Festival. But if you’d prefer to stay closer to home, there are plenty of great festivals coming to local parks, including the summer-long Stern Grove Festival, Oakland’s Burger Boogaloo, and our Phono del Sol Music and Food Festival.
Listen to the mixtape to learn more about all of the upcoming festivals and all thirteen artists.
About the Bands
Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers – “Waiting on Love”
Nicki Bluhm and her band perform at the Stern Grove Festival on July 2; the singer will also join the Dirty Dozen Brass Band for a special set at the Monterey International Pop Festival on June 18
The Brothers Comatose – “Black Light Moon”
The band is set to appear at the High Sierra Music Festival on June 29 and July 1, and is presenting its third annual Comatopia festival on August 11 and 12 in North Fork, California