ANNUAL MUSIC FESTIVAL CELEBRATES, SUPPORTS COMMUNITY
Set in a beautiful meadow among the redwood trees in the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains the Redwood Mountain Faire is perhaps the biggest little music festival in California. It’s also the family friendliest. This all volunteer run event - the proceeds go to local school, service organizations and non-profit groups - is held each year at Roaring Camp in Felton on the first weekend in June from 10am till dusk.
First presented in the early 80’s by the Valley Women’s Club; organizers have consistently produced a first class event with ridiculously low ticket prices - $20 at the gate (discounts for students, seniors, multi day and advance purchase.) The modest admission price belies a musical lineup that includes 22 bands performing continuously on two large stages. A melange of musical genres combine to create a Santa Cruz Mountain Americana flavor that has been the hallmark of the Redwood Mountain Faire from it’s inception.
The idyllic setting adjacent to the 1880’s style logging camp town of Roaring Camp with 100 year old steam locomotives making their scheduled runs around the meadow and up to Bear Mountain and the view of the Big Trees of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park adds to the magic.
Dozens of local arts,craft, food, beer and wine vendors will be on hand peddling all manner of goods. A special supervised kids area with games, activities and bounce house is always popular and special surprises throughout the day promise to delight.
Best of all though is probably the throng of mellow, multi-generational, music loving fans that have made the event a performers favorite. Savvy locals arrive early with lawn chairs and blankets to stake out a favorite spot to soak up the sun in full sight and sound of the main stage. When the music starts at 11am many take the rhythm to the front and center stage areas to join friends, old and new to dance. There alway seems to be room for a few more.
National touring acts like legendary blues guitarist Coco Montoya, former local and country favorite Lacy J Dalton, the supremely talented Birds of Chicago, Roger MacNamee’s Moonalice, Poor Man’s Whiskey, Good Luck Thrift Store,and John Craigie are among the more recognizable names on the bill but local legends Harpin’ Jonny and Larry Hosford, Mary McCaslin and Steve Palazzo, and The Joe Craven Trio are all great musicians and big draws in their own right as is one of the hottest bands to come out of Santa Cruz in recent years: Wooster with Caroline Kuspa, Brian Gallagher, Zack Donoghue, Bobby Hanson and Nate Fredrick.
The rest of the bill is a diverse collection of accomplished and popular performing musicians from around the state including:
- the sultry vocals of Carolyn Sills (with Charlie Wallace on steel guitar, Gerard Egan on guitar and Jimmy Norris on drums);
- the unique and inspiring Steven Graves;
- the latin global funk sounds of the 9 piece B-Side Players;
- the hybrid reggae/rock band Thrive;
- the traditional acoustic North Pacific String Band;
- SLV local rockers Vito and Friends (Vito Dettore, Keith Graves, Eric Gunn, and Frank Hatfield)
- the roots reggae stylings of the 9 piece Ancestree;
- the lyrical, lucid, rootsy, danceable stylings of the McCoy Tyler Band;
- the pop/punk power trio My Stupid Brother;
- and the sweet harmonies and straight ahead rock and roll from The Coffis Brothers and the Mountain Men (Jamie and Kellen Coffis, Henry Chadwick, Mason Hutchison and Kyle Poppen.