Yes, the setting is gorgeous, the artists are stellar, the wine is superb—but ask what makes Sonoma's Huichica Music Festival one of our favorites and we'll tell you: the intimacy with the artists.
The person in the crowd to your left hollering and dancing along to one set may likely be on the stage performing during the next. Mingling with musicians over a glass of Gewurz in a cozy wine cave puts Huichica head-and-shoulders above most other music festivals.
We think this final performance of the 2011 Huichica festival—Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats leaving the stage and singing a capella among the crowd—just about sums up the magic of those kinds of experiences.
A moist day got mushier and still, we thought the 2011 Huichica Music Festival couldn't be any more perfect. As streaks of sunset rendered Sonoma Valley luminous in the distance, we were alternately mesmerized by J Mascis' stunning set and the Fruit Bats' deliriously sweet boot-stomping romp.
The second annual Huichica proved that despite the deluge, the crowd's collective spirit and interest in seeing independent artists play Sonoma's historic winery was far from dampened.
Take a look at the third of three short videos capturing the experience, featuring J Mascis, Fruit Bats and friends.
After a few cozy sets in the Gundlach Bundschu winemaking facility, the 2011 Huichica Music Festival made the move outdoors, where curtains of clouds had temporarily pulled back to reveal a few bona fide moments of blue.
These United States then barreled out a kind of boogie that not even a few rain showers could squelch. The unsinkable, infectious vibe was kept deftly afloat by Richard Swift and Sonny & The Sunsets. It seemed that precipitation only furthered the bonding experience, as crowds crammed into tents, warmed themselves near [the bejkr]'s brick- oven fire and clinked wine glasses in the rain.
Here's the second of three short videos we crafted to capture the experience, featuring Sonny & The Sunsets' ruminations on wine as well as stellar performances by the aforementioned bands.
It was June in California—when all everyone expects is sunshine and blue skies for miles—but it rained. And rained. And every event in the area was cancelled. Except one: the second annual Huichica Music Festival.
In fact, it's our belief that the inclement weather made an outstanding music festival that much more "rock and roll."
"The music was mesmerizing, the vibe was infectious, and Mother Nature was awesome," says Gun Bun president and festival co-producer Jeff Bundschu. Cramming into tents and clinking wine glasses together during periodic downpours only seemed to further the bonding experience.
Take a look at the first of three short videos capturing the experience—included in part one are performances by David Williams, CB Brand, Tu Fawning and Breathe Owl Breathe.
How do you make used coffee filters, old shopping bags, disposed drinking straws, discarded turkey inseminators and tin cans more flashy than trashy? You commission a talented group of artists and designers to create haute couture from the refuse. The Sonoma Community Center did just that and the event culminated in their first annual Trashion Show and Accessory exhibit. For this video, we followed the process of some of the resourceful artists from concept to runway.