If you love amazingly good live music, and love to discover performers, come to Lotus and Coloma this September 12-14. In its 8th year, the American River Music Festival has a diverse music line-up with fresh, new music. Some of the 33 shows feature artists who are “tried and true” like Laura Love and Greg Brown. Many other superbly talented acts are just waiting for you to fall in love with them — the three sisters of Baskery, the Whitewater Ramble band, and many more. Matt Semonsen, festival coordinator, works hard all year to share what he loves: “My personal joy is listening to really interesting, fun, danceable music that I’ve never heard before.”
And they do it big! The entire town becomes a music festival. The main stage is along the river in Lotus, with shade and grass for barefoot dancing. Great music, food and beverages, fun kids’ activities, and a refreshing swimming hole at the South Fork American River make this a fine main location. Adding to it, the whole Coloma-Lotus community helps with the superbly organized festival by presenting small performances at local cafes and restaurants, hosting musicians, and providing a whitewater rafting trip on Saturday morning. The hospitality in town is fantastic, and most of the people you will see staffing the Festival are local volunteers who also love the great music all weekend.
How to describe the music? Well, people get creative. How about “Brontosaurus Funk,” “High Octane Dance Grass,” or Matt’s favorite term this year, “RokJamBluRoots!” All of it is live, fresh, and friendly, on the big stage and the smaller venues all through town, morning, day and night. Saturday has a jammy, rocking funky sound, and Sunday has more of a folk, grass, country sound. A little something for everyone. Click here to listen to the playlist: 2014 American River Music Festival Performers.
Good news – the Festival provides shuttles between the musical venues both day and night, making it easy to get to your choice of performers and musical workshops. Our guests at Eden Vale Inn love that they can just drive a few miles, park, and enjoy the whole day without having to drive around town. If you do like to stretch your legs, many locations are a pleasant walk away from each other, along or across the river.
If you can, come early! The Friday night kickoff is one of the festival’s most loved events: the Musician Showcase. Ten performers compete for judges, and the two winners get to perform on the Main Stage on the weekend. Competitors come from the local Sierra Foothills Gold Country area, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles. Go and root for your favorites, and get a great preview of the music to come on the weekend.
There are several opportunities over the weekend to make music as well as listen to it. Jump in the “Join-Ins” and play a ukulele, practice harmony, and belt out the words to well-known cover songs at the Saturday night Sing-Along Dance!
American River Music Festival tickets can be bought for one day or for the whole weekend. Contact us to discuss your options, and come get your Brontosaurus Funk on!