We went to the 2021 edition of the Huichica Music Festival, the first time we'd ever been to this particular event.
This is a very small festival, which runs over two afternoons-and-evenings across 3 stages on the grounds of Gundlach-Bundschu winery in Sonoma, CA.
Since we'd never been before, we didn't have a good yardstick, but from talking to some of the staff, I think attendance was significantly down this year, which was lovely for us attendees, but presumably quite sad for the promotors, the sponsors, the vendors, etc.
Still, the opportunity to see an act like Mac Demarco or Yo La Tengo with only a couple hundred attendees in the audience is absolutely amazing, and the weather was just glorious, so we truly enjoyed ourselves.
My favorite shows were these, in roughly descending order.
- Thee Sacred Souls. A lovely soul band from San Diego with a great frontman and great production values. What a great find they were!
- Devendra Banhart. Dev has been playing shows in the Bay Area for a long time, but this was my first chance to see him and his band. He's been to the festival before and it showed: he knew just how to match his show to the location and the audience.
- Wet. Wet are an East Coast (Brooklyn) band that is still finding their footing after a few lineup changes. Vocalist Kelley Zutrau has a superb voice and great stage presence, and their songs are mesmerizing electronic ballads. Read more about Kelly here.
- Cass McCombs. McCombs is a Bay Area native who I had somehow not known of up til now. I love his sound, and could listen to him play for hours. He reminds me of artists like Shakey Graves or Lord Huron.
- Whitney. I'm a huge fan of Whitney, who are from Chicago, and this was the third show of theirs that we've seen. I really hope they can put together a new album and release some new material.
- Mac DeMarco. I really enjoy Mac DeMarco's music, and he's got a great stage personality. They didn't deliver the best set that they're capable of this weekend, I feel, but he's got a great future ahead of him.
- Lauren Barth. Barth is another Bay Area native who I hadn't heard before, and she was a lot of fun to listen to.
We really enjoyed the Huichica Festival. I hope that it can return in future years, and I'm sure we'll look forward to more chances to attend.