SONOMA (CBS SF) — Beloved psychedelic indie rockers Yo La Tengo, songwriters Mac Demarco and Cass McCombs and SF psych hero Devendra Banhart are among the headliners for the eleventh Huichica Music Festival happening in Sonoma this weekend.

Presented and organized by Northern California concert promoter (((folkYEAH!))) and winery operator Jeff Bundschu, the Huichica (pronounced “wah-CHEEK-ah”) Festival was started as a smaller, more intimate alternative to larger festivals like BottleRock Napa and Outside Lands with a narrower musical focus while still offering the type of gourmet food and expansive wine options those festivals are known for. The North Bay fires in the fall of 2017 threatened the winery, Gundlach Bundschu and the grounds where the festival takes place luckily remained undamaged.

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Organizers took a calculated risk last year when they announced prospective dates for mid-October dates, but the continuing coronavirus pandemic forced the festival’s postponement until fall of 2021. But last June, the full line-up for Huichica was announced and has largely remained intact.

The relatively small size of the festival’s crowd and the amount of real estate available at the winery should allow for plenty of social and/or physical distancing for any concerned attendees. The two-day festival kicks of Friday afternoon.

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In addition to appearances by Canadian songwriter DeMarco, Bay Area product McCombs and celebrated East Coast trio Yo La Tengo (who are playing both days), the two-day event’s line-up includes such notables as Chicago-based band Whitney (led by former Smith Westerns members Max Kakacek and Julien Ehrlich), San Francisco songwriters Kelley Stoltz and Meg Baird — a solo act who is also a member of Sub Pop super group Heron Oblivion — San Diego R&B outfit Thee Sacred Souls, cosmic country duo Mapache, songbird Emma Swift performing the tunes of Bob Dylan, Bay Area psych-folk band Vetiver, roaring LA psychedelic rockers the Entrance Band and folk-pop act Shannon Lay, who recently played a string of intimate Bay Area dates in support of her brand new Sub Pop album Geist.

 

While Friday’s smaller list of performers will only utilize the smaller Giraffe Stage and the larger Redwood Barn performance area, Saturday’s full day of music will feature bigger acts on the winery’s Amphitheatre Stage. For complete line-up, more information on the festival’s COVID protocols (only vaccinated attendees will be allowed) and tickets, visit the Huichica Music Festival website.

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Huichica Music Festival
Friday-Saturday, Oct. 15-16, 2 p.m. (Fri.) and 11 a.m. (Sat.) $125-$350; children 12 and under free
Gundlach Bundschu Winery