MARIPOSA — The Yosemite Music Festival is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, July 8-9, at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. Now in its 15th year, the festival formerly held at Carter Ranch is put on by Chuck Carter and Adam Finney working together with a host of volunteers over the last 15 years.
The idea is to bring the best touring acts possible to the small town environment of Mariposa.
“The event has always been about collaboration of artists and their unique interactions with the townspeople, fans and supporters of the event,” says promoter Adam Finney.
“The festival is for both travellers coming to Mariposa for the first time and long-time locals; it has something for everybody.”
Historically, Mariposa was a state seat during the gold rush and is a gateway community to Yosemite National Park. The town has also attracted artists, ranchers, wanderers, writers and nature enthusiasts looking to enjoy the Western foothills in relative tranquility.
The event functions under the auspices of the KRYZ radio (98.5 FM Mariposa; kryzradio.org) non-profit as a project of the arts and education. The artistic concept for the festival is to provide a simple and beautiful environment for people to interact with incredible quality original music by local, regional, national and international bands, say organizers.
The promoters book bands based on the caliber of the music they play and the interest the pique not only in listener’s current fancies but their relationship to listener’s future interests.
“We have a grassroots commitment to providing a variety of professional, historically significant, varied and deeply relevant music to people – whether or not they already like or know about a band we book – we’re always trying to put together an eclectic and interesting lineup that is at once powerful and provocative,” Finney adds.
“We like to think of ourselves as building community while attending to the festival goers’ fascination and growing appreciation for live music. We want to provide an event where people of all ages and styles can come together and find an eclectic array of truly provocative and powerful music performed by artisans from all over, and we want to bring the best music in that we can while staying true to our roots.”
The Yosemite Music Festival promoters were influenced heavily by the 1960s and 70s. Chuck Carter lived down the road from the Fillmore auditorium in San Francisco and attended many epic shows. Adam grew up listening to live music in California, chasing a variety of bands across venues ranging from all-ages punk clubs like Gilman Street to Pappy and Harriet’s to High Sierra.
This year’s lineup includes two of master critic and music historian Greil Marcus’s Real Life Rock Top 10 from his Pitchfork weekly column (The Americans and Heron Oblivion serendipitously were added to the lineup in conjunction with Marcus’ high praise), and Gabby LaLa brings her seven-piece all girl Psyche band: Snow Angel.
Paige Anderson and family return with their band, The Fearless Kin, after a year of enchanting and transporting audiences across the West with their hauntingly beautiful melodies and virtuosic picking.
Local favorites Bootstrap Circus return after their dynamic late set last year and longtime banjo player and festival mainstay Andy Roberts brings more of his bands while two great reggae bands round out the lineup with festival newcomers, the highly praises and accomplished musicians Little Fuller Band and Joe Kaplow.
Tickets are $40 for a weekend pass or $20 for Saturday only. Both passes include one night camping and can be purchased off the website.