When the Redwood Mountain Faire brought Cracker and Dave Alvin to Roaring Camp as headliners in 2017, it drew a lot of people in Santa Cruz County who hadn’t realized that Felton has been home to a unique two-day festival for a number of years—or maybe hadn’t even been to Felton in the first place. Steering committee member Traci-lin Buntz says that beyond showcasing great music and raising money for a wide range of San Lorenzo Valley nonprofits (17 this year), that’s kind of the secret mission of the RMF, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend.
“I think about it like it’s almost an open house,” says Buntz. “It’s a showcase for our area. Not just the physical beauty of the redwoods, but also the beauty of our community.”
That extends from the massive all-volunteer effort that makes the nonprofit Faire possible each year to the lineup of musicians. Even as the festival has begun to attract bigger groups, it continues to showcase bands from the area; this year, for instance, Americana favorite Jesse Daniel, cosmic honky-tonkers Edge of the West and Grateful Dead cover band the China Cats—who this year will play with Melvin Seals, a longtime member of the Jerry Garcia Band, as a headlining act—all perform Sunday. Also performing Sunday is Big Sam’s Funky Nation from New Orleans, led by Big Sam Williams, a former member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and founding member of the amazing Stooges Brass Band; Grateful Dead-adjacent Bay Area singer-songwriter Elliot Peck; Rainbow Girls; Felton Fillies and more. Saturday’s lineup is led by San Francisco bluegrass stars the Brothers Comatose, and also includes national-festival funkster favorites the Main Squeeze, L.A. Americana group Dustbowl Revival, local cover maniacs Coffee Zombie Collective and others. The Banana Slug String Band Duo returns to play the kids area both days.
The Redwood Mountain Faire will be held Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2, at Roaring Camp, 5401 Graham Hill Rd., Felton. Tickets $25 advance/$30 at the door per day for adults, or $20 advance/$25 at the door for teens 13-17 and seniors 65 and over. Kids 12 and under free. redwoodmountainfaire.com.