American River Music Festival Sept. 19-21

American River Music FestivalCome enjoy the second annual American River Music Festival, whose mission is teaching, inspiring, and enjoying music. The three-day festival features various types of acoustic music from throughout North America: Cajun, classic Americana folk, rock, roots music, folk, blues, folk rock, cloggers, flute & drum, and more! Artists include The Buccaneers, John Wort Hannam, The Refugees, Ray Bonneville, the David Jacobs-Strain Trio, Keith Greeninger with Dayan Kai, Joe Craven with Sam Bevin, Steppin’ In It, Gandolf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Blame Sally, and more.

Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of DreamsThe main stage is in Henningsen-Lotus Park, in Lotus, California, and many area campgrounds are participating with their own intimate musical stages. The festival is expanded this year to include a complete musical Friday. There will be 24 music performances and workshops over the 3 days, including Jammin 101 with Sid Lewis from Chico which is open to anyone staying at participating campgrounds or volunteering for the event, who are ready to learn that they too have musical ability!

Joe CravenThere will be kids’ activities in the park, a free shuttle to and from participating campgrounds, and special events such as music and rafting on the South Fork American River, naturalist-led musical hikes, and music in the schools. The Buccaneers will be visiting four local elementary schools to lead students through Canada’s history and geography, intertwined with shanties and music. The band Steppin’ in It will visit Golden Sierra High School and present two complete, complimentary high school performances of their educational piece that covers eight genres of music, and history.

David Jacobs-StrainMany local organizations, individuals, sponsors, and agencies have cooperated to make this festival so comprehensive and exciting. “The community has been fabulous about supporting the festival, top to bottom,” reports festival organizer Matt Semonsen. Come on out and camp, hike, boat, and listen to great music!

Advance ticket prices are: $35 for single-day main stage tickets, $89 for three-day camping and all music, $189 for three-day camping, a river trip, and all music, and $219 for the all-inclusive package of three-day camping, river trip, all meals, and all music. Purchase tickets at the American River Music Festival website or call (530) 622-6044.

There may still be space for members of the local community to volunteer with the event. If interested, contact Alice Butler, Volunteer Coordinator, at

by Sara SK