There's a pocket-sized music festival hiding out in Sonoma. With small crowds, big smiles, and a killer musical lineup tucked amongst the vineyards, the Huichica Music Festival may well be heaven. And while it's tempting to keep this one under wraps, the good tunes and good vibes I found this past weekend inspire me to spread the good word.
Huichica is in its fourth year at the Gundlach Bundschu Winery (that's gun-lock bun-shoe). 2013 was twice as big as 2012, and if the quality of the food and music lineups are any indicator, the festival is on the brink of becoming a capital B big deal. What could make a vineyard-based music festival even better? A fantastic selection of good eats, of course.
Food offerings included indie San Francisco favorites Salumeria, Craftsman & Wolves, and Namu Gaji, Napa's Rancho Gordo, and Portland's Bunk Sandwiches. Music-wise, indie darlings Blitzen Trapper and the Fruit Bats closed out the day, following memorable performances from The Donkeys and Jonathan Wilson (with a guest jam appearance by Bob Weir!).
Of course, the wine and beer was flowing as festival attendees wandered between the two stages, stopping to check out the goods at a small farmers market, or watch the hula hoop lesson going on in the Kid Zone.
Serious food offerings are certainly becoming par for the course at music festivals, as we've seen at Outside Lands and, more recently, at Bottle Rock. But Huichica is a particular standout both because of its affordability ($40 for the day) and its well-curated food and music offerings. One of the kind people at the Salumeria stand put it best as we dressed our knackwurst with sauerkraut: "This is just the best festival. Everyone here is so... happy!"
What's your favorite small music festival? Let us know in the comments below! And check out Huichica's food offerings in the slideshow above.
About the author: Lauren Sloss is a bicoastal food-lover who is based in San Francisco. Some of her favorite things include The Black Keys, goat gouda, and guacamole. You can follow her on Twitter @laurensloss.