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Strawberry fest lineup announced

Liz Kellar
Staff Writer

The Strawberry Music Festival organizers on Monday announced much of the lineup for this fall’s festival Sept. 11-14, which was relocated to the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley after its longtime permit at Camp Mather was pulled.

Strawberry, considered one of the nation’s most prestigious folk/Americana/bluegrass festivals, learned in May it needed to secure a new home when the San Francisco Parks and Recreation District denied its permit.

Strawberry Music typically hosts two festivals a year, one at Memorial Day and a fall festival on Labor Day weekend. Last year, the fall festival was canceled due to the Rim Fire that burned around the festival’s site near Yosemite.

In its previous home, the Strawberry Music Festival had a capacity of 4,050 adults camping tickets, up to 250 one-day tickets and about 900 children’s tickets, according to its website.

By contrast, the Nevada County Fairgrounds is able to accommodate 3,000 to 4,000 campers — but unlike Camp Mather, the fairgrounds is accessible for day traffic, according to fairgrounds publicist Wendy Oaks.

The annual Nevada County Fair accommodates approximately 90,000 people over a five-day period and WorldFest hosts up to 15,000-16,000 during the four-day event — an average of about 6,000 people a day. On Monday, Strawberry announced that ticket sales for the Fall 2014 festival have begun, adding there are currently plenty of camping and day tickets available for sale or exchange.

“Who’s playing at this festival anyway?,” the organization posted on its Facebook page. “Glad you asked! While the full lineup is not complete, it’s already shaping up to be a great show.”

The lineup announced over the four days is eclectic, with performers that range from classic bluegrass and Americana to genre-benders and a few acts that would not be out of place at WorldFest.

In fact, multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven — who was at WorldFest this year with Mamajowali, is set to play Strawberry with his daughter, Hattie.

Thursday’s performers include Strange on the Range, The Little Band, and John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band. Eliza Gilkyson, an Austin-based politically minded, poetically gifted singer-songwriter, will appear with special guest Nina Gerber,

On Friday, Nina Gerber will perform with Chris Webster. Other bands include Steep Ravine, conjunto master Los Texmaniacs, Bay Area-based progressive bluegrass band Hot Buttered Rum, and bluegrass stalwarts Hot Rize.

Saturday, the fest will feature acoustic fiddling duo 10 String Symphony, Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, flamenco/reggae/cumbia/ska fusion band LoCura, and Nevada County faves Achilles Wheel.

“Achilles Wheel stood in for another band that couldn’t make it a spring ago,” said a festival organizer. “We were knocked out by them.”

Some of Sunday’s highlights include T Sisters, a sister band from the San Francisco Bay Area whose aesthetic calls to mind classic trios past such as the Andrews Sisters and 1960s girl groups; The HillBenders, who claim to be “making bluegrass hip again, one day at a time;” Oakland-based blues and R&B group the California Honeydrops; world-renowned dobro master Jerry Douglas and his band, and Grammy award-winning folkie Patty Griffin.

Additional performances are to include Sourdough Slim and his sidekick Robert Armstrong, who play Western classics, country blues, and string band favorites from the 1920s-40s, and blues musicians Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan.

For more information about the Strawberry Music Festival, call 209-984-8630 or visit http://www.strawberrymusic.com.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

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