Music festival season is back in full force in Nevada County – from last weekend’s sold-out Strawberry Festival to next month’s World Fest, with more scheduled in between, but there’s no only one focused on local talent for members of the local community – the second annual Deer Creek Music Festival takes place this Saturday, June 4 at Pioneer Park in Nevada City.
Produced by the Miners Foundry, the idea and work behind the Deer Creek Music Festival comes from Mark DeMartini. The festival started in 2021 after several years of discussions with the executive director of Miners Foundry, Gretchen Bond.
“I came up with a whole new festival for our community. It fills a void,” DeMartini said. “Although our area has many festivals, there was no festival designed for us – the locals – and not only to showcase our amazing and talented artists that we have in our community, but to provide a space for our community to get together with our friends, rather than being swarmed by lots of people from out of town.
Bond thought it was a great idea and was enthusiastic, bringing the support of the Miners Foundry team behind her.
“The first annual Deer Creek Music Festival took place despite all the challenges of COVID,” DeMartini said. “It was an incredible achievement and an honor for the Miners Foundry and all the volunteers to have made this possible, despite all the challenges we faced, and our very first festival was a huge success. We did, and this year’s festival will be even better.
The second annual Deer Creek Music Festival kicks off at 2 p.m. with Bob Woods, joined by the talented Juliet Gobert opening the show. Woods, who has been performing professionally since 1971, will also join headliners Tim High and The Mighty to close out the festival, which features a variety of non-stop entertainment between the pair, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Jay Tausig.
Tausig will perform solo, and DeMartini said he expects to hear some Jethro Tull. “He’s the lead singer in Minstrels in the Gallery, which is a Jethro Tull cover band, and he plays Ian Anderson in that band, and he’s amazing,” DeMartini said. Tausig has recorded dozens of albums and plays a wide selection of music of various genres and styles.
After Tausig will be the Tyler Foote Walkers, a local ‘ridge’ country jam band playing blues with a strong bent for improvisation.
Majik Band will follow, offering what is described as a bit of psychedelic rock. The group formed in 2019, and while live performances were on hiatus due to COVID, the trio found their own unique sound and recorded eleven tracks titled “Mycelium” in 2021.
As the festival progresses, Caltucky will take the stage. The local “grass jam band” mixes bluegrass, country and soul. Always a popular addition to any lineup, Caltucky is known for getting the crowd out of their seats and up.
Returning to the festival this year, Tim High & the Mighty will headline. The group is made up of longtime veterans of the Nevada County music scene, boasting a diverse selection of music. Tim High & The Mighty are said to bring new life to the rock ‘n roll good time. Bob Woods will join the group to close the festival.
“Bob Woods plays with them,” DeMartini said. “They’ll be performing great classic rock and roll dance tunes.”
A highlight of this year’s festival is the addition of a laser light show by Nu-Salt Laser Light Show International which will begin at sunset, hopefully for part of the Caltucky plateau, but will certainly accompany the head poster.
A pioneer in the laser light show industry, Nu-Salt brings 28 years of experience coordinating lasers with live music just after sunset. DeMartini is excited about the feature: “They do laser shows all over the world. This is the first of its kind for a public festival in Nevada County to have a professional laser show. They do a live performance which is synchronized with the music that is being played. They are excited to bring this to the community.
The first festival was an instant hit, and DeMartini said he expected this year to be even better. “One of the comments I got right off the bat was what I was going to do for the next festival. People were already looking forward to it and were excited. It blew my mind.
“The Deer Creek Music Festival is our festival,” DeMartini explained. “It’s all about community, connection, music and nature. This annual festival is held in Nevada City’s beautiful Pioneer Park, a grassy meadow surrounded by tall pines with Little Deer Creek meandering along. It’s our special place and our festival, where we can sit on a blanket with our friends and family, while enjoying some of the most amazing and talented local artists and we can even dance barefoot on the grass !
Tickets are only $25 in advance and $30 at the door. DeMartini urges attendees to come early to get a spot on the lawn and enjoy the music, which will begin shortly after the doors open at 2 p.m. The family event offers free admission for children twelve and under and teens are only $10.
There will be craft, food and drink vendors at the festival. Ticket holders are welcome to bring outside food and non-alcoholic beverages to the festival, but no outside drinks or alcohol may be brought into Pioneer Park.
For more details and general information, please visit minersfoundry.org or call 530-265-5040.
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire, as well as a podcaster at HollieGrams. You can listen to his episodes at http://www.buzzsprout.com/1332253. She can be contacted at [email protected]