Strawberry Music Festival on May 25-28: Returning to Grass Valley

When Charlie Cran started the Strawberry Music Festival in 1982, “there was a bit of a tradition of camping festivals in California,” he told CelebrityAccess.

“I guess, maybe, it was started by Woodstock. The Southern California bluegrass festivals had camping associated with them. There was a bluegrass festival in Grass Valley.”

Cran decided to start his festival at Camp Mather near Yosemite, where it was based for 30 years until the Rim fire ended its reign there. Now the Spring Festival is at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley and the Fall Festival is at Westside, near the Gold Rush town of Sonora, in Tuolumne County.

The Spring Festival returns to the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley on May 25-28, drawing thousands of musicians, entertainers and music enthusiasts from across the country. The fairgrounds offers forest and meadow camping, and lots of indoor and outdoor space for family fun.

The festival features a wide range of musical acts, representing many different musical genres, including Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk, swing, rock, Cajun, Celtic and gospel. It also offers children’s programming, workshops and Strawberry’s legendary camp jam culture.

This year’s spring lineup features Grammy award-winning singer songwriter Lucinda Williams, who is returning to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her first Strawberry appearance in 1992.

Also performing is Richard Thompson, named by Rolling Stone as one of the top 20 guitarists of all time and a critically acclaimed songwriter. Artists who have recorded Thompson’s compositions include Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos and David Byrne.

The lineup also includes The Earls of Leicester, Rodney Crowell, Marcia Ball, Elephant Revival, New Orleans Suspects, Sara Jarosz, Rising Appalachia, Steep Ravine, Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers, Dangermuffin, HoneyHoney, Thee Commons, Dirty Revival and the Banana Slug String Band. For more information, visit

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