This month will see the second iteration of Huichica East Music Festival in upstate New York, and event curators (((folkYEAH!))) are remaining strong with the ‘less is more’ theme.
Huichica East is a two-day ‘microdose’ festival at the Chaseholm dairy farm in Pine Plains, New York. The event brings as many as 700 people to the 300-acre farm, where farm-to-table food is available for purchase.
“We’re trying to keep it intimate. We don’t want to be involved in overuse of the farmland there because that’s what we love about it,” (((folkYEAH!))) founder Britt Govea told Amplify. “It’s an active dairy farm. With respect to that, we keep it at that number.”
Govea added, “The space could probably hold 1,500 people with no problem. That’s another fun part about it. It is a spacious event and you’re not waiting in long lines for anything.”
The family-run farm will have multiple stands to produce various meals for attendees with vegan and vegetarian options and, obviously, plenty of homemade cheese. The menu varies each day of Aug. 25-26 festival.
As a single-stage fest in a rural setting, Huichica East tends to attract a slightly older crowd than most music festivals. Even with camping available, the Huichica audience typically ranges from attendees in their late twenties and up.
“I think it takes someone at least in their late twenties to enjoy a foodie market like this and good wine. It’s not like corn dogs and cotton candy. It skews that way because of people’s tastes,” said Govea. “Intimate festivals are the kind we enjoy attending. Bigger festivals are great and they definitely have their purpose, but not necessarily what we attend or what we really want to do. For us, it is to bring high quality entertainment out with great wine, great food, and do it in a smaller place that becomes a gathering.”
(((folkYEAH!))) is also known for the intimate shows they’ve put on in remote settings like California’s scenic Big Sur community near the Pacific Ocean. The group has hosted concerts among the ancient redwoods with performers like Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, Ryan Adams and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The lineup for this year’s Huichica East includes performances from Real Estate and Doug Tuttle on Friday night. The Cass McCombs Band and Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires headline Saturday evening.
“I think when you have to drive a little further to see a show or to go see your favorite artist, for the most part you’re a lot more present,” Govea said. “When you’ve given it a little more of your time and your effort and you’ve gotten into a car to drive out and see something like this in a rural spot it is a lot easier for people to be in the moment. I think the artists feel that and the attendees feel that. It usually makes for a very special show.”
In addition to working with the farm, Huichica East partners with Gundlach Bundschu Winery. Gundlach is one of the oldest wineries in Sonoma, California and the event host for Huichica West. The owner of the winery, Jeff Bundschu, is also a co-founder of Huichica who helps provide all the wine from its sustainably farmed vineyards at the base of the Mayacamas Mountain Range.
Two-day music passes for the festival can be purchased at huichica.com for $90. Two-day car camping passes are also available for $30 and include camping for up to eight people. As a family-friendly festival, those with children are encouraged to attend. Admission is free for kids under the age of 16 when accompanied by an adult.
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