With the addition of a pair of California music festival gems, KVMR 89.5 FM's summer live remote broadcast schedule is once again bursting at the seams...and then some.
The Strawberry Music Festival is expected to be aired when it moves to the Nevada County Fairgrounds in mid-September, creating a historic first for KVMR since the eclectic Nevada City station is broadcasting two -- count 'em -- two different music festivals the very same weekend, along with the previously scheduled American River Music Festival. And they said it couldn't be done.
In addition, the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy joins the KVMR concert line-up on the Fourth of July weekend.
Add to that its 18th annual cover-to-cover California Worldfest broadcast (July 10-13), a remote broadcast from the Nevada County Fair in August, and KVMR's own traditional Celtic Festival at the end of September, and it's quite the summer. .
It all starts with the tradition that a fresh-faced, newbie volunteer broadcaster named Eric Rice got started when he was told in 1985 there was no way the station could broadcast the Father's Day Bluegrass Festival from the fairgrounds. He and a few volunteers, instead, made sure that "no" became an annual yes.
And it's just kept going, year after year...through high winds, swaying signals, six inches of rain and various other obstacles
Now its state of the art digital sound makes the listener feel like you're in the front row.
In fact, the 29th consecutive broadcast of the California Bluegrass Association event airs this Thursday through Sunday morning at 10 a.m. (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming) and goes until 10:30pm for three nights and 1 p.m. Sunday, with mandolins, fiddles, banjos and more blazing away.
KVMR favorites Peter Rowan, Laurie Lewis, Kathy Kallick and Ragged But Right join the Lonesome River Band, Roland White, Junior Sisk and others onstage.
And a slightly older version of Eric Rice -- now a station Lifetime Achievement Award winner -- will be on hand to say "howdy" to folks who stop by the KVMR broadcast booth.
Things do indeed head to the High Sierra on Independence Day with the likes of Lauryn Hill, the Punch Brothers and Ernest Ranglin among those scheduled during 4 p.m. to midnight (and maybe later) coverage July 4th and 5th at the annual festival known for appealing to a younger clientele.
Meanwhile, Ozomatli and Delhi to Dublin will likely kick up some dust at California Worldfest, along with everything from bluegrass vocalist of the year Claire Lynch and Hawaii's revered band Hapa to the tongue-in-chic antics of Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours and the world sounds of siren Perla Batalla.
August brings the Nevada County Fair and KVMR's annual chance to interview small children and large farm animals, as well as an assortment of non-profit organization leaders.
The Strawberry Music Festival line-up hasn't been announced yet, but you know KVMR will make this venerable event feel welcome at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, with the first full power radio station broadcast of the festival, which had spent its first thirtysome years at Camp Mather near Yosemite.
And Greg Brown, The Bills, Laura Love, and Tommy Malone of the Subdudes, among others, will make sure the American River Music Festival broadcast keeps hopping September 13-14, the very same weekend as Strawberry.
"Broadcasting two festivals at the same time is a challenge," noted station engineer Dave Barnett, adding with a smile, "but it's .very doable."
Yes, the live remote festival schedule concludes with KVMR's Celtic Festival September. 27-28 for those unable to attend the festive annual community event.