NEW FESTIVAL, WHO DIS? Over the past nine years, Levi’s GranFondo has become an annual event that reliably draws thousands of participants and fans to Santa Rosa’s favorite bike distance event.
A quick glance around usually reminds us it’s not just locals present at this event but people who have traveled from all over the world to cycle up and down the hilly roads surrounding the town and to witness the spectacle.
As if the event wasn’t already worthy of attendance, this year, the GranFondo takes on a new entity and transforms into a free public festival with a list of names you’ve seen on major festival posters all summer.
The new and improved Sonoma Vita (“life” in Italian) not only celebrates cycling but features a weekend full of music, food, beer, wine, running and more.
Though Sonoma Vita runs from Thursday through Sunday and includes Gerard’s Paella festival, the Santa Rosa Downtown Mile Run, the Sonoma Vita beer and wine festival as well as Levi’s GranFondo, for Nightbeats, the live music at Old Courthouse Square during the GranFondo may be the biggest highlight.
Headlining the new shindig is Warner Brothers sweethearts Echosmith.
Best-known for the breakout hit “Cool Kids,” the band is an indie pop treat you won’t want to miss.
Other notable acts include Los Angeles duo Coast Modern, the Bay Area’s Lungs and Limbs, as well as Santa Rosa’s own Charley Peach and John Courage.
Let’s face it, if you live in Santa Rosa, you might as well attend it because half the roads will be closed anyway.
Make sure to log on to the Sonoma Vita website for a full list of performances, set times, and other activities. Oh, and if you’re among the locals who want to avoid the races at all cost — there’s a full list of road closures on the site, too.
Details: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a,m.-3 pm. Sunday. Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa. Free. sonomavita.com
ARR, MATEY! WE FOUND TREASURE ISLAND: At long last, the Bay Area’s beloved Treasure Island Music Festival is back after a yearlong hiatus. It returns with one of the best lineups to date.
Let’s not sugar-coat it. Things were looking pretty bleak after a drenched crowd braved a winter storm to bid adieu to a festival once known for gorgeous views of the Bay.
Even though many soaked attendees seemed ready for another stormy adventure by the end of the festival, the following year left a hole in our hearts when the 11th TIMF installment was postponed.
The fest is worth every penny as it’s one of the only festivals where it’s possible to catch every act on the bill if you show up early enough, which is rare at major festivals full of overlapping musical acts.
The lineups have a history of catching fresh up-and-coming acts right before they hit it big. Just take a quick peek at the TIMF alumni — do K. Flay, Grimes and MØ ring a bell?
This year’s musical acts include: A$AP Rocky, Silk City (Diplo + Mark Ronson), Santigold, Pusha T, Tame Impala, Lord Huron, Courtney Barnett, Aminé, Pond and more.