.Cosmico Takes Its Rustic Festival to Guerneville

Massive music festivals are an acquired taste, as each typically runs three days and is jam-packed with stages, musicians, food trucks and all sorts of sundry goods, depending on the vibe of the fest. Nothing like paying hundreds of dollars to enjoy a favorite band from 300+ yards away with 10,000 close friends.

However, the Cosmico Music Festival is offering a much more thoughtful and chill fest as it ambles out of the summer festival gate early with dates set for May 17-19 at Dawn Ranch in Guerneville. This “boutique” music fest promises a smaller, more community vibe than other bigger fests like BottleRock or Outside Lands.

Started by Anne Driscoll and Chris Schultz five years ago among the redwoods at their home near Mill Creek, Cosmico seeks to be a more intimate affair, with a nod towards local winemakers via their “Wine Camp” attraction, where aficionados can taste some of the smaller label wines the area has to offer.

music in the park san jose
music in the park san jose

This is the fifth year for the festival and the first at Dawn Ranch in Guerneville, which is about 20 minutes northwest of Santa Rosa, near the Austin Creek Recreation Area. “While we would have loved to stay in Healdsburg, we also loved the idea of doing it in nature and having a night show outdoors—which isn’t that easy in Healdsburg,” said Driscoll.

The area came across the Cosmico radar in conversations with friends, as it’s located locally as well as spacious enough to fit more people. It’s also home to the rustic Dawn Ranch Lodge, as well as areas where festival attendees can camp.

“We visited it last fall to see all the changes, and even under a rainy sky, we knew that this was somewhere we could create magic. It would allow us to have people stay on site, which creates amazing energy, and gives people such a unique opportunity to be sharing the space with our artists,” Driscoll said.

Both she and Schultz have worked alongside entrepreneurs and music festivals alike, all with an eye towards creating a “business and foundation based on the power of community and connection.” As such, the festival is also part of a non-profit group called The Launch Pad Foundation, which in turn donates to grass roots organizations that reflect their mission to strengthen communities. Examples of these include: Mill Creek COPE, Voices for a Safer Tennessee, Good Fire and Scholarship for Children of Vineyard Workers.

Speaking towards the overall vision of the festival, Driscoll said, “At Cosmico, you are part of the experience, and you’ll be dancing next to your new favorite winemaker or band. You’ll discover new spirits and meet new friends. You’ll be part of creating the energy, and you aren’t just a number on our ticket list.”

This year’s lineup is eclectic and includes indie rock band Susto, King Dream and The Aravelo Brothers, featuring Jackie Greene, Nikki Bluhm and Jason Crosby. Also on the bill is Sam Grisman, son of mandolin player and Grateful Dead-adjacent legend David Grisman.

When asked about the popularity and price point for many of the larger locally based music festivals, Driscoll didn’t pull any punches, saying, “We don’t want to go to a big fest anymore, either. Trying to find your friends, fighting the crowds. I don’t want to feel like I got dropped into a corporate machine, where I’m captive to their big brands and bigger prices.”

Explore the Cosmico Music Fest and buy tickets online at cosmi.co.

1 COMMENT

  1. Do these people know that they are butting heads with “Women’s Weekend”? Guerneville will be full of lesbians and admirers. WOW! I foresee a catastrophe. Many locals leave town for that weekend
    and let the ladies enjoy our space as theirs.

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