The California Worldfest is a four day event that takes place annually in Grass Valley, CA at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Their 2014 event was their 18th go-around for bringing a diverse lineup of music that contains elements from around the world. The festival offers multiple stages featuring top caliber performing artists. They also provide workshops, children and teens programs, camping options and a good mix of food and craft vendors.
While Grass Valley is typically a bit cooler than Sacramento, the summer heat can still make the fairgrounds a bit hot during July. Because of this, many people make themselves comfortable at the indoor, air conditioned stage while they enjoy one or more of the many shows that take place throughout the festival. Large trees and erected canopy structures offer shade at many of the other stages but the central Meadow Stage is left inactive until the heat of the day passes and the field becomes populated with music fans through the evening until show end.
Outdoor seating is sparse and it is highly recommended that attendees bring low back chairs of their own unless they want to sit on the ground or other hard surfaces like the bleachers at the Pine Tree Stage venue. Chairs that do not fit the official size allowance will not be allowed except beyond the soundboard. The accepted chair size is under 32" from top of chair to ground and under 10” from seat to ground for seating close to the stage. No chaise lounges are allowed into the festival grounds.
Outside food and drinks are not allowed into the festival. Campers are expected to keep their camp food and drink supplies inside their campgrounds. Water bottles, however, can be refilled at water fountains in the fairgrounds. The food vendors inside the California Worldfest are typically diverse to accompany the diverse musical and cultural program. Asian, Mexican, Indian, Jamaican, Greek and other yummy options like crepes and barbeque are often found in the food court. Picnic tables and chairs are also handy and partially shaded.
The Sunday, July 13, 2014 music program at the CA Worldfest was a genuinely delightful lineup of musicians and music genres. BROTHER brought on a Celtic Tribal experience with bagpipes, drums, didgeridoo, guitar and keyboards. They were energetic and clearly well loved by the crowds. The Aussie boys fused global sounds into their unique creation of Celtic joy. Incendio brought Spanish guitar with a flourish and band members demonstrating remarkable skill on the strings and the other instruments they played. Matt Andersen crooned the blues with power and swayed the audience into a reverie as he sang and played the guitar in a solo presentation. Mamajowali broadened the world flavor with Afro-Americana music featuring the mandolin, violin and percussion by Joe Craven, ngoni played by Mali master Mamadou Sidibe and guitar by Walter Strauss. Mamajowali was a fine example of "interweaving two continents [with] three musical sensibilities."
The music schedule is extensive with many performers playing two or more sets on one day. Some appear multiple days which allows festival attendees a greater chance to catch nearly every show they might desire to see. The festival crowds really start to make themselves evident the closer it gets to the evening headliner show which was Delhi 2 Dublin on the 2014 final festival day. If you consider that concert tickets to the headliner acts can cost as much as the CA Worldfest tickets for a full day of diverse music, fun people, good food, and more, it's a good deal well worth checking out when it comes around in the following years. Because it is a well established festival with a history of 18 successful years, it will most likely continue for many years to come. However, don't wait and end up missing some great music or a new music festival experience. It might be an event you want to put on your calendar every year and bring along a car load of family and friends.