The Family Vacation Festival, hosted by Bitcrusher Presents is back after over a year, but with a twist. This year, rather than the multi-day camping experience, 2021’s event took place in a condensed form– a day and a night packed to the brim with artists based in Northern California. Showcasing local talent in genres of all forms, ranging from post-hardcore and math rock to jazz and EDM, anyone in attendance is sure to be given something to their liking.
This year’s lineup surrounded some returns from fan favorites and some new appearances. With each artist offering a half-an-hour setlist, we merely got a taste of the glory that is Family Vacation; equaling one of the most intimate experiences ever. We camped and dined with the bands. We all laughed and danced together under the fan-cooled, tented stage to beat the heat, cooled ourselves from the triple digit heat in the ice cold water, and camped together under the glimmering starlight. Everyone took care of one another and made sure they were hydrated, providing what they needed for each other, and treated each stranger like family.
Combined with DJ performances in the SHWOMP Lounge at a second stage, the day’s events took place under the cover of a tent next to the cool rivers in the middle of the valley within the Nugget Campground.
As we stood out in the middle of nowhere we beat the heat under the tent to listen to Mourning Mountains, a beautifully sorrowful two piece band to kick off the day after setting up camp. This sad boy band retained a poetic understanding of the melancholy, blending in rich and emotive lyrics with a heartfelt performance. The instrumentals played in the background as the vocalist sang out his perfect poetry.
Up next was Hypha (Butterworth); a sweet and rich trance heavy instrumentals. The performers blended in occasional vocals, a rich change in pace once in awhile as they continued their set.
Following, Dwellings offered an electric performance. Not only did we immediately connect with them upon their greeting onstage, they interacted with the guests as they moshed in the shade and laughed with glee. Just in the front of the stage, the band displayed ripe lemons and Mike’s Hard Lemonade in multiple flavors for anyone to take as they wished. The vocalist, Isaac, picked up a lemon and a drink for himself before beginning to sing the words to “Lemonade,” and everyone joined in with their hands in the air. We chatted with them after their set about their next full-length album, a highly anticipated release among Sacramento and Northern Californian locals alike. Stay tuned for the video on our YouTube.
Brimming with movement that had been trapped within from fifteen months of lockdowns and no music, Demon In Me followed, changing the atmosphere with their energy and their electricity in their performance.
And after, The Seafloor Cinema carried an air of authority as the sun began its decent on the horizon. The wind blew through their flowing hair with ease as they performed with a contagion of vigor buried from within. They expressed their glee in being back on the live stage in their movements and ease in performing, and their vocals gripped the audience with every word. We chatted with them later in the evening about their upcoming releases. View the full interview here.
Next, Mookatite soothed the soul with jazz that grooved with the summer breeze. The sun continued its decent down the horizon and you could feel the cool in your bones as the band set the mood and eased its way into every smile and dance that the crowd performed.
A food truck opened, offering tacos and nachos for a small price; and the line gathered in wait.
Following, newly reunited progressive math rock group, find yourself, showed their presence with a new fire and renewed being. Their movements were equally as frantic as they were expertly executed; seemingly effortless as the flow of music poured from their hands and lips. The crowd came in close and shared in their sense of blazing spirit.
Lastly, Strawberry Girls joined the stage. The instrumental production performed songs new and old with juicy guitar riffs, sweet bass lines, and punchy drums that fill your soul with a renewed sense of being.
The night ended with a show of fire dancers and smooth jazz; but the night had really yet to end. We all united that night at the picnic tables and enjoyed each other’s company under the glimmering starlight until retiring to our own tents, gathered together and united.
Stay tuned for more updates regarding Bitcrusher Presents and Family Vacation! View the full gallery of the day here.