Farm-to-Fork Festival expands its musical offerings, books indie-folk standouts

Blind Pilot is scheduled to headline Sacramento’s free Farm-to-Fork Festival on Sept. 23, 2017.
Blind Pilot is scheduled to headline Sacramento’s free Farm-to-Fork Festival on Sept. 23, 2017. Courtesy of Blind Pilot

Indie-folk bands Blind Pilot and The Lone Bellow are set to headline this year’s Farm-to-Fork Festival on Capitol Mall.

The fifth iteration of the festival, which highlights the region’s farm-to-fork movement, is scheduled for Sept. 23. Other live-music acts on the bill for the free event are The White Buffalo, Chuck Ragan and the Camaraderie, Joe Pug, Inland and Manzanita.

“The lineup this year, we thought it fit the style of the Farm-to-Fork Festival in that it’s Americana, folk, alt-country, and sort of the sounds of the heartland,” said Mike Testa, CEO of Visit Sacramento, which organizes the festival.

The 2016 festival featured the Grammy-winning Wallflowers. Testa said that rather than target a big-name headliner this year, organizers wanted to compile a deeper lineup of smaller touring acts that might attract music fans who aren’t drawn solely by the farm-to-table aspect.

“I think we’re counting on that,” Testa said.

Blind Pilot, a folk sextet from Portland, released its third album “And Then Like Lions” this past year. The band appeared this past fall on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series, which noted the group’s “shimmery folk-pop sound.”

The Lone Bellow, an alt-country trio from Brooklyn, is slated to release its third album, “Walk Into A Storm,” on Sept. 15. Sacramento will be the band’s second tour stop after the album’s release, following an appearance at SummerStage in New York City.

The Farm-to-Fork Festival has mushroomed in size, drawing 50,000 people in 2015 and an estimated 65,000 this past year, when organizers added two blocks of vendors. That brought the event to six blocks of food, beer, wine, cooking demonstrations and music between the Capitol Building and Tower Bridge.