A Guide to Mill Valley's Musical Weekend: What to Expect at MVMF 2024

Article Contributed by Gabriel David Barkin | Published on Saturday, April 27, 2024

San Francisco Bay Area music fans are looking forward to the 2024 Mill Valley Music Festival on May 11 and 12. This homegrown event, now in its third year, will feature The Fleet Foxes, Greensky Bluegrass, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, and a plethora of other worthy performers on two stages. Tickets for the weekend-long Marin County festival are available now at www.millvalleymusicfest.com.

Greensky Bluegrass - photo by Rich Gastwirt

The 2024 version of MVMF is “an impressive and eclectic lineup, one that really stands out from the crowd and attracts music lovers of all kinds,” said Michelle Swing, CEO of event promoter Noise Pop Industries. The lineup is indeed attractive: also appearing this year are the self-described “Southern California sweet soul” trio Thee Sacred Souls, country-Americana crooner Margo Price, and Eric D. Johnson’s indie folk project Fruit Bats. Some New Orleans spirit will be on board with Rebirth Brass Band. Danielle Ponder and Eric Lindell round out the main stage lineup, and a variety of local acts from in and around Marin County will get a chance to shine on a stage sponsored by Mill Valley’s storied Sweetwater Music Hall.

Margo Price - photo by Gabriel David Barkin

Jim Welte, Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director and festival producer, has been involved in the production of MVMF since its inception in 2022. He says the goal of the festival is “to create and embolden economic vitality and social vitality.” Now in its third year, the festival has proven to be a success. “The value of raising the profile of our town and creating something fun and exciting for the larger Bay Area is really important to us. And so far, so good!”

Indeed, it’s not just about the music; it’s about community. Festival proceeds each year are contributed to three different beneficiaries, each an entirely local, nonprofit organization that brings value to the Mill Valley community. This year’s beneficiaries are:

Kiddo! (https://kiddo.org), whose core purpose is to provide funding for comprehensive arts programs in vocal and instrumental music, visual art, dance, drama, and poetry for children in the Mill Valley School District.

Tam High Foundation

Tam High Foundation (https://www.tamhighfoundation.org/), which provides funds for bridging state and local funding gaps to provide academic enrichment programs, technology, guest teachers, equity, and wellness for every student.

Mill Valley Friends of Parks & Recreation (https://www.mvfriends.org), a nonprofit that facilitates, enhances, and promotes the activities and resources of the city’s parks and recreation facilities and services.

Mill Valley Friends of Parks & Recreation

MVMF also features local craftspeople selling Mill Valley art, apparel, and more. Numerous food vendors representing local restaurants will serve a variety of NorCal cuisine, and a selection of Sonoma and Napa wineries will be pouring some of the region’s world-famous fermented beverages. The festival also has activities for kids, including a tie-dye workshop, DIY jewelry and flower crown stations, and inclusive field games. A pop-up record shop will be selling vinyl. Massages, yoga, art exhibits, student theater performances – something for everyone!

MVMF is held on the bucolic and aptly named Friends Field, a grassy park environment with redwood trees and Mount Tamalpais views located just behind the Mill Valley Community Center. The afternoon / early evening event schedule makes it a perfect weekend outing for families, and the world-class music lineup is likewise inviting to music lovers of all genres.

Josh Lane of Three Sacred Souls - photo by Gabriel David Barkin

Festival attendees may also see the next big thing. The Sweetwater Stage this year will feature several up-and-coming regional acts, including San Francisco’s Roadkill (which the festival website touts as featuring “5-star Taco Bell cashier Joshua Higgins.”) Also on hand, Mullet Daddy is a band that arose from a music program at a public high school, Marin School of the Arts.

New for this year: The event is striving to be 100% emissions-free, engaging Bay Area energy innovators Moxion to provide battery systems instead of fuel-powered generators. Welte believes this may be a first for a Bay Area festival.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones -photo by Gabriel David Barkin

“This is about as homegrown of an event as you can possibly have,” Welte says. “Given the depth and breadth of live music and culture in our town, we decided [back in 2022] to try something a bit hairbrained,” adding that a Chamber of Commerce is “not the most obvious host and producer of an event like this.” But it worked out just fine. “We’re proud of it and happy to put our community on the map in a way that brings people in from out of town.”


Fleet Foxes
Thee Sacred Souls
Fruit Bats
Danielle Ponder
Asher Belsky
The Army, The Navy
David Nance and Mowed Sound

SUNDAY, MAY 12TH, 2024
Greensky Bluegrass
Margo Price
St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Rebirth Brass Band
Eric Lindell
Jon Chi
Mullet Daddy
Anna Jae