Before Central Coast music fans officially bid farewell to summer, they’ll have another chance to move, groove and soak up the North County sunshine.
This weekend, Castoro Cellars in Templeton brings back Beaverstock, its two-day celebration of music, art and family-friendly fun.
American roots rock band Dawes will headline the festival on Saturday, while War leads the lineup on Sunday.
“It’s a nice send-off to summer music festivals,” selfdescribed “Beaverstock guru” Luke Udsen said of the annual event.
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While the winery has offered music since the early 1990s, Beaverstock was originally created three years ago — featuring Dave Mason and Tower of Power — to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Castoro Cellars. The winery was founded in 1983 by husband-and-wife team Bimmer and Niels Udsen. (Niels’ childhood nickname — Beaver, or “Castoro” in Italian — inspired the name of the winery.)
“We wanted to put together a big party for that milestone,” said Luke Udsen, one of their two sons. “We didn’t necessarily plan that it would be an annual thing.” However, Beaverstock proved so popular that the winery has officially added it to its regular calendar of art exhibits, concerts and other events. (The Wine and Wellness retreat on Oct. 11, for instance, combines yoga, massage, acupuncture and wine tasting.)
While many of those smaller events are held indoors in the tasting room or events room, Beaverstock takes place outdoors in a natural amphitheatre nestled in the winery’s Whale Rock Vineyard.
“We have this big meadow with big oak trees that slopes very gently,” Bimmer Udsen explained, with the main stage situated on one end. “No matter where you are, you can see the stage.”
According to the Udsens, it’s the perfect pastoral setting for a festival. They’ve sought inspiration from the likes of Live Oak Music Festival in northern Santa Barbara County, Lightning in a Bottle in Bradley and High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy.
As the festival continues to grow, “people will have experienced it through their lives and have a fondness toward it and want to bring their families and friends,” Luke Udsen said.
Like Live Oak, Beaverstock features an eclectic lineup that mixes established acts with up-and-coming bands.
“I hope people haven’t heard of every band in the lineup. That’s a good thing from my standpoint,” said Max Udsen, special projects manager, distiller and inhouse carpenter. “We want to bring some world-class talent that people have heard of and want to see again and also expose people to something they’ve never seen before. ... We try to mix our lineup completely, (to) have diversity throughout each day in terms of genre and style.”
Performing on the main stage
The smaller Stompin’ Grounds stage, added last year, will feature Central Coast acts, including The Turkey Buzzards, Bear Market Riot,The Bills, One Time Spaceman and Samba Loca. Also performing are indie folk rocker Chris Beland and bluesman Guy Budd with jazz folk chanteuse Inga Swearingen.
“We’re trying to build a very strong relationship with the local bands,” Luke Udsen said.
Beaverstock, his brother added, “is a great opportunity for them to be in front of a bigger audience.”
In addition to a packed concert lineup, Beaverstock features a number of nonmusical offerings, such as art displays, craft workshops and yoga sessions.
Festivalgoers can play cornhole and oversized versions of chess and Jenga, or take advantage of the winery’s disc golf course.
Luke Udsen touted Beaverstock’s emphasis on familyfriendly entertainment
“It’s not, ‘Oh yeah, you can bring your kids,’” he said of Beaverstock, which will benefit the Templeton Education Foundation. “It’s one of those events where you should bring your kids because they’re going to have more fun than you are. They’re going to love it.”
Originally held on Labor Day weekend, the festival was moved back two weeks last year to the heart of harvest season.
When Castoro began offering music, crowds ranged from 10 to 30 people. Beaverstock attracts around 2,000 people a day. And, Max Udsen said, they expect it to grow — and improve — each year.
“We had never previously done anything on this scale,” said Max Udsen, Luke’s brother. “The learning curve has been huge.”
Doors open at 12 p.m., music starts at 1 p.m. Sept. 19 & 20
Castoro Cellars Winery 1315 N. Bethel Road, Templeton
$50 for one day; $70 for both days