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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Going Mobile

Huichica Musical Festival a new way to enjoy Walla Walla

As we embrace the RV lifestyle, one of our biggest and best surprises is how much fun it is to camp at a music festival.

Last weekend’s Huichica Music Festival near Walla Walla confirmed this happy discovery.

Thanks to our RV, we’ve had a great year for music. We camped at The Gorge Amphitheatre to see Brandi Carlile last June and got special permission to stay on Willie Nelson’s ranch near Austin for the Luck Reunion last March.

And now we can add to the list Huichica, which took place in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable, on a farm called Stella's Homestead set amid the rolling Palouse wheat fields near Waitsburg, Wash. Two stages handled the entertainment, which had a distinctly folk-indie feel.

The lineup included Yo La Tengo, The Minus 5, Robyn Hitchcock, Waxahatchee and Fruit Bats frontman Eric D. Johnson. 

Huichica’s mission is to bring together music, food and wine, and the experience hit all those marks with a lot of style.

Walla Walla’s most popular food truck was there, and we celebrated with a juicy Left Coast burger from Andrae’s Kitchen, where our only regret was skipping the fries. We also shared an incredible fried chicken and waffle from Maple Counter Cafe and finished up with some sweets from Bright’s Candies, sold from a beautifully restored 1951 Liberty delivery van.

On the beverage front, Walla Walla Roastery kept the crowds caffeinated, while wine and beer were served in a roped-off area near the stage.

Huichica is the brainchild of winemaker Jeff Bundschu of the groundbreaking Gundlach Bundschu in Sonoma, Calif., and the guitarist Johnson, who came up with the concept in 2009. They wanted to expand this year to Walla Walla and found willing partners in Trey Busch of Sleight of Hand Cellars, Ashley Trout of Vital Wines and Cheryl Hanson, owner of Stella’s Homestead.

For campers, Huichica was truly special. We parked our RV amid about 20 other rigs in a pretty field, with views of the region’s golden wheat fields butting up against the azure skies of Eastern Washington.

Even if you didn't have an RV, camping at the festival was excellent. Many concert-goers stayed in their own tents tucked into a field above the stage area, or opted for glamping in posh shelters that were available for rent.

One of the things we loved about Huichica was its intimate scale. It was easy to get close to the performers and see amazing sets. The Barn Stage had the feel of a house party, where you could stand just a few feet from the performers.

All in all, the vibe was friendly and laid back. We've seen how crazy music festivals can be, with the party going on deep into the night. At Huichica, once the music ended, it was lights-out in the bucolic setting.

Put it on your list for next year. There's nothing quite like staying on the site, fully experiencing the music, food, beverages and beauty.


Eagles tailgating

Welcome to the RV world, Steve Bergum. We caught up with the Spokesman-Review sports-writing legend at a recent party in Spokane and learned he's now rocking an Autumn Ridge trailer in the tailgating area of Eastern Washington University home games.

Check out some shots of his sweet rig on our blog at


This week's Going Mobile question

The hardest thing to find on the road is reliable internet service. We have a few tricks -- libraries and coffee shops among them. When you're on the road, how do you get internet service? Send your responses to and we'll share them in the next column.

Leslie Kelly
Leslie Kelly is a freelance writer.