Why We Created the Mill Valley Music Fest — And How It’s About so Much More Than Music 

Mill Valley

At times, the 2022 Mill Valley Music Festival left us breathless. In the aftermath, the Mill Valley Chamber spent quite a bit of time evaluating the volumes of feedback we received. 

We knew that the catapult of the original event’s success was the more than two years of tremendous turbulence that preceded it. We wanted the MVMF to bring us all together for a thrilling, multi-genre, all-ages event with a bounty of delicious food and drinks, art, kids’ activities and more on Friends Field behind the Mill Valley Community Center. The community’s response? “More, please — of all of it.” 
So we decided, with eyes wide open, to grow MVMF to two days: May 13-14, 2023. We also decided to expand upon the power of song, infuse our collective spirits with joy, and bring a communal, sonic experience with friends and neighbors.

But what about the why? Is it just a grand party that celebrates our affluent town?


Our members — businesses, nonprofits and individuals — know who we are and what we stand for. But we haven’t always articulated that as well as we could to the broader community who doesn’t engage with our newsletters, blogs and social channels.

Mill Valley Music Festival Lineup

MVMF is about continuing to be better neighbors to those within and around our community. We demonstrate this through actions such as our yearslong support for the We Are One Marin Campaign and its related podcast, both of which highlight BIPOC-owned businesses, and our continued push toward equity in our town, from the historic to the recent and shining a light on discrimination among us. That includes involvement in issues like our workforce and affordable housing.

But what is MVMF doing to provide direct support to our neighbors? We’re leveraging the incredible generosity of individuals and businesses for good by turning Community Sponsorships into hundreds of scholarship tickets for students and artists (more than 300 were distributed in 2022) who might not otherwise be able to attend MVMF. The more sponsors we get, the more who will be able to attend on a scholarship ticket via several local nonprofit organizations.

The Chamber also is donating a portion of proceeds to a trio of local institutions, including the Hannah Project, which has a mission to boost the academic proficiency and college attendance of Marin City and elsewhere. Kiddo!, the organization largely responsible for funding art, music, dance, drama and poetry programs for the Mill Valley School District, also is a beneficiary, as is the Tam High Foundation, which has served as an inimitable backbone for high school programs across the board.

We’re also laying the foundation to make MVMF as sustainability minded as possible.

We’ll continue to strive for ways to use the power of this lil’ music festival to bring both sonic joy and more opportunity to our friends and neighbors.

Questions? Give us a shout.

Mill Valley Music Festival Poster

Jim Welte, Executive Director at Mill Valley Chamber