AnnaBananza Ė honoring a giverís life
Music festival to celebrate the benevolent nature of Cotatiís Anna Bachman, who tragically died earlier this year in San Diego
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By Natalie Gray  July 18, 2014 12:00 am

Cotati native Anna Bachman was only 25 when she was taken from this world this past January. She was studying to acquire her Masters in Social Justice at the University of Illinois. She had already received her Bachelor’s Degree from University of California, Berkley in Development Studies, always hopeful to find a way to use her degrees to better communities and living situations.

Now, in an attempt to honor those goals and to honor her memory, her family and friends are putting on a music festival July 27 at La Plaza Park in Cotati.

“She (Bachman) was just a pretty amazing person, really dedicated to helping people,” said Marsha Kopral, Bachman’s mother. “One of the things she really loved to do was community development.”


Honoring her goals

Affectionately named “AnnaBananza,” the festival is planned to be a celebration not only of Bachman’s life, but also of her goals and dedication to helping others. The festival is free and invites all members of the community to attend. Proceeds collected from purchased food, drinks and raffle items will be donated to help local organization Neighbors Organized Against Hunger (NOAH) and, Bachman’s personal favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity.

According to Kopral, Bachman had been working for Habitat for Humanity at the East Bay-Silicon Valley for two years. There, Bachman had made it something of a personal mission to help shape a community with affordable housing and assistance to the homeless. To this day, Bachman’s family still receive notice from individuals claiming to have been touched and had their lives helped by Bachman’s assistance and aid, said Kopral. Habitat for Humanity plans to build a house in Bachman’s honor, “Anna’s House.” The proceeds from AnnaBananza that will be donated to Habitat for Humanity would go to assist this project.


Loving music festivals

Kopral said Bachman loved music and music festivals, and often saw the latter as a time of bonding between herself and her family; they would often take family trips to festivals such as BottleRock in Napa.

“It was kind of a family thing that we would do together,” said Kopral, “so it seems appropriate that music would be involved (in her festival).”

Six local bands are to be featured at AnnaBananza – The Bottle Kids, the Rockonigles, Wolfgang Vega, Barrel Bottom Blues Band, Janie and the Reforms and BuzzBuzz. 


All in the family

Many of the bands are made up of Bachman’s friends and family, like her father, her ex-boyfriend, her brother-in-law and even a brother-in-law of her brother-in-law. All the music will be rock, blues or alternative.

“Cotati needs a rock festival; they got the Oktoberfest, the Jazz and Accordion Festivals, but all of us really like rock,” said Kopral. “They’re (the participating bands) all really excited and have been working really hard… they’re going to be good and they’re going to be fun.”

Multiple restaurants and breweries have also dedicated their product to the AnnaBananza efforts and will be sold at the festival. Wishbone Restaurant will be there with sliders and cinnamon rolls, Amy’s Kitchen with nachos, Sal’s New York Pizzeria with, you guessed it, pizza, Jamba Juice with smoothies and Lagunitas with beer. There will also be a raffle and silent auction, where one can win items, gift cards and services from local organizations.

The festival is to take place on Sunday, July 27 from noon-6 p.m. So, come stop by, listen and dance to some great local rock music and help support a cause that will better the lives of the local community and honor and remember Anna Bachman.

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