Accordion ‘N Ale Confab in Costa Mesa

The beautiful bellows sound at the OC Market Place.

IT'S OKTOBERFEST TIME... which means a few things. One? There shall be steins, many steins, holding a lot of German-style suds. Two? There shall be pretzels and schnitzels, many snacks, that pay homage to the savory spirit of the autumn celebration. And three? The accordion music will raise the rafters on numerous halls and banquet centers and taverns over several September and early October weekends. Accordions give oompah standards their oomph, but it seems, for however long they play, that an Oktoberfest aficionado is always left wanting a tad more. Maybe that's because the bellows + keys create a combo that gets down deep in your bones and under your skin and in other happy-making brain crevices that cause your fun centers to light up (read: you get up and dance). That's one reason what the OC Market Place always plans The Big Squeeze, an accordion-laden lark, right in the heart of the Oktoberfest run. Nope, the sound-filled celebration isn't simply about oompah and stein-adjacent melodies, though the Oktoberfest touches are plentiful. Zydeco gets its time on the stage, too, and Celtic and Tex Mex. In fact, there are few instruments that star in as many different and diverse musical genres as the accordion, so it is good and fitting that it gets its due each year. And its due arrives on...

SUNDAY, SEPT. 27... in Costa Mesa. Bonne Musique Zydeco is one of the headliners, and The Ploughboys, and Los Fabulocos, and the Doo Wah Riders, too. There shall be lessons in how to one-man-band yourself -- the accordion is always a key component to the one man band -- and there shall be a Samuel Adams beer tent, to give the day a sprinkling of Oktoberfest-type cheer (cheer that's further enhanced by the stein-holding contests). There are three stages in all, and a wide swath of accordion masters'll be bellowing the heck out of their squeezeboxes. Did you make the big party in Cotati in August? Where oodles of accordionists turn out? Call this your SoCal sound bath, with a giant dollop of autumn-style partying. 

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