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SOMO Summer Concert Festivals in Rohnert Park

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SOMO Summer Concert Festivals in Rohnert Park

By Jonathan Fisher

There is truly nothing like going to a concert. I’m not talking so much about sitting and watching classical musicians perform works by famous composers but rather the experience where the music is blasting, the audience is dancing, and everyone is jamming out. It’s definitely a fun way to let loose. The thing, though, is that going to a high energy concert like the ones I just described aren’t very easy to come by in the area of Sonoma County. That’s something SOMO Concerts is trying to fix.

SOMO Concerts is a solar-powered, 3000 person concert venue located in Rohnert Park. The venue tries to feature not only easily recognizable acts but also up-and-coming ones in an effort to create a compelling lineup of performers for people to see and a new musical environment for younger generations in Sonoma County. “It’s about creating that culture that we wish was here more or that we see that’s potential,” said Bryce Dow-Williamson, one of the employees of the Second Octave company, which presents SOMO Concerts.

Dow-Williamson describes the concert experience at the venue as a “pop-up festival.” Local vendors, artists, and non-profits set up booths all around the stage. What is simply an open space between the buildings in the SOMO Village during the day is transformed into a nice, laid-back environment where you can come early, hang out, and enjoy the local vendors in the glorious evening weather followed by a fun night of music.

When I paid a visit to the concert venue for a performance by Grace Potter, I didn’t know for sure what to expect. I’m usually the one to keep up with trending hits but not too much beyond that in the world of the music. Once the performance began, though, I realized I didn’t have to be familiar with the music to have a great time. By the end, the music had me dancing around, and I had a truly memorable experience.

That’s exactly the goal with SOMO Concerts. Dow-Williamson said, “It’s the kind of thing where you might not know about them beforehand, but if you go to that show, you’re never gonna forget it.” A good summation of Second Octave’s vision is its tagline: “Music. Community. Experience.”

Morty Wiggins, the CEO of Second Octave, describes the program as “about creating a company in Sonoma County that can play in the major leagues…with the tremendous young talent that’s here.” Wiggins has had quite a successful career in the music industry himself, including being a big part of “Bill Graham Presents” and working with iconic artists. “We’re definitely counting on the goodwill of the audience that we’re going after to help spread our message,” said Wiggins, “so towards that end you have to make sure you give a really good experience, and our concert experiences are getting better and better.” Over time, they have gone from presenting just a couple of shows to 11 shows in a year.

Of course, just as Wiggins said, it’s up to the community to come partake in the experience in order for it to truly be a success. If the number of people coming to check out SOMO Concerts as well as other shows presented by Second Octave continues to increase, the company will get closer to reaching their goal of bringing the community together and making Sonoma County a destination for fun, exciting concerts.

SOMO Village Event Center
1100 Valley House Dr, Rohnert Park, CA 94928


Finishing out the summer with:

Second Octave Presents SOMO Concerts in Sonoma County

EarleFest : A Benefit for the Earle Baum Center of the Blind

Lucinda Williams, The Paladins, The Mavericks, Girls & Boys, Bottle Shock, Dove Keeper, Jon Gonzales 'n Family

Doors: 1:00 pm / Show: 2:00 pm


Second Octave Presents SOMO Concerts in Sonoma County

Funkendank Oktoberfest

Galactic, The Pimps of Joytime, Big Sam's Funky Nation, The Dixie Giants, Royal Jelly Jive

Doors: 2:00 pm / Show: 2:00 pm