.SOMO Concerts Comes Back with New Booker and Superstar Shows

Since 2014, Rohnert Park’s 3,000 capacity solar-powered outdoor venue SOMO Concerts has presented international artists and dynamic events each summer.

The list of headliners who’ve graced the stage at SOMO Concerts includes E-40, Lucinda Williams, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Ziggy Marley, Los Tigres del Norte, Billy Currington, Playboi Carti and Social Distortion.

Last summer, SOMO Concerts went dark along with every other North Bay venue due to the pandemic. Now, the sustainable venue is reopening for major concerts, and doing so with the help of a new independent event promotion firm.

Last month, Nederlander Concerts was selected to exclusively book and promote SOMO Concerts, effective immediately.

This multi-year agreement with the venue’s manager, Second Octave Entertainment, aims to broaden the venue’s reach and booking capabilities with Nederlander’s national expertise. 

“With the resurgence of the live entertainment industry, we are thrilled to expand our footprint and offer music and events to the fans of Sonoma County,” says Rena Wasserman, Nederlander Concerts Senior Vice President of Production & Operations.

Nederlander Concerts will present an annual series of music, comedy, and family entertainment events, which will take place from April through November each year. Already, Nederlander is booking major music acts to usher in the return of shows at SOMO Concerts.

On August 29, eight-time Grammy-winning musician and producer Stephen Marley brings his “Babylon By Bus Tour” to the North Bay. On September 23, Mexico-based superstars Los Ángeles Azules play the venue as part of their long-awaited “40 Años” Tour.

The second son of music icons Bob and Rita Marley, Stephen Marley is a legend in his own right, producing a robust collection of prolific music that infuses reggae with hip hop, soul, jazz, doo-wop and much more.

A portion of the proceeds from the August 29 concert will benefit Ziggy and Stephen’s Ghetto Youths Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating social change and equity with a focus on providing opportunity to young people, seniors, and families from compromised communities and challenging situations.

Hailing from Iztapalapa, Mexico, Los Ángeles Azules are the largest exponents of the Latin America folk tradition of Cumbia. Formed four decades ago by the siblings of the Mejía Avante family, the band has played some of the biggest stages in the world and international festivals such as Vive Latino and Coachella. In this new tour, fans will be able to enjoy classic hits as well as many more surprises.

“We are excited about the opportunities Nederlander Concerts can bring to continue the growth of SOMO Concerts,” says Second Octave Entertainment CEO Morty Wiggins in a statement. “Their reputation, resources, and experience in the industry are important to us as we usher in this new era of entertainment and return to hosting events safely.”

In addition to SOMO Concerts, the Rohnert Park venue is also continuing to highlight North Bay artists and bands this summer with the second round of the SOMO Grove Dinner Series.

Last May, the series first paired locally sourced meals with local bands for several socially-distanced, seated outdoor shows. The series–curated by event producer, booker and promoter Bryce Dow-Williamson–was a major success. This month, a new lineup of local stars come out for more SOMO Grove Dinner Series shows.

On Friday, July 16, North Bay vocalist Stella Heath and some of the Bay Area’s finest Jazz musicians perform as The Billie Holiday Project. The ensemble draws from some of the Jazz legend’s most recorded tunes and also revives some of the earlier and lesser known tunes she interpreted. 

On July 31, classic rock-and-roll duo Luvplanet and funk-rock outfit The Dylan Black Project team up for a one-two punch of good vibes and amazing musicianship. SOMO Grove Dinner Series continues with a hip-hop showcase featuring North Bay stars Tru Lyric and Kayatta on August 13. The series wraps its secound round of shows with longtime local favorites The Pulsators and Awesome Hotcakes on August 27.

Dinner from Heirloom Café included in price of ticket for all four SOMO Grove Dinner Series shows. Groups that would like to be seated together need to purchase as a group. Get tickets to all of these shows at somovillage.com/events.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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