Don’t worry – Sonoma County still has outdoor music venues


Outdoor concerts are held as organizers take precautions to keep the virus from spreading

With the organizers of some major local music shows and festivals decided to cancel for the second year in a row, others cautiously but optimistically proceed with a handful of outdoor events and scaled-down versions.

One of the big cancellations and postponements is the Country Summer Music Festival, which usually attracts 30,000 fans and was most recently held in 2019 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. In March, the organizers announced that the festival, which was held on 23-25. October was postponed, again to the 17th-19th June 2022.

The Santa Rosa-based Railroad Square Music Festival, which features local and regional musicians, was canceled this year and last. The festival is scheduled to return in 2022.

Additionally, Live at Juilliard, a local event in Santa Rosa’s Juilliard Park that has been popular for nearly 20 years, has been canceled for this year but is set to return in 2022.

However, Santa Rosa arts coordinator Tara Thompson said the city will make a final decision on the festival in December based on “terms from now on.”

But other music events are still going on for this year, and those that are still going on have drawn audiences all summer. These include the weekly Tuesdays at the Plaza in downtown Healdsburg, which began in July and ended on August 31.

Although some events remain tentative due to the potential for further COVID-19 closures, outdoor event organizers are mostly hopeful.

“These events bring some relief to people after being in isolation for so long,” said Matt Milde of the Healdsburg Parks and Recreation Department, who oversaw the event in Healdsburg’s Fountain Square Plaza. “We’re here to celebrate that the health contracts are working in our favor and can get the streak going. It’s very refreshing. “

In typical years, the event usually attracts 800 to 1,000 people each night, but that number is lower this year due to local residents’ concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, he said. The event usually lasts 14 weeks, but this year it was planned for 10 weeks.

When Boston developer WS Development bought the Montgomery Village mall in June, known for its annual series of live outdoor concerts, many local fans wondered if the series would continue. It did, but as a ticket fundraiser rather than a free event.

“We’re relieved to have continued this long tradition that means so much to so many people in our community,” said Brittany Mundarain, general manager of Montgomery Village. “We had to work creatively. I’m unsure what will happen next, but we remain optimistic and prepared for new (pandemic) guidelines. We have to be agile. “

Mundarain said they are already planning for next year’s concert series.

This year, Montgomery Village presented a series of five concerts that concluded with a performance by Kalimba, a tribute to the band Earth, Wind and Fire, on August 26th. When the last live concerts took place in the shopping center in 2019, 41 concerts were spread over three rows.

In Cloverdale, Mark Tharrington, program manager of Cloverdale’s Friday Night Live concert series, noticed obvious changes to the series, including fewer food vendors and an emphasis on local and regional bands rather than those from more distant areas.

Although many organizers thought their events were successful, they all found they had to prepare for potential new pandemic guidelines.

“We have to be flexible and wait,” said Tharrington. “We’re trying to go with the flow until we get more guidance from the health department. People wonder what happens next? “

Here’s a look at outdoor music events on offer for the rest of the year:

Cloverdale’s Friday Night Live: This happy event features genres like soul jive, electric blues and funk. Friday Night Live takes place every Friday from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Plaza in downtown Cloverdale. The concert series is free and public. It runs until October 1st.

In addition to the live music, there is a street festival with food and drink, handicrafts, bouncy castles for the children and climbing. The music starts at 6:30 p.m. At the event, the participants do not have to show a vaccination card when entering.

Peacetown series at the Barlow: This festival, which celebrates music, art and nature, takes place every Wednesday through September 8th from 4.30pm to 7.30pm at The Barlow in Sebastopol. Grab some beers and hop to the various stages in the surrounding restaurants and breweries, at Blue Ridge Kitchen, Crooked Goat Brewing, Woodfour Brewing and Fernbar, Community Market and HopMonk. For free. Summer Celebration

Huichica: Up-and-coming indie acts, artisanal regional wines and local culinary talents meet from October 15 to 16 at the Gundlach Bundschu winery. Tickets: $ 125-350. For more information, visit

HopMonk tavern: Live music shows are held every weekend at all four HopMonk locations in Sonoma County. HopMonk features local solo musicians and bands from all genres. Visit for the schedule.

Proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test performed up to 48 hours in advance is required for ticketed shows. All outdoor shows at the Sebastopol and Sonoma locations are free.

Healdsburg’s Tuesday in the Plaza: This free series at Healdsburg Plaza features a line-up of eclectic and unique bands in Plaza Park from 6pm to 8pm through August 31.