Fourteen months into the Covid-19 pandemic, North Bay’s restrictions are slowly but surely lifting on social gatherings.
With that, one of the region’s most popular pastimes – live music – is making a comeback with socially distanced outdoor concerts like the upcoming SOMO Grove Dinner & Music Series.
The series is curated by event producer, booker and promoter Bryce Dow-Williamson, who worked with venues and organizations like Second Octave, Railroad Square Music Festival, SOMO Concerts and The Mystic Theater before the pandemic.
For this new pop-up series, Dow-Williamson mixes local dishes and local bands for outdoor sit-down shows.
“It’s been a strange time for so many people,” says Dow-Williamson. “People are hungry to see music.”
Set under the redwoods of SOMO Village in Rohnert Park, the series begins on Friday May 21with the already sold-out show of folk trio Rainbow Girls from Sonoma County with Daniel Steinbock, Caitlin Jemma and Eric Long.
Afterwards, North Bay band Kingsborough (fronted by Billy Kingsborough and lead guitarist Alex Leach) and King Dream (songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Lyon) team up for a royal rock show on Friday, June 4.
Next, soul rock band Highway Poets team up with new project TERRIER (Ben Morrison of Brothers Comatose and Erika Tietjen of T Sisters) for a gig on Friday June 18.
Each night has a limited capacity of 200 people and safety protocols such as face coverings and social distancing will be in effect. Tickets sell in pairs and in groups of four or six starting at $30 and going as high as $35 ten days before the show. Ten dollars from each ticket goes toward the cost of dinner.
Dow-Williamson hopes to add more shows in July, and it’s keeping lineups local to showcase North Bay’s array of talented performers.
“It’s so satisfying for me to work with people here,” he says. “We have so many of these acts gaining momentum. It’s a good time to be able to help these groups in this way and sell something with heart.
The SOMO Grove Dinner & Music Series takes place Fridays, May 21, June 4, and June 18 at 1100 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park. Doors 7 p.m., Show 7:30 p.m. $30 to $35. Tickets available on Eventbrite.