New concert venue across from campus: SOMO

If one were to spend an afternoon asking fellow Seawolves if they have heard of Sonoma Mountain Village (SOMO), they might cock their heads and say something along the lines of, “what is that?” 

Most Seawolves know that we have the Green Music Center, but considering that SOMO Concerts is still relatively new, only a few students might have heard of it.

SOMO Concerts is part of a bigger organization, Sonoma Mountain Village. 

When asked about the new concert arena Rebekah Israel, replied, “That is part of the new planned green community, right?” 

Rebekah had heard of the development in her environmental studies class where an organizer had stopped by their classroom to discuss the plans for the future of Sonoma Mountain Village. 

Sonoma Mountain Village (SOMO Village) is roughly located 1.5 miles away from Sonoma State and is still in the early developing stages. It is a planned 200-acre community where they combine homes, amenities, culture and a sense of belonging. 

The slogan, “One Planet One Place” lives by 10 principles; health and happiness, culture and heritage, equity and local economy, local and sustainable food, land use and wildlife, sustainable transport, zero carbon, zero waste, sustainable materials and sustainable water. 

Although the community is still in the earlier stages, it is paving the way for a greener way of life.

Taking a walk around the grounds of SOMO Village it was clear that they were tearing down the stage from last night’s concert. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings had played to a large crowd of people. 

Brian Baker, who is the production manager behind SOMO Concerts where part of his responsibility is setting up and tearing down the stage. 

The first thing Brian Baker talked about was the exhausting process behind setting up a stage and tearing it down in just a couple days. 

“This place was alive last night. We had about a thousand people come to watch the show. The front over there by the stage was for the VIP section and behind that and to the sides was the general admission, with only a third of compactly last night we have a ton of room for more people to come out to the show,” said Brain Baker.

The venue itself without a stage looks bare and it was hard to imagine a thousand people dancing and hanging out the night before, but Baker’s crew who was hard at work was proof enough. 

Brian went on, “Before we had Sharon Jones, we had the Goo Goo Dolls play here. We want that caliber of artists coming in and playing shows. In time, we want to be a known venue to the greater Bay Area, including Sonoma County too, of course.” 

Their venue is working with all the big agencies to get a variety of artist in and they are working hard to get big names to play for the upcoming season. For their smaller shows they use Sally Tomatoes where Carlos Mencia was the entertainment for the evening. 

Sally Tomatoes is called the Celebration Destination, where they serve lunch and dinner. There, every Friday night they feature local rock, blues and jazz artists, and every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month they host a comedy showcase.  

Sonoma Mountain Concerts would like to see a more permanent structure, so that one day they can rival the Green Music Center.

His hope is to see SOMO Village residents spend more time outdoors and together, creating a better, greener and friendlier environment. 

If you would like more information about SOMO concerts, check out somoconcerts.com and join their mailing list to stay up to date on upcoming shows. Also, check out sallytomatoes.com, The Celebration Destination.