The two Green Music Center benefit concerts for the North Bay wildfires raised $350,000 for a relief fund. The 2000’s popular pop band Counting Crows brought in $238,500, while the Santa Rosa Symphony concert brought in $112,000.
The amount of money raised will allow 10 percent of it to go to the Noma Gives initiative, with the rest going to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, spearheaded by Redwood Credit Union.
Jacob Yarrow, executive director of the Green Music Center, said he couldn’t be more happy with the results. “We were thrilled to provide a place for people to gather as a community and experience the joy of music together while contributing funds to fire relief,” Yarrow said. “With the additional money donated to NomaGives from these concerts, the university was able to issue funding to all those who applied to receive assistance. We are very grateful to our partners with the Santa Rosa Symphony, The Family Coppola and BottleRock Presents.”
Both fire relief events were fully volunteered, according to Yarrow. “For the Santa Rosa Symphony concert, everyone volunteered their efforts including production staff, ushers, and others. We are grateful for the generosity of so many people,” he said.
The Counting Crows, like other bands that audiences have seen in other benefit events like Train and Metallica, are from the Bay Area as well as being from Berkeley. The production company BottleRock Presents brought the band to Sonoma State. The company is in charge of the largest three-day festival in the Bay Area, bringing big headliners to Napa like Maroon 5, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Robert Plant over the years.
Yarrow said he believes there is a chance to continue the fire relief efforts through music in the future. “We are considering possibilities for future benefit concerts and other ways that we can support our community during the lengthy recovery process,” he said.
Senior marketing major Dylan Kobrin said he believes this is a great way for SSU to contribute to recovery efforts. “The Green Music Center should keep doing these concerts and maybe bring in someone that the local student body including the JC would enjoy to see,” he said. “If Waka Flocka can come to Petaluma for a benefit concert, I don’t see why others can’t.”
Additional donations and assistance for fire victims can be made to a special fund via the CSU at https://www2.calstate.edu/sonoma-fires/.