NAPA — Five years ago, SOMO Concerts set out on a mission to create a new live music experience in Wine Country—a sustainable, zero-waste, solar-powered festival experience. The challenge became selling the venue, essentially set on a patch of grass in the middle of a business park on the outskirts of a quiet residential area. The people behind the venture had to provide it could be a viable setting for national touring artists.
The effort was headed up by music industry vets Morty Wiggins and Steve Senk, who have a storied background spanning three decades, including the Beatles, The Who, Sheryl Crow and others. Now, the venue has solidified its place in the North Bay scene, bringing in acts like Social Distortion, E-40 and the Psychedelic Furs. The festival space has grown to included a permanent stage and all of the VIP flourishes you’d expect from a summer music festival. The line-up includes the upcoming (and aptly named for this podcast) Rock & Wine Festival, featuring major ’80s classic rock bands.
Bryce Dow-Williamson, promoter and booker with SOMO Concerts, and owner of Second Octave Media, works with a number of venues across the Bay Area, including SOMO, Petaluma’s Mystic Theatre and Berkeley’s Cornerstone. Dow-Williamson sits down with us on this episode of Rock’N Vino in a wide-ranging conversation about the SOMO concert space, the North Bay music scene and the challenges it faces, as well as what goes in to developing a thriving music scene.
Find out more about the SOMO Concert series at SOMOConcerts.com.