Great Outdoor Music Concerts and Summer Festivals
Sing a song of summer, with so many live music concerts and music festivals taking place this season in the Sonoma Wine Country region of the San Francisco Bay Area. Enjoy Broadway Under the Stars in Jack London State Park, wine festivals, Fourth of July Fireworks at the Green Music Center, plaza concerts, and much more.
Take in the spectacular weather of long warm days and cool nights, and make plans to get your groove on at local music festivals, rock-n-roll parties, and tastes of uncommon favorites like zydeco and Mexican pop.
Already thinking about how to get here? Consider flying into STS - Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, where you can fly direct from Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Diego, and more.
Broadway Under the Stars, Jack London State Historic Park in Sonoma
June 12 through Sept. 13, 2020
Jack London State Historic Park is breathtakingly beautiful at dusk, and turns even more mystical in the summer, with the sounds of Broadway musical theater acts serenading under the stars. The 2020 summer schedule includes the full hit Broadway musical Chicago as well as three concerts combining Broadway and popular songs around specific themes. Each of the performances begins before sundown at the spectacular Kohler & Frohling winery ruins in the park.
In addition to the innovative production of Chicago, the three themed concerts for 2020 are Fantastical Family Night, The Beat Goes On, and the Gala Celebration. Festive pre-show picnicking and warm-up band music begins at the Beauty Ranch at 5 p.m., so bring your own feast or purchase food and beverages including signature wines from local wineries at the park. Then, prepare to dance and sing, when the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Details: Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen
Transcendence Theatre Company: ticket prices vary depending on VIP, premium, select, general admission, or youth levels; proceeds benefit park preservation.
Tuesdays in the Plaza Concerts, Healdsburg
May 26 - Aug. 25, 2020
A true community gathering, hundreds of locals and visitors stake out their blankets and folding chairs early in the day to secure prime viewing of bands playing everything from swing to cool jazz to country and rockabilly.
Bring a picnic and wine (some regulars bring small, low tables and set up candelabras and flower vases), then settle back in the grass for a variety of acts that often include favorites like Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings, Stompy Jones, The Dixie Giants, and Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys.
The free music runs from 6 to 8 p.m. each Tuesday, with plenty of food trucks to feed you, too.
Country Summer Music Festival, Santa Rosa
June 19-21, 2020
As Northern California's largest country music festival, the weekend includes 20 acts on two stages, on the grassy, five-acre Carnival field at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. The main Chevy Silverado Stage features 14 nationally known country music artists while six up-and-coming local and regional bands perform on the Redwood Credit Union Stage between the main acts.
State-of-the-art staging and sound are enhanced by two 16-foot video walls, showcasing talent like Eric Church, Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Young, and many more. Concessions serve beer, wine, spirits and Wine Country food alongside an array of western themed and festival activities.
Friday Night Live at the Plaza, Cloverdale
May 29 - Sept. 4, 2020
Cloverdale's summer-long, free concert series plays alongside the Farmers Market in the Downtown Plaza. The market begins at 6 p.m. and the music plays from 6:30 p.m. until around 10 p.m.
There's music for everyone, in a weekly changing showcase of alternative country, pop, rock, blues, American rock, soul, funk, salsa, Latin jazz, and indie - even zydeco and Cajun French tunes.
For even more family fun, there are food booths, premium Sonoma County wines and craft beers, hand-crafted arts for sale, and kids' activities like jumpy castles and rock climbing walls.
Details: Downtown Cloverdale Plaza
Rodney Strong Vineyards Summer Concert Series, Healdsburg
Every year for the past 28 years, fans of this winery's lavish celebrations have looked forward to seeing intimate performances by world-class musicians in a stunning vineyard setting topped off by sweeping views of the Russian River Valley.
Take a picnic meal to enjoy on The Green, or purchase an assortment of delectables from local purveyors who will be onsite. You can also stock up on Rodney Strong wines, to sip while you sing along.
Details: Rodney Strong, 11455 Old Redwood Highway, Healdsburg.
Summer Nights on the Green, Windsor Town Green
May 28 - Sept. 3, 2020 (excluding July 2)
There's simply too much good music to pack into the small town of Windsor, which is why this weekly event is always packed, with thousands of partygoers converging on Thursdays.
The Windsor Certified Farmers Market, complete with food trucks and lawn games, runs from 5 to 8 p.m., and the free music concerts start at 6 p.m.
You can dance this year to jams like Kingsborough rock n' roll, Atta kid funk/soul, The Boys of Summer with an Eagles tribute, Danny click and the Hell Yeahs! with indie country rock, and more.
Huichica Music Festival, Sonoma
June 12-13, 2020
First, it's pronounced We-Chica. Second, it's an annual concert at Gundlach Bundschu Winery in Sonoma, selected because the 152-year-old Gun-Bun (as regulars call it) was once part of the land called Rancho Huichica by Mexican General Mariano Vallejo, and Huichica is the name of the unique soil of the region that makes for great winegrowing.
The festivities start at 3 p.m. on Friday and continue at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, with a diverse lineup across four stages. Past performances included groups like King Tuff, Fruit Bats, Iceage, White Fence, and more.
Keeping everyone fueled are pizza, barbecue, salads, yakitori, craft beers and plenty of Gun-Bun wine.
Details: Huichica Music Festival, Gundlach Bundschu Winery, 2000 Denmark Street, Sonoma
July 18 - Aug. 2, 2020
It's an authentic taste of centuries old inspiration, with three weekends of concerts that were introduced as the first in the nation devoted to classical and romantic chamber music on period instruments.
The 2020 festival theme "The Obsession: Beethoven's Influence, 1770-2020" examines the response of composers to the inspiration Beethoven has commanded through the centuries. The program, details to be released in the spring, will explore Beethoven's music as well as those who have followed.
Sip wine and enjoy the Sonoma vista while mingling with the artists on the patio after concerts. Each reception features a different local winery. And feel free to picnic on the patio before concerts.
Details: 707-509-3713, more info
Fort Ross Festival, Jenner
July 25, 2020
Fort Ross State Historic Park is wonderful to visit all on its own, with historic crafts, militia cannons, and living breathing history of its founding in the 1800s.
Set in a dramatic natural outdoor amphitheater with the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop, authentic re-enactors will perform periodic songs accompanied by historic instruments and twirling dancers.
Details: Fort Ross Festival, 19005 Coast Highway One, Jenner
Aug. 1, 2020
Plan for a whole day of entertainment, with gates opening at 11:30 a.m. and live music continuing until 9:30 p.m. Enjoy 14 bands — including national recognized artists — on four stages. Spread out on the expansive lawn areas in front of the main stage and garden stage, or grab a VIP Premium ticket for shaded reserved seats under a canopied area complete with complimentary hors d'oeuvres, wine and beer.
Food is a highlight, offered for sale by specialty food vendors. Quench your thirst with the Sonoma County Wines or the fine beers of the Lagunitas Brewing Company, and browse a variety of craft and local business vendors. Bid on the silent auction and celebrity autographed guitar raffle, and let the youngsters play in the awesome Kids Area.
The Petaluma Music Festival raises money for local public school music programs.
Details: Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma
The Sonoma County Fair Concert Series, Santa Rosa
Aug. 5-16, 2020
One of the biggest parties of the year, the Fair attracts top-notch performers amid the carnival rides, games, great food and wine.
As always, headline acts this year will be big names, with the exact lineup announced in spring. All concerts are free with fair admission ticket purchase.
Details: Sonoma County Fair, 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa
Summer Concerts at Montgomery Village, Santa Rosa
June 6 - Oct. 3, 2020
Summer concerts in the heart of the picturesque Montgomery Shopping Village make shopping and dining on the patios even more fun with a bit of groove.
Concerts Under the Stars are held every other Thursday in Village Court from 5:30 to 8 p.m., while Rockin' Concerts take place each Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday Concerts take over the Village Terrace from 1 to 4 p.m. This year's lineup includes Super Diamond, Wonderbread 5, Gator Nation, the Sun Kings, Pride & Joy, Tainted Love, and many more.
Details: Montgomery Village Shopping Center, 911 Village Court, Santa Rosa, 707-545-3844