Goo Goo Dolls kick off SOMO series
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By Natalie Gray  July 18, 2014 12:00 am

A quiet corner on Rohnert Park is about to get a whole lot more rockin’ next week with the introduction of the SOMO (Sonoma Mountain Village) Outdoor Concert Series. And what better way to celebrate the occasion than with a debut concert on July 30, featuring the Goo Goo Dolls?

The SOMO Outdoor Concert Series is the collaborated creation of North Bay locals Lee Smith and Morty Wiggins. According to Wiggins, both he and long-time friend and current business partner Smith are experienced music promoters in their own right. Smith is head of Prescient Entertainment, the promoter of performing arts events at Mountain Winery in Saratoga. He is also the former president and chairman of Live Nation (originally Bill Graham Presents). Wiggins is the president of Petaluma-based Second Octave Talent and the former vice president of Bill Graham Presents and manager of A&M Records.

Sometime in the last year, Wiggins and Smith had developed the interest in creating a concert series that could celebrate and be enjoyed in the North Bay.

“My office is in Petaluma, and I’ve lived out here since 1955,” said Wiggins. “We both enjoy the North County very much…and we both had this wish to promote a concert series. We looked around and stumbled upon the Sonoma Mountain Village.”

Wiggins and Smith were taken with the venue’s space and layout, and thought the one-acre courtyard would make for the perfect location for an outdoor concert. 

The concert location is planned to be full-scale but temporary, so as to be removed to make way for other events regular to the Sonoma Mountain Village, such as the Relay for Life. 

The stage itself will be 1,200 square feet and the venue is planned to be able to seat some 3,000 people comfortably. There is planned to be enough room for a dance floor and space for blankets and folding chairs. According to Wiggins, there is to be food and drinks available to all concertgoers, provided by Sally Tomatoes and other local eateries.

“This won’t be some rinky-dink thing,” said Wiggins. “We have a lot of work to do, but it’s coming together nicely. It’ll really distinguish itself…it will distinguish itself from the Green Music Center; it’s going to be a rocking place.”

The first concert is to be the Goo Goo Dolls, a four-time Grammy Award nominated band with nine albums to their name. Tickets for the event can be purchased online at the Sonoma Mountain Village webpage, www.sonomamountainvillage.com. 

There is one more concert planned for the summer, Sharon Jones and the Sap-Kings in August, and, should the concerts prove successful, Wiggins said they hope to continue the series next summer with even more concerts. 

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