Rocking in the Redwoods: Old Grove Festival

Headliner Mother Hips plays a unique tree-close outside venue, to support a tree-loving cause.

REDWOODS INSTEAD OF WALLS: If you think back to the best concert you ever saw, where do you start the anecdote about the night, when you tell your friends? Probably with the music, right? Or perhaps the vibe of the crowd? The beers on tap, the tour tees, the lighting? Maybe. You probably also cite the venue, too, if it was especially beautiful or vintage or had great acoustics. But indoor venues all share certain commonalities -- they're indoors, for one (spoiler) -- while outdoor venues have the sunshine, the sky, and, yes, occasionally weather. But there are a few very distinctive outdoor venues around the state, that aren't like any other, and one of the most prominent, and pretty, happens to be Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. It's the Redwood Forest Theater, and "(c)oncerts and theatrical events took place there for decades until the theater was closed in the 1980s out of concern for natural resource protection." But in 2006? The occasional event would pop up at the theater, every now and then. And every now and then is arriving on Saturday, Sept. 13 when the Old Grove Festival pulls into one of the Golden State's most singular settings for a music-laden love-fest.

MOTHER HIPS: The Bay Area favorites'll be strumming, singing, and raising funds for the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, an organization that does exactly what its name says: It keeps an eye on the iconic trees and our wilder world, preservation- and protection-style. Midnight North opens the show, there's a pre-show meal and other beverages to consider, and are the benches wooden? It's definitely a more rustic setting, which lends to the special and rare feeling an audience member gets. Gets? Let's say the loveliness can overcome a visitor to the Redwood Forest Theater, in the best and most heart-filling ways. If you want to commune with the big trees, luxuriate in some Mother Hips-good tunes, and help out the Stewards, get on those tickets.

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