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Sonoma Raceway proposes four-day music festival the size of Coachella, Outside Lands

Sonoma Raceway proposes four-day music festival the size of Coachella, Outside Lands

A surprising new location in California is ramping up their festival production plans in hopes of one day competing with the likes of Outside Lands and Coachella. Sonoma, just about an hour north of San Francisco, is in the process of proposing a new four-day music festival to take place at the expansive Sonoma Raceway. The 1,600 acre venue may soon be home to a yet-to-be-named festival that hopes to draw 55,000 attendees per day and offer overnight camping for 6,000 fans. Acts would be slated to perform from noon to midnight and an additional “dance party tent” would remain open until 4 AM.

“One of the things we hope to do is have a strong local presence for emerging talent and local acts from Northern California as part of the music mix,” Raceway president and general manager Steve Page explained. “There would be a lot of opportunities for the business community — wineries, restaurants and other vendors — to participate.”

Earlier this week, a congregation of citizens and city officials gathered for the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission to vote on the festival’s future. The decision was not unanimous, coming close with 18 in favor and 16 against. The concerns were those often heard surrounding large-scale music festivals entering into unique new territories: nearby residents expressed concerns about noise, traffic, and the potential environmental impact. On the other hand, many attendees of the committee meeting with business in mind were hopeful for the potential expansion of the Raceway facility.

The to-be festival remains in the earliest of planning stages and at the time of publication, no further official action has been approved. Following an environmental impact report as well as a petition to modify the venue’s use permit (which is currently limited to “racing and race related purposes”), authorities of the Sonoma Raceway don’t foresee the festival officially opening its doors until 2017 at the earliest.

Via: Mercury News /



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