Aug 30, 2019
Some of us are lucky enough through hard work and our higher power to be in recovery from the abuse of whatever substance(s) we fancied. It pains us to see our cities and small towns full of addicts ( including alcoholics) suffering and see the exhausted social workers and families.
At RockSoberfest, we are placing our strength and hope in those in recovery who are willing to look out for folks who are asking for help.
The acclaimed rock musician Stefanie Keys, formerly of Big Brother and the Holding Company, will once again be appearing with the Stefanie Keys Band at Northern California’s still groundbreaking RockSoberFest, this time in Petaluma. This fourth edition of the festival, founded a few years ago by Bay Area theater director Jeffrey Trotter, celebrates an alcohol and drugs free existence.
What the participants want people to know is, though the event is definitely a “dry” event, everyone can expect to have loads of fun, not in spite of, but because of the no drugs and no alcohol environment. “We are not a glum lot!”
“It’s true! It’s true!” says Keys. “In my experience, people in recovery tend to be having a whole a lot of fun. We’ve lost our lives, and have somehow gotten them back. Now we’re ready to party. We’ve just learned how to party without the drugs and alcohol.”
Also on the bill for 28 September at the Sonoma Cunty Fairgrounds, Petaluma, are the popular Paul Hayward, John and Camilla Ford, plus special guests.
“It’s basically just a darned good idea,” says Trotter, producer of the festival. “After 20 years of sobriety myself, I recognized a need for this kind of thing, and I thought, ‘I know enough about producing from my years doing theater, and I know plenty of clean and sober bands. I’m just going to take a chance and do this, and see what happens.’ ”
The first ever clean and sober festival, originally scheduled for October of 2017, was postponed due to the wildfires that broke out at the same time. Since then, the event has been produced thrice more, once in Marin County and twice in Boonville. Based on the growing enthusiasm for alcohol free events, RockSoberfest could be in the beginning stages of a long run in Northern California.
“Sobriety is growing by leaps and bounds,” acknowledges Trotter. “The Grateful Dead always had clean and sober areas at their concerts. There are clean and sober sections at Burning Man. But there aren’t that many festivals where the whole darn thing is clean and sober.”
In June I attended a Nami meeting hosted by health and human services Mendocino county the meeting was full of judges, police chiefs, probation officers, social workers, nurses, doctors, and primarily health care providers trying to rescue people addicted to drugs and alcohol. My overall feeling about this meeting was it was a room full of people with the best intentions, exhausted from trying to rescue people from drug and alcohol addiction. The part that was missing was the strength and spirit of the people already in recovery, that if you can get treated and in recovery you are a huge force for life. Trotter has no doubt that this is only the beginning of movement in which such events are not just welcome, but are commonplace.
RockSoberfest is set to take place in Petaluma on Saturday the 28th of Septemberat theSonoma Marin Fairgrounds: 175 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma, CA 94952. Music in the afternoon with a huge surprise guest Artist to be announced soon.
Info and tickets can be found at
September 28th Saturday, 3pm - 9pm
Sonoma/Marin County Fairgrounds Petaluma
Location: 175 Fairgrounds Petaluma, CA 94952
(Gateway Lawn & Stage)
john and Camellia
Post Office Box 593
Stinson Beach, California 94970
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