Best View at a Music Festival

From the top of Mount Tamalpais, you can see it all. A clear day will yield views of the entire San Francisco Bay and beyond.

And when you’re on Mount Tam to attend the popular summertime music festival Sound Summit, you can hear it all, too.

Produced as an annual celebration of and fundraiser for Mount Tamalpais State Park by nonprofit organization Roots & Branches Conservancy, Sound Summit is staged at the historic Mountain Theater, a 4,000-seat natural stone amphitheater that overlooks most of Marin.

To date, Sound Summit has donated $200,000 to Mount Tam while hosting performers such as Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Herbie Hancock, Los Lobos, the Mother Hips, Dr. John and Wilco.

After missing out on 2020 due to the pandemic, the festival returns on Saturday, Sept. 11, for a full day of amazing sights and live music.

This year, Sound Summit’s lineup is topped by dynamic Americana group Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real and indie-rock sensation Father John Misty. The festival will also feature retro-cool rock band Allah-Las, high-energy New Orleans brass ensemble Cha Wa and local powerhouse vocalist Teal Collins.

Charismatic Bay Area radio personalities “Murph & Mac” (aka Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey) also return as Sound Summit’s dynamic Masters of Ceremonies, along with KPFA’s “Dead to the World” radio host Tim Lynch. DJ Andy Cabic, frontman of San Francisco band Vetiver, will also spin tunes between sets.

The festival encourages attendees to come early and stay the whole day. Round-trip bus service up the mountain will be available, and the Marin County Bicycle Coalition will host parking for bicyclists who wish to ride up to Sound Summit. Heck, take to the trails with your best hiking gear, and hoof it up the mountain if you want. The festival will even give you a free bus ride back to Mill Valley after the show.

“Being able to gather with friends and family again and celebrate high atop this treasured mountain after the long and challenging year we’ve all had is a truly joyful and liberating thought,” Sound Summit Executive Producer Michael Nash says in a statement. “We can’t wait.”

Tickets for Sound Summit are on sale now, $115 for adults and $65 for youth 12 and under; children 2 and under are admitted free. SoundSummit.net.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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