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Music from the Vines

Music from the Vines

Small concerts observe COVID restrictions, feature local eateries, and benefit Fire Safe Sonoma

By Tracy Salcedo

Tired of dancing masked and alone? As Sonoma County (and the rest of the planet) creeps out of COVID pandemic shutdowns, music purveyors are inching toward re-establishing live, in-person concerts and events. Here in the northern Sonoma Valley, a woman-owned business has reinvented itself to not only survive the long concertless drought, but also to create a new, in-person, smallvenue concert series.

Theresa Hayle, owner of B.E.W. Productions & Events, has worked as a Bay Area-based event producer for more than 20 years. Here in the north valley, she helped the Mayacamas Volunteer Fire Department put on its annual Starlight Dinner and Auction for five years prior to the pandemic.

With COVID, however, Hayle’s business came to “a screeching halt,” the entrepreneur explained in a recent email.

“At first the break from working long days was refreshing and rejuvenating,” she wrote. “However, after several months of little to no income, I decided I need to find work—but how do you find work when everything you do involves social interaction?”

Hayle wasn’t the only one struggling. “I witnessed so many of my colleagues, many of whom are close friends, experience similar fates,” she said, noting these included musicians, event coordinators, restaurant owners, artists, and community awareness supporters. “Something needed to be done that would support everyone, which led me to create a socially distanced (and virtual) music series, Music from the Vines.”

The genesis of the series dates back to October 2020, when Hayle met the Little Family, “owners of a small production winery in Glen Ellen who are avid music lovers and were experiencing a similar lack of social fulfillment.” In November 2020, Hayle produced a very small, private, pilot project at the Little winery to see how an intimate concert would work. The event garnered what Hayle characterizes as an “overwhelming response” from the limited on-site audience, as well as those watching the show from home via live streaming.

“Everyone said, you have to do this again,” Hayle said.

To accommodate the demand, B.E.W. Productions & Events has announced a limited-attendance, fiveevent music series, which is being promoted via the B.E.W. website. “Each show features a different artist, so we will showcase a range of musical styles,” Hayle said. If the shows sell out (in-person tickets are limited to accommodate COVID safety guidelines), the shows will be live streamed. The first show in April sold out; additional shows are slated for May 16, June 20, July 18, and Aug. 20, and the featured artists can be viewed online at www.musicfromthevines. com. To support local restaurants, the series is partnering with local food vendors. In addition, “we are also commissioning different artists to create the commemorative posters for each event,” Hayle said. The series has a philanthropic arm as well. “This year’s series will donate a portion of its proceeds to support Fire Safe Sonoma,” according to Hayle. The event planner is optimistic about her pandemicinspired music enterprise. “My goal is to create an ongoing music series that combines great music, food, and wine in an idyllic wine country setting to create an unforgettable experience,” Hayle said, adding she hopes “2021 will be the first of many seasons for Sonoma County.”

For more information and tickets to upcoming events, go to www.bewproductions.net/musicfrom- the-vines.html or www.musicfromthevines. com, or call B.E.W. at (415) 447-7600.

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