Bluegrass for the Greenbelt: a reason to trek up to the hills

When was the last time you visited the Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate? I don’t make it out there often — it’s way up in the hills out by the Oakland Zoo, which just is not a section of town I frequent.

They used to show movies there during the summer, which I thought was really cool. But I don’t recall hearing about summer movies last year, and there are none listed on their website calendar, so I’m assuming they’ve given up on that program. Sad.

But this weekend, there’s another great reason to make the trek up there — the 6th annual Bluegrass for the Greenbelt festival.

Bluegrass for the Greenbelt flier

The event is a fundraiser for the Greenbelt Alliance, a local non-profit devoted to protecting open space and creating vibrant communities in the Bay Area. You may be familiar with with their involvement with the MTC’s Sustainable Communities Strategy or perhaps their advocacy on Oakland’s Broadway-Valdez Specific Plan. They’re a wonderful organization, and if you want to learn more about their work, just poke around their website for a while.

Anyway. The concert. Aside from benefitting a great organization, it’s also just a lot of fun. The grounds at Dunmsuir-Hellman are really pretty, the whole thing is nice and relaxed, you can bring a picnic, plus it’s family friendly! From the Greenbelt Alliance:

Bluegrass for the Greenbelt returns on June 3 & 4!

The 6th annual Bluegrass for the Greenbelt festival is back and better than ever. This year the festival will take place June 3 & 4, with camping on June 3 and most of the music on June 4.

Performers include: The Brother Comatose, Marley’s Ghost, Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands, The Kathy Kallick Band, The Tuttles with AJ Lee, and Arann Harris and The Farm Band.

Buy tickets for the Friday intimate pre-show and open mic, the camping package or just the festival online at Slim’s.

So there are two parts to the event. The first is on Friday night:

Kick off the weekend with a special performance by Nell Robinson & Jim Nunally plus an open mic hosted by Chuck & Jeannie Poling.

Nell Robinson has a brand-new harmony-driven duo with award winning guitarist Jim Nunally, reminiscent of classic country duets like George Jones and Tammy Wynette as well as singing siblings like the Louvin and Stanley Brothers. Think Del McCoury meets Iris Dement.

Tickets for Friday’s show (starting at 7pm, doors open at 6) can be purchased online for $13 (including processing fees).

For $34 (including fees), you can get tickets for Saturday’s day-long event (doors open at 10am, show starts at 11):

Join Greenbelt Alliance for foot-stomping, hot finger-pickin’ licks, and angelic harmonics at the 6th annual Bluegrass for the Greenbelt festival. This fun-filled day of bluegrass music features two stages and kid-friendly activities at the historic Dunsmuir-Hellman Estate in the Oakland Hills.

Featured bands for this year’s line-up on the main stage include: one of the best-kept secrets in the music world, Marley’s Ghost, a wonderful combination of youth and experience, the Kathy Kallick Band, award-winning Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands, and local favorites The Brothers Comatose.

The small stage will feature the Tuttles with AJ Lee, and Arann Harris and the Farm Band.

Bring a picnic or enjoy food and drink for sale. The Dunsmuir Mansion will be open for tours, and children can enjoy pony rides, face painting, a petting zoo, and more. New this year is the option to camp overnight on June 3 with a performance by Nell Robinson and Jim Nunally!

Proceeds benefit Greenbelt Alliance. For more than 50 years, Greenbelt Alliance has been working to protect the region’s natural areas and working farms to create sustainable cities.

Buy tickets for Saturday’s show here.

Want to go to both? You can do that, and don’t even have to go home in between with the overnight camping package, available for $55 (including fees).

3 thoughts on “Bluegrass for the Greenbelt: a reason to trek up to the hills

  1. Alexa

    Dunsmuir did have movies during summer last year. But, it was low attendance. I believe it was mostly advertised on-site and at the San Leandro Downtown Farmers’ Market since they had staff there at the main event booth. I’m not sure if they’re planning them for this summer again.

  2. Jo-Ann Maggiora Donivan

    In the spirit of music:

    Hello good people of the Bay Area,

    I’m helping to organize the 6th Annual Summer Solstice Music Festival in our fair neighborhood, Oakland’s Laurel District, on Saturday June 25th, 2011. Save the date and come on by.

    There is a talented lineup of over two dozen local artists who will be playing a wide range of musical genres all day along MacArthur boulevard from 35th Avenue to High Street. From rock, to reggae, to jazz, to soul, to hip-hop, to surf rock, to folk, to indie, there’s a little bit of music to soothe the soul from young to old.

    To find out more you can visit our webpage or “like” us on facebook where we have the lineup, schedule, videos, and updates. Even if you can’t make it “like” us on facebook to spread the word to your friends.

    This year the festival will partner with the Turfin 24/7 Dance Tournament with turf dancing along MacArthur from 10am to noon before the actual tournament at the Allendale Rec. Center (3711 Suter St.) around the corner from the festival. To find out more about turfin’ check out the recent article in the SF Chronicle.

    The events are free and fun for all ages so stop by any time that day to help us “Make Music in the Laurel!”

    Happy Solstice everybody,

    Jo-Ann Maggiora Donivan,LVA

  3. Sara Barz

    Thank you so much for all your kind words about Bluegrass for the Greenbelt. The festival was a big hit this year (even with the rain!). We’re looking forward to 2012!