Howdy Sound Summiteers!
We wanted to answer some questions you may have and hopefully anticipate some that may not have crossed your mind. Below is the 2018 Sound Summit FAQ. Yep, it’s kinda long, but we want you to be well-informed, so please read on.
We also suggest that you explore our website to learn more about what you might want and need to know, particularly in the Festival Info section.
Happy trails up Mount Tam!
Sound Summit is held at the Mountain Theater (aka Sidney B. Cushing Memorial Amphitheater) on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, above Mill Valley to the east and Stinson Beach to the west.
Here’s a Google link to the venue: https://goo.gl/maps/65ZtgNme7xm
Please have your printed Eventbrite tickets in hand when you arrive at the venue entrance for scanning and to receive your wristband.
YES! Cell service is spotty and unreliable on the mountain. To ensure the smoothest entry, plesse print out your tickets.
We say arrive early and spend the day. Traffic will increase as the day goes on, so getting a head start is a good move. Come grab a seat above the Bay, give all our acts the great audience they deserve, and stretch out a bit closer to the clouds.
Our parking lots and box office open at 9:00 AM. Doors open at 10:00 AM. Music starts at 11:00 AM.
Buses begin leaving Mill Valley for the Mountain Theater at 8:45 AM. Last bus leaves at 4:00 PM
High Camp and Summit Lots open at 9:00 AM
Box Office opens at 9:00 AM
Doors open at 10:00 AM
Music starts at 11:00 AM
11:00 AM – Meels
12:00 PM – Con Brio
1:15 PM – Nikki Lane
2:30 PM – Bob Weir
3:45 PM – Grace Potter
5:30 PM – Herbie Hancock
The Mountain Theater is an historic stone amphitheater built in the 1930’s. It’s a crescent of ascending rows of serpentine quarried from Mount Tam. Seating is General Admission, first come, first served.
This year we also have a General Admission pit in front of the stage, where you can either park for the day or come and go as you please. We just ask that you respect your neighboring Summiteers and please refrain from videotaping any of the bands.
Well, unless you can do the Star Trek thing, you’re either on the bus, driving, hiking, or biking. See more below.
The buses will run from the Manzanita and Pohono Lots. Once all the spots at Manzanita are filled, buses will just leave from Pohono. Attendants will be on hand to help direct you accordingly.
The first bus up the mountain is at 8:45 AM and the last is at 4:00 PM sharp.
Look for Yellow First Student School Buses. Buses will run in a continuous loop up to the venue and back but the bus schedule is dependent on traffic up and down the mountain. Please plan to arrive early and allow ample time to get to the venue. Note that the last bus up to the Mountain Theater leaves Mill Valley at 4:00 PM.
Buses will depart the Mountain Theater entrance immediately following the show at 7:00 PM.
Buses will run back down the mountain throughout the day from the theater entrance to the Manzanita and Pohono Lots if you want to leave earlier than 7:00 PM.
There is also traffic on the mountain throughout the day, so we can’t predict exact intervals for those bus departures and ask that you be patient in waiting for buses if you wish to leave earlier in the day.
Why, yes. To save time at our bus lots, we strongly encourage you to do so before day of show. You can purchase a round-trip pass directly from our Ticketing Site. The cost is $20. Bus passes will also be available for sale at the bus lots on the day of our show on a Cash Only basis.
Please remember to have your printed bus pass ready to show the parking lot attendants for scanning at bus entry points.
If you’ve purchased a parking pass in the Summit Lot, continue up East Ridgecrest Blvd, past the Venue Entrance for about a mile. The Summit Lot entrance will be on your left.
Please have your printed parking pass ready to show the parking lot attendants when you arrive.
Shuttles will drive you back down to the Mountain Theater entrance.
We strongly encourage you to fill your vehicle with friends and family and carpool to the show, both to reduce your carbon footprint and minimize traffic on the mountain.
Note: Please don’t confuse either of these paid lots with the Rock Spring Parking Lot, which you’ll pass just prior to reaching the Mountain Theater entrance. There will be no public vehicle parking at Rock Spring on the day of the event.
Shuttle buses – the same 20-seaters that brought you from the Summit Lot to the theater entrance – will be running at intervals back to the Summit Lot throughout the day. Please be patient and one will come around soon.
Please Note: There are No Ins & Outs. Once you leave the venue, you may not return. As the saying goes, once you go, you’re gone.
Parking on Mount Tam is limited. That said, there are areas where it’s safe and legal to park if you arrive early and can find them. However, there are no guarantees. If you’re feeling adventurous and do choose to drive in search of such spaces, please do so wisely and avoid any areas where parking is clearly not allowed. Oh, and please fill up your vehicles for the same reasons stated above.
You’re of course welcome to use those services. Just ensure the driver knows where he or she is going, as the Mountain Theater has no physical address – just East Ridgecrest Blvd.
No drop offs will be allowed at the venue entrance. Please have your driver drop you off in the vicinity of the Rock Spring Parking Lot.
There will be a lot of traffic heading down from the venue and above after the show, so Uber and Lyft pickups are going to be a bit tricky. We also want to add that cell service up there can be sketchy at best and often non-existent. Please take that into account.
There are trails aplenty that will lead you to Sound Summit. If you want to wind your way up Mount Tam on foot, here’s a Trail Map, courtesy of Friends of Mt. Tam. Just give yourself enough time to get where you’re going when you want to be there.
If you do hike up and don't feel up to hiking down, we’ll give you a free bus ride down the mountain to our Mill Valley Bus Lots after the show for all that hard work, just so you won’t be trekking down in the dark.
Our inside sources tell us the sun will set at 7:29 pm on Saturday, September 8th.
We’ll be providing bike parking just outside the venue on the right side of the Rock Spring Parking Lot, courtesy of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. If you feel like pedaling, your bike will be in good hands while you’re digging cool tunes above the Bay.
Please Note Again: There will be no public vehicle parking at Rock Spring on the day of the event.
Maps and more info on these options can be found at our Getting There & Back page: https://soundsummit.net/getting-there/
Good question and one with a few answers. Please take note so that we can get you down the mountain safe and sound as efficiently as we can.
Here’s the exit strategy:
• If you’re taking the bus back to Mill Valley, proceed in an orderly fashion along the path towards the venue entrance and form a single file line on the right side of the path along the fence and inside the stanchions. This will allow our staff to load the buses in a safe, orderly, and efficient manner. No cutting in line, please.
• If you’re parked in the Summit Lot, follow a short path to the High Camp Lot, which begins just across from our Merchandise Tent and slopes gently up the hill. Signage and staff will be there to direct you.
Once there, you’ll form a line on the left where the same shuttles that brought you down to the theater will bring you back up to the Summit Lot.
Please be patient as we have a lot of folks leaving the venue at the same time on one-lane roads. We’ll get you back to your cars as swiftly and safely as we can.
In short, we’ve built a music festival for a day where one has rarely existed, so everything takes a little more time than it does down on the ground. Hopefully you’ll be basking in the afterglow of the show while you await your chariot up the hill
NOTE: Do not go back to the theater entrance where you were dropped off. That area will solely be for large buses heading down the mountain.
• If you’re parked near Rock Spring, at Trojan Point, or out on West Ridgecrest Blvd., please exit the venue on the Mountain Theater Fire Road.
You can access the Mountain Theater Fire Road through the back of our Vendor Village where the restrooms are. Signage and staff will be there to direct you.
• If you biked up the mountain, walk back along the same Mountain Theater Fire Road noted above to the Rock Spring Lot where your bike is parked. Please ride carefully down the mountain, as there will be cars and buses heading down with you.
• If you hiked up the mountain and plan on hiking down, please do so carefully and bring a flashlight, as it will of course get darker on you way down. If you don’t feel like hiking down, hop on a bus on us. Our sources tell us the sun will set at 7:29 PM on Saturday, September 8th.
AT SOUND SUMMIT
Bring Hats, Sunscreen, Sealed or Empty Water Bottles. Weather is ever changing on the mountain and it can get quite hot at the Mountain Theater, as most of the venue is in full sun. We strongly encourage you to bring protection from the rays and stay hydrated. You may want to bring layers for later in the day as the weather cools
You can also bring something to cushion your seat – e.g. Blankets, Soft Backed Trail Chairs and Stadium Cushions, but no folding chairs with arms that will take up an extra seat, trouble the person sitting next to you, potentially damage the stone seating, or impede access along public routes and fire lanes within the venue. Small Coolers (six-pack size) are cool.
Food, Beer, Wine, and Soft Beverages will be available at the venue. You may bring food and beverage if you wish, but please follow the guidelines below. Otherwise, plan to enjoy some tasty fare from our eclectic array of vendors.
No Alcohol, Glass Bottles or Containers, Umbrellas, Selfie Sticks, Tripods, Drones, Matches, Cigarette Lighters, Audio & Video Recording Devices, Cameras With Detachable Lenses, Strollers, Large Coolers, Folding Metal Armchairs, or Dogs (except for Service Dogs) may be brought inside the Mountain Theater.
Um . . . NO! There is no smoking allowed in the Mountain Theater. This is not just a rule for Sound Summit or the Mountain Play; it’s a rule for everyone all the time in this remarkable and delicate space.
We cannot possibly stress this rule and request enough. We ask that you please respect it and remind your neighbors to do the same. If you don’t, you are potentially endangering and jeopardizing your fellow concertgoers, the future of this event, and, more important above all, the safety of Mount Tam.
Imagine you’re on a great eight-hour flight with cool tunes and incredible views. Enjoy the ride and wait until you get off the plane. Thanks for treating this as seriously as we all do!
Well, it's awesome. But please note that the Mountain Theater is a natural environment and entails all that comes with it. In addition to singing birds and breathtaking views, there are bees, insects, dirt paths, uneven stone surfaces, varying grades, and the like. Be mindful of the environment, both in anticipation of the day and as you move about the venue. Watch your step.
Please be sure to read the posted signage and use the appropriate compost, recycle and landfill containers provided throughout the venue. And don't forget to bring your own refillable water bottle!
Taking an extra moment to place recyclables and waste where indicated will help our greening team efficiently make Sound Summit as green an event as possible.
Please do not litter. If you see litter on the ground, lend a hand if you’re moved to do so. Mount Tam is a precious resource. Let’s leave it like we found it!
All told, just be respectful of this sensitive habitat so that we can hold Sound Summit for years to come and help support Mount Tam. As many of you already well know, this is an incredibly cool place to spend a day hanging out with your friends, family, and community and listening to music of this caliber.
Have a great time!