Soberanes Fire Benefit Concert Aims to Heal and Help

Aug 10, 2016

Singer,  songwriter, Sharon Van Etten is known for her Indie, rock and folk style music that evokes open landscapes and lonely expanses.  She was originally scheduled to perform at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur but that was before a small fire grew into a devastating giant, the Soberanes Fire. 

Magnus Toren, Director of the Henry Miller Library, said the concept of the concert evolved into a plan for healing and helping those who have lost everything.  

“Obviously it doesn’t feel right to have a little concert at the library in the midst of all this chaos, so we said let’s move it.  And then it dawned on us that maybe we should just expand and ask Sharon if she would be okay with that,” said Toren.

Sharon Van Etten will be joined by local musicians and performers including Meg Baird, former Beach Boy, Al Jardine, and Johnny Rivers  at the Golden State Theater on Friday, August 12th.   Proceeds from ticket sales will to the Soberanes Fire Relief Fund at the Community Foundation for Monterey County.

Lisa Ledin (LL): Even though it’s a larger venue, it will be intimate just as well because she is singing solo.

Maguns Toren (MT): Exactly, and I think because there will be so much love in that room and gratitude for her and for everyone else and sort of in a communal way there will be intimacy for that too.  We’re there for a very righteous purpose.  But I’m also hoping that we will have a house full there who are rallying around the idea that we are going to support these people who have lost so much in our neighborhood. Because you realize that when they come to their home, and it’s gone.  And all you see is twisted metal , toxic ash, and all your family treasures and heirlooms, and all this stuff is extraordinarily traumatic, and when you realize just the clean-up alone is going to take a lot of time and a lot of money.  This really, really impacts people.  Close friends and neighbors.  This is not abstract at all. Anyway, I’m hoping that it will be a healing and beautiful event for everyone involved and hoping that they have a way now to help, very directly help.  I’d like to also mention that everyone up and down the coast, and in the Carmel Valley and all over, are of course very, very grateful for the extraordinary efforts on the part of all the firefighters that have come from far away.  Without that effort, we would be in bad shape. 

LL: It’s hearwarming to drive out Carmel Valley Road and to see how all the children’s classrooms have collages thanking the firemen. We are all grateful.

MT: Yeah, that’s great. I know that the firefighters appreciate that.

LL: So where should we get the tickets?

MT: Yeah, that you for asking.  The Golden State Theater is the ticket office and there you get the tickets.  You can also go to and that will get you straight to the ticket link.