Concerts chance to enjoy secret Berkeley redwood grove

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Ash Reiter and Caldecott performed in the Mather Redwood Grove on Thursday June 6. Photo: Ted Friedman

A beautiful Berkeley redwood grove that is one of the city’s lesser known gems is the setting for a series of concerts organized by the UC Botanical Garden.

The opening show of the 2013 Summer Concert Series, on Thursday June 6, featured local singer Ash Reiter, whose style has been described as akin to Stevie Nicks, and the Caldecott band. It was the second appearance for Reiter who proved popular in a previous performance in the series.

The 5-acre Stephen J. Mather Redwood Grove was planted as part of the New Deal works program in the 1930s, so the trees are relatively young by redwood standards. On Thursday, UC Botanical Garden Director Paul Licht talked about how originally the creation of the grove was to have been a project for the Boy Scouts, but the depression put a halt to that plan. The Grove was dedicated in 1972 and is now accessible to ticket holders to the gardens, and hired out for private events, such as weddings. 


The amphitheater at the UC Botanical Garden makes an ideal venue for summer evening concerts. Photo: Ted Friedman

The annual concert series continues through August 29 and features a diverse line-up of folk, pop, rock, blues, jazz, world music and hard-to-define artists that are drawn to the intimate amphitheatre setting. Next up is Sean Hayes on Thursday June 13. Other acts include Ramon & Jessica and Gojogo (with Russian animation), and Winfred E. Eye and Jesse DeNatale.

Ticketholders are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner (no alcohol), and a warm layer to enjoy the music and natural beauty.

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Ash Reiter and Caldecott playing as part of the UC Botanical Garden Summer Concert Series. Photo: Ted Friedman

Find information, including the concert line-up and how to buy tickets, on the UC Botanical Garden website.

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  • Tizzielish

    where does one buy tickets for these concerts?

  • Here’s the link to buy tickets (also accessible from the Botanic Garden’s ad on the right-hand column of Berkeleyside):

  • Malka

    Is this grove wheelchair accessible or are the disabled locked out of this like they are from other berkeley botanical garden sites?

  • iris fleur

    Oh gosh. I live quite near. There was a lengthy and loud concert last month. We had no idea that this was allowed in a residential neighborhood. I’m glad to get this schedule as apparently the neighbors aren’t notified.

  • originalone

    Sound does travel, especially in the hills. That said, I’m sure these concerts, aren’t like the ones that one sees/hears out at the coliseum in Oakland/San Francisco. I wonder, do the people
    complain also when there’s a football game?

  • Vanessa

    The Grove is manageable in a wheelchair, there’s usually a wheelchair guest at every concert.

  • Vanessa

    Iris, I’m certain it wasn’t a Garden concert you heard last month. We just had the first concert of the season on Thursday.

  • Iris: Are you sure it wasn’t a concert at The Greek Theater? It’s nearby and both Green Day and Mumford and Sons have been there recently. Check their schedule too:

  • iris fleur

    Maybe a private event? Around Memorial Day weekend.

  • iris fleur

    No, it was in or next door to the Blake Estate. Not the monastary – or maybe it was? LOL.
    I love M & Sons.

  • Biker 94703

    Different location. This grove is up Centennial, 1/2 way to the Hall of Science.

    Blake House (& Gardens) the titular residence of the UC President. I believe they hold some (private) events there. The gardens are also open to the public.

  • Charles_Siegel

    “do the people complain also when there’s a football game?”

    The answer is obviously yes. In Berkeley, you will find some people who will complain about anything.