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Free summer concert series at Lagunitas

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The premise is a little unbelievable: free concerts of big-name bands in a mini amphitheater at a world-class brewery. What's the catch?

There isn't one, says Laura Muckenhoupt, music specialist at Lagunitas. Last month saw Les Claypool's Duo de Twang playing a benefit for a fisherman at Lagunitas, and upcoming shows include the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars, Charlie Musselwhite, Vintage Trouble (pictured) and others.

No, there's no catch, but we warn you: getting in isn't always easy. The 325-seat amphitheater fills up so quickly that tickets are required, even for free shows. Lagunitas announces the dates only after the bands themselves do, and tickets are available through the bands' own websites. All concerts are on Mondays or Tuesdays—unusual nights to see live music, which Muckenhoupt chalks up to Lagunitas not wanting to compete with other local venues. But still, you've gotta be quick and in-the-know for a shot at tickets.

A free Del McCoury Band concert in a mini-Greek Theater while drinking normal-priced Lagunitas beers? Yeah, it's worth it. The Lagunitas Summer Concert Series features a Noise Pop show on Monday, July 29, and the Wheeler Brothers on Tuesday, Aug. 20. Free. See for (slightly more) details. 1280 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. 707.778.8776.&

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