A Local’s Guide to San Francisco’s Best Summer Festivals
Live music, celebrations of culture and inclusion, an abundance of local food and drinks, and the palpable excitement of summer in the air—welcome to festival season in San Francisco. Here’s what’s happening this summer inside the city and just across the bay.
Stern Grove Concerts in the Park
Sundays, June 16–August 18
Sigmund Stern Grove
Every Sunday from mid-June to mid-August, the Stern Grove concert meadow opens up to the public for free concerts on Sunday afternoons. The summer lineup includes the GRAMMY-winning dance band Los Van Van, the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Ballet. You’re welcome to bring your own food and drinks (alcohol is allowed in the park for Sunday concerts), but food trucks will be available as well. Seating is first come, first serve. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs or reserve a picnic table with a donation of $500 or more.
Pride Parade & Festival
June 29–30, 2019
Civic Center Plaza
Spend a day or two celebrating the differences that bring us together at San Francisco Pride. The main attractions are two days of inspirational speakers and performers, while over 200 exhibitors showcase local businesses, artists and nonprofits. We recommend purchasing a Pride Pass, which grants you preferred access to seating, entrance to the VIP Party on Sunday, an official T-shirt, and discounts/special offers from business partners.
The 36th Annual Fillmore Jazz Festival
July 6–7, 2019
Fillmore Street: Jackson to Eddy
Continue your Independence Day celebrations through the weekend by attending the 36th annual Fillmore Jazz Festival in Pacific Heights. This unique, family-friendly event is the largest free jazz festival on the west coast. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., take a stroll down the 12 blocks to indulge in gourmet food and drinks while shopping the selection of local arts and crafts. And, of course, make your way to the various stages to dance along to the sounds of Kim Nalley, Ray Obiedo Group, Wiley Coyotes and more.
BreastFest Beer Festival
Fairground Island – Marin Center, San Rafael
What’s better than sampling unlimited beers from California breweries and eating your heart’s desire of local foods to the tune of live music? Knowing that the proceeds from your ticket are going toward a good cause. Located just across the bay in Marin County, the BreastFest Beer Festival is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that was born as a fun way to raise money for state-licensed non-profit clinics that support and offer alternative medical treatments for low-income women with breast cancer. These services include social services, organic food, transportation, massage therapy, therapeutic imagery, acupuncture and Chinese and Western herbs.
Nihonmachi Street Fair
August 3–4, 2019
Adults, children, and pets are welcome at this two-day festival in San Francisco’s Japantown. This year will be the 46th installment of the Nihonmachi Street Fair, which is committed to serving the community through service, education and youth mentorship. Embrace the melting pot of Asian-Pacific American life and San Francisco culture with a weekend of performances, art, music, food and service. There’s even a Doggie World Parade and Pageant on Sunday, August 4th—awarding prizes for the dogs with the best smile, best costume and more.
August 9–11, 2019
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco’s biggest and most extravagant festival, Outside Lands, is three full days of music, food, art and entertainment. Sing along with the likes of Paul Simon, Childish Gambino, Twenty One Pilots, Kacey Musgraves, Leon Bridges, Blink-182 and many more. Embrace good vibes at Grass Lands, “the first curated cannabis experience at a major US music festival, with a focus on celebration, education, and the integration of cannabis products into daily life.” Watch artists at work and admire their sculptures, murals and stage design. Sample beer, wine, cocktails and every type of cuisine imaginable. Shop artisan goods by local craft-makers and businesses. It’ll be a weekend to remember.