Discover free music, artistic performances, and other cultural programs at the 2016 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. This annual event offers free programming every week from May to October.
Enjoy classical, jazz, and world music. Learn more about traditional and contemporary dance. Watch local theater companies perform their craft and uncover a variety of programs specifically for children and families.
During these months, you will find five to seven performances each week around the Buena Vista Gardens. Many are on the weekends, although some are also scheduled during the week. They also feature special Thursday lunchtime shows for those working nearby.
This is such a fun event every year. It's relaxing to sit in the gardens around Yerba Buena Park catching free, live performances of both up-and-coming local artists as well as some who are recognized around the world.
Here are some additional details on what you can expect to find during this festival.
The 2016 Season Opening Event is on May 1 from 1pm - 2:30pm. Head over to the Yerba Buena Gardens to help kick off a great new series of live performances.
Here are the additional performances this month:
If you plan on spending quite a bit of time in or near Yerba Buena Gardens, then I recommend looking at hotels in the Union Square District.
This area is centrally located and the most convenient place to stay in San Francisco for those exploring this area (or the entire city!). It's just a few blocks away from the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival and an easy bus ride to other popular attractions in SF.
You can also find great deals on TripAdvisor.com. Click here to find the perfect hotel for your stay in SF.
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival performances are all in and around the Yerba Buena Gardens at 750 Howard Street. You can also enter the gardens from Mission or 3rd Streets.
The great thing about the location of the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is that it is easy to reach from everywhere in SF and the Bay Area.
BART: If you are coming from the south or east bay, you can take BART to the Powell Street Station. Head south on 4th Street one block and make a left onto Mission. You will find the gardens about one block down on your right.
Muni Buses: All of these buses drop within a block or two of the festival: 5, 6, 8, 14, 21 30, 38, 41, 45, 54, 72, 91, 92, 93. You can also take the light rail trains to the Powell Street station and walk two blocks to the festival.
Caltrain: If you take Caltrain from the south bay, you can either walk to the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival or take the 30 or 45 bus from the corner of Townsend and 4th Streets.
Golden Gate Transit: If you are coming from the north bay, it's an easy bus ride on Golden Gate Transit. Take the 70, 80 or 101 bus to the stop at Mission and 4th Streets.
Union Square Live: Throughout the summer, you can also catch free cultural performances just down the street at Union Square Live. Here you can also see everything from live music to local theater productions. Union Square Live offers shows most Wednesdays and Sundays from April to October. Click here for this year's calendar.
Wine Tasting Festivals: Some of my favorite events are SF's wine tasting festivals. The largest is the Chronicle Wine Tasting Event every February. You will also find other annual tastings such as Pinot Noir Days, the TAPAS Wine Tasting Event and the Rhone Rangers Festival. Learn more here.
Street Fairs: Almost every weekend in the summer in SF, you will find a fun street fair or festival. They range from the two-day Pride Festival & Parade to the popular Haight Street Fair. Find the full list of this year's festivals.
Sunday Streets: Another free monthly event every year in SF is Sunday Streets. From March to October, a specified district shuts down a number of streets to car traffic to allow pedestrians to run and play in the streets. You will also often find live music, free health screenings and more. Click here for this month's schedule.
Savings Tip: I also recommend checking out the event calendar on Goldstar.com. They feature dozens of event and tour tickets at up to half-off the full retail price. It's a great place to look before booking these types of tickets anywhere else. Click here to see their current ticket selection.
Shows & Festivals