Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco is one of the largest music venues in the city. You will find five to six big name musical acts on their schedule each month.

It's a great place to catch a concert, considering its capacity of 8,500 people. You will find it in the Civic Center District with easy access from BART or Muni.

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Everything You Need to Know About Seeing a Show at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco

What are the upcoming shows at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco?

Where can I find tickets to upcoming concerts?

What is the capacity? Does Bill Graham have seats? Is Bill Graham ADA accessible

How do I get to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium? What is the best BART station? Where do I park for Bill Graham Civic Auditorium?

Where are the best places to stay nearby?

Where can I grab dinner or drinks before a show?

What can I bring into the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco?

Who was Bill Graham? What is the history of this venue

Upcoming Performances

Here is a schedule of upcoming shows at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.

Where to Find Tickets

You will find tickets for the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on a few websites.

Ticketmaster: They use Ticketmaster as their official ticket office. You can pick up tickets to most shows here. These are directly from the venue, but there is an added fee when you purchase here. Visit their site for ticketing details.

TicketLiquidator: If a show is sold out or you are looking for better seats, you will find third-party tickets on TicketLiquidator. I use them all the time and have had great luck with their ticket selection. Find tickets for upcoming shows on TicketLiquidator.

Seating Inside the Auditorium

What is the capacity?

The capacity inside the venue is 8,500 people. 

Does Bill Graham have seats? 

Yes. There are two ways they do seating inside the venue. One is assigned seating, where the entire auditorium has assigned seats on each ticket. 

The second is general admission. The main floor of the auditorium is standing room only during GA shows. The seating in the balconies is first come, first served. If you want to sit down during a general admission show, make sure to arrive as early as possible to grab your seats.

Is Bill Graham ADA accessible? 

Yes, you can call ahead to reserve ADA accessible seating. However, if you happen not to be able to get an ADA seat before you arrive, the venue is usually great at finding you a excellent spot for the show.

Tips to Attend a Show

Public Transit to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco

Your best bet is to take public transportation over to a show at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. You will find plenty of stops for multiple transit options within a block or two of its front doors. Here are a few options.

MUNI Light Rail Trains: Take the J, K/T, L, M, N or S to the Civic Center stop. You will exit onto Market Street. From here, head to Larkin and Grove Streets to find the entrance.

F Streetcar: The F Streetcars offer a stop around Market and 9th Street. Head north on Larkin for one block to find the entrance. The F Streetcar is your best bet if you are coming from Fisherman's Wharf.

Buses: There are numerous bus lines that stop right near the entrance including 6, 7, 9, 19, 21, & 49.

BART: The best BART Station is the Civic Center Station. It will also drop you onto Market Street. Head toward Larkin and walk one block up Larkin to find the auditorium.

>>Find additional tips for getting around San Francisco during your stay

Where to Park

Parking on the street in this area is difficult, so I recommend heading straight to a parking garage. Double-check closing times before entering so you can be sure that it will be open after the concert is over. 

Here are a few options.

Civic Center Garage: 355 McAllister Street, 843-spot garage below the Civic Center Plaza, entrance and exit are both on McAllister Street.

BEI Hotel Civic Center: 50 Eighth Street, hotel parking garage with 200 spaces, entrance on 8th Street.

Performing Arts Garage: 360 Grove Street, 598-space garage just 3 blocks away from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, entrance and exit on Grove Street. It usually closes about an hour after the performances end.

Where to Stay

If you are looking to stay close to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, here are a few suggestions. 

San Francisco Proper Hotel: 1100 Market Street, this 4-star hotel is about 5 blocks from the auditorium, it's a great higher-end option in this area, find great rates for San Francisco Proper Hotel

BEI Hotel San Francisco: 50 8th Street, 3.5-star hotel just 3 blocks away, great location and decent prices for the area, find out more about BEI Hotel San Francisco and book a room

Inn at the Opera: 333 Fulton Street, 3-star hotel also just 3 blocks away near the Hayes Valley neighborhood, highly rated European inspired accommodations, check prices and availability

Union Square Hotels: If you are looking for additional hotel options, you will find a large variety of options in Union Square. It's just a mile away from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium so you can easily walk or take public transit to get back to your hotel after the show. Find a list of some of my favorites here.

Dinner Options Before Your Show or Drinks After

If you want to grab a bite to eat or a drink before or after the show, I recommend heading over to the Hayes Valley district. It's just a couple of blocks away on the western side of Van Ness Street.

This district has a great selection of options from quick grab-and-go places to higher-end restaurants. You will find everything from German to New American cuisines. 

You can also sip on some local wine or head to a dive bar for a few beers. 

Here are just a few of my favorite places to eat and drink in this district.

What You Are Allowed to Bring into a Show

You are allowed to bring only a few things with you into the show. I recommend only bringing along what is necessary. Here is what the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco allows you to bring with you inside. 

  • Factory sealed water bottles
  • Empty Camelbaks and empty refillable water bottles
  • Personal food items
  • Personal cameras
  • Small purses, bags, or backpacks
  • Totems (must be small and light weight, no larger than 6 feet long and 1/2 an inch thick)

Anything else you bring along with you will not be allowed in the venue.

More Concerts Around San Francisco: Calendars by Month

Discover additional fun concerts around San Francisco. Click the links below for top shows each month at other venues including the Fillmore, the Warfield, and the Chase Center.













Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco History 

Who Was Bill Graham?

For those that haven't heard of Bill Graham, he was a music promoter legend in San Francisco. Bill Graham basically built the rock and roll scene that made the City by the Bay famous in the 60s and beyond. 

Some of the bands that he helped become famous include Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Carlos Santana, and the most classic of San Francisco bands, the Grateful Dead. 

Graham died in a helicopter crash on October 25, 1991. He flew out to a Huey Lewis concert at Concord Pavilion. After his meeting with Lewis, he and a few others were flying back into San Francisco under severe weather.

The helicopter hit a high voltage tower and all passengers on board were killed instantly.

Graham was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame posthumously in 1992.

History of the Building & Venue

Originally built in 1915 for the Pan-Pacific International Expo, this event center also held the 1920 Democratic National Convention, housed the San Francisco Opera, was the original home for the San Francisco (now Golden State) Warriors, and much more. 

It was renamed the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in honor of rock impresario Bill Graham a year after he died in a plane crash in 1991. Some of the most famous musicians and artists have performed here including Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Gladys Night & the Pips, and many more.

More Things to See and Do in the Civic Center District

Orpheum Theatre: Head over to the Orpheum Theatre to catch an award-winning Broadway musical. This historic theater is just a 5-minute walk away from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. It's one of two theaters offering dozens of Broadway shows each year. Learn more about the theater and its upcoming shows.

SF Ballet: The SF Ballet is also right around the corner. They offer performances of the classic "The Nutcracker" every December. Their regular season runs from January to May with new performances every year as well as popular shows such as Cinderella. Get their latest schedule here.

All Activities in the Civic Center: You will find a variety of other things to do in the Civic Center area including museums, events and other attractions. Find a complete list of things to do in this interesting district here.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

I would love for you to join me in my private Facebook group

It's a great place to interact with me and others who know the area well.

You can ask questions, get advice for your upcoming stay, and then share your photos and advice with others when you return home. It's a great community and the fastest way to get answers to those nagging questions about your visit!

Come join the fun here!

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Pin

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Exclusive Member of Mediavine Travel

Copyright © 2009-2024 by All rights reserved.

This website does not sell any personal information. (See privacy policy)