San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival 2018

Two Weekends of Culturally Diverse Programs

Enjoy the beauty of dance from around the world at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. The 2018 event takes place over two consecutive weekends, July 14-15 and 21-22, at the War Memorial Opera House.

Heading into its 40th year, the festival showcases the diverse cultures and artistic talents of dancers and musicians from all around the SF Bay Area.

Featured dances this year are from all over the globe, including Brazil, Central Europe, China, Congo, Cuba, Hawaii, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Tahiti, West Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Ethnic Dance Festival in San Francisco

The shows for each weekend are different, featuring a unique combination of one dozen dance and music ensembles. You'll see a great variety in each performance.

If you love the performing arts and want to check out something new, then I highly recommend attending at least one of these shows.

Schedule of Performances for 2018

All performances will take place at the War Memorial Opera House in the Civic Center District. The duration is approximately 2.5 hours, with a 20-minute intermission. Get there early to catch the pre-show performances, which start 60 minutes before showtime.

Weekend One: July 14 & 15

  • Saturday, July 14
  • Sunday, July 15

TBD for 2018. Performances in the past have included:

  • (Pre-show) Chinese lion dance
  • (Pre-show) Mexican folkloric dance
  • European social dances
  • Afro-Peruvian dance
  • Brazilian folkloric dance - Maracatu
  • Cuban contemporary folkloric dance
  • Filipino folkloric dance - Mandayan and Tboli
  • Hawaiian Hula
  • Japanese traditional - Awa Odori
  • Indian Kathak

Weekend Two: July 21 & 22

  • Saturday, July 15
  • Sunday, July 16

2018 details are still TBD. Performances in the past have included:

  • (Pre-show) Balinese Jegog
  • (Pre-show) West African Kora
  • Persian-Iranian contemporary dance
  • Mexican folkloric dance
  • Congolese traditional dance
  • Indian Bollywood
  • Zimbabwean Mbira
  • Indian Bharatanatyan
  • Tahitian Ote'a
  • Spanish Flamenco
  • Chinese folkloric - Mongolia
  • West African Kora

How to Buy Tickets

Tickets for the performances range from $25 - $45 per person.

You can buy them in person at City Box Office (180 Redwood Street, Suite 100) from 9:30am - 5pm on weekdays. They are also available online (click here for details), or by phone at 415-392-4400 on weekdays from 9:30am - 5pm or Saturdays from noon - 4pm.

Where to Stay in SF

There are several hotels right in the Civic Center District, steps away from the Opera House. These include the Inn at the Opera, the Phoenix Hotel, Holiday Inn at Civic Center, and Days Inn at Civic Center.

Alternatively, the Union Square neighborhood right next door offers even more variety in lodging options, as well as easy access to shopping, dining, entertainment, and transportation. Click here for my hotel recommendations in Union Square.

The following links will give you lots of ideas for where to stay in other popular and easily accessible districts in SF:

If you are ready to book your hotel, head over to to compare prices on several of the top booking sites. Click here to search for great deals today!

How to Get to the War Memorial Opera House

The War Memorial Opera House is located at 301 Van Ness Avenue in the Civic Center District, right across the street from SF City Hall.

You can reach the performances by taking public transit or by driving. Find details for both options below.

From Other Parts of San Francisco

If you are coming from Fisherman's Wharf, buses 47 or 49 will drop you off at McAllister and Van Ness in about 30 minutes. From Union Square, you can easily hop on the light rail train at the underground Powell Street Station and take it two stops over to the Van Ness Station. From there, it's only a three-block walk north.

From Around the Bay Area

Take BART to the Civic Center Station. Exit at Grove and Hyde Streets and walk three blocks east, just past City Hall, to get to the Opera House at Grove and Van Ness.

Tips for Those Driving

There are two parking garages close to the Opera House. The Civic Center Garage at 355 McAllister Street is open until midnight on Saturdays and until 10pm on Sundays. The Performing Arts Garage is usually closed on weekends, except when there are events scheduled. Check out this alternative at 360 Grove Street if the other one is full.

Street Parking

You might also get lucky and find some street parking. However, be aware that this area is quite crowded and it can be difficult to find a spot on the street. You will also need to pay the meter if you park before 6pm.

Dinner Recommendations

You will find several great places to eat in the Civic Center District and in nearby Hayes Valley. Here are a few of my favorites.

Chez Maman West: Lovely selection of French dishes and burgers. Great value. $$. 401 Gough Street.

August 1 Five: Indian cuisine and cocktail bar in a sleek modern setting. $$. 524 Van Ness Avenue.

Arlequin Cafe: Great for a quick and light meal. Sandwiches, salads, coffee and pastries. $$. 384 Hayes Street

Jardiniere: Elegant French and Californian cuisine with a champagne bar. $$$$. 300 Grove Street.

Other Top Events in July

Frozen Film Festival: The largest film festival this month features work by talented independent filmmakers, including youth and underserved communities, whose groundbreaking documentaries, shorts, and animations will screen at the Roxie Theater in the Mission District. Click here for details.

4th of July Events: This Independence Day, watch the fireworks over the San Francisco Bay, sail under the Golden Gate, enjoy the festivities at Pier 39, or take in a show. Click here for my insider's guide to Fourth of July this year.

SF Giants Baseball: Take in a game while you are in the city. The SF Giants play more than a dozen games this July at Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park). Discover this month's calendar here.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival: The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival offers free cultural performances from April through October every year. They range from kid friendly performances to local up-and-coming live musicians. Find their schedule of performances here.

Savings Tip: Save on tickets to top SF events and tours through Goldstar. This is my favorite place to look for ticket discounts as they offer tickets to almost 200 activities at up to half-off the full retail value. They range from walking tours around the city to events such as wine and film festivals. Click here to check out their current selection of tickets.

Other Pages You Might Enjoy

sf opera
book of mormon
SF Summer
Opera Schedule
Other SF Festivals
& Street Fairs
Full July

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Hi there! I'm Jill and I love writing about San Francisco travel as much as I love exploring my amazing city. Thanks for stopping by and please contact me if you have any questions before your trip.

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