San Francisco Music Festivals: 8 Best Live Music Events in SF

Enjoy live bands all day or weekend long at these top 8 San Francisco music festivals. SF has an amazing live music scene, which is enhanced by these annual events.

Live music festival in SF

The hottest SF festivals include Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park, the Treasure Island Music Festival, and Stern Grove. Read on to learn more. 

1. Noise Pop

Noise Pop is one of the San Francisco music festivals that features 12 days of entertainment. The event focuses on indie artists and features shows at several venues throughout the city. In addition to music, this event shows dozens of independent films from documentaries to shorts. 

Dates: February/March
Learn More: Visit the February calendar to discover details on this year's event

2. North Beach Festival

The North Beach Festival is a large annual street fair with food, beverages, and local artists displaying arts and crafts. In addition, there are two stages of live music. This event is casual and free, and most of the bands are local Bay Area favorites.

Date: June
Learn More: Find out more about the North Beach Festival

3. Union Street Festival

Similar to the North Beach Festival, this event is an annual street fair held in the Marina District. For two days, you can listen to live music on the main stage. This event has evolved over the years and now offers additional activities such as wine tasting, a fashion show, and a pavilion focused on health and wellness.

Date: June
Learn More: Discover additional info for this year's event 

4. SF Jazz Festival

Jazz lovers get the chance to enjoy a variety of performers at venues all over SF at the annual SF Jazz Festival. It takes place over the course of around two weeks every summer. The event draws top jazz musicians from around the world. 

Date: June
Learn More: Visit the SF Jazz site for more information

5. Fillmore Jazz Festival

The Fillmore Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz event on the west coast. For two days, enjoy several stages of live jazz music on Fillmore Street in the Pacific Heights and Western Addition districts. You will also find great eats, beverages, and wonderful pieces of art from local and national artists. This event is always the first weekend in July.

Date: July
Learn More: Find additional info on this year's event 

6. Outside Lands

By far the largest of the San Francisco music festivals is Outside Lands. For three days, this event features 65 to 70 bands on several different stages. It attracts both famous international bands as well as local favorites. Previous performers include The Black Keys, Elton John, Billy Idol, Mumford & Sons, Wilco, and Lindsey Stirling. 

Date: August
Learn More: Visit the Outside Lands page to learn more 

7. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass

Another popular, large San Francisco music festival is Hardly Strictly Bluegrass. Even though this event is totally FREE, you will find several large acts on stage each day. Previous performers include Indigo Girls, Los Lobos, Emmylou Harris, and the Lumineers. Since it's free to get in, I recommend arriving really early to get a great spot for the shows.

Date: October
Learn More: Additional details for this year's event

8. Stern Grove

The Stern Grove Concert Series is another free music event. From mid-June to mid-August, you will find free shows in Stern Grove Park every Sunday at 2pm. They feature music from both local and international favorites. Previous performers include Boz Scaggs, Morris Day and the Time, and The Doobie Brothers. Get there early to grab your seats on the lawn.

Date: Mid-June to mid-August
Learn More: Discover the full schedule for this year

Other Top SF Events

Cherry Blossom Festival: The Cherry Blossom festival kicks off spring with a celebration of these lovely blooming flowers. The event is held over two weekends in April in SF's Japantown District. For four days, you can enjoy traditional music, food, and entertainment. They also have a kid's area that is great for the little ones.

Chronicle Wine Tasting Event: The Chronicle Wine Tasting Event is the largest wine festival in the world featuring only American wines. After the judges select their favorites, they open the doors to the public where you can try the winners as well as those they were up against. This event is often held in mid-February.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival: If you love chocolate, then head over to Ghirardelli Square in September for their annual chocolate tasting festival. In addition to sampling chocolate, you can also enjoy cooking demonstrations by top local chefs, listen to live music, and sample top wines in the tasting pavilion.

More SF Festivals

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