This year the Stern Grove Festival in San Francisco celebrates its 81st anniversary. The 2018 season runs from June 17 to August 19.
Every Sunday at 2pm during the summer months, you will find a free concert in the park. The shows usually last two to three hours and are wildly popular.
Locals and visitors enjoying the afternoon at Stern Grove.
Photo courtesy of SternGrove.org.
The 2018 schedule will be announced on May 1, 2018. The following is the schedule from 2017 to give you an idea on the types of performers each year.
The Big Picnic and opening performance are on June 25th this year.
Click the links below for additional events in SF for each month.
Each year, the Stern Grove Festival opens with the Big Picnic, which is their annual fundraiser, and the only event each summer that requires a ticket to get in. The Big Picnic precedes the opening concert from 11:30am and 2pm.
The concert itself is free and open to the public, and starts at 2pm. This first concert is always the largest event of the season and seating can be hard to find. Since it's on a first-come, first-served basis, the only way to guarantee yourself seating is buy purchasing tickets to the Big Picnic.
For all events in the series, I recommend showing up early to secure a place to sit.
Since these concerts are free, there are very few amenities. Here are just a few of the items you will want to bring with you.
Since the concerts are crowded, here are just a few other things you need to know before you arrive.
Union Square Live: From April to October, you can catch free cultural performances at SF's Union Square. These events are usually every Wednesday and Sunday. Click here for this year's festival.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival: The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival also offers free music and other cultural programs all summer long. Performances are held several days a week between May and October. Click here for more details.
Sunday Streets: The annual Sunday Streets event features blocks of car-free streets in a specific district on one Sunday each month. This allows pedestrians to bike, run, or walk without worrying about traffic. Each event also provides live music, free health screenings, and other community activities. Click here for this year's schedule.
Union Street Festival: The Union Street Festival is typically the kick-off to SF's famous summer festival season. This lively event features live music, gourmet food, and dozens of merchant booths with unique arts and crafts. You will also find a premium craft beer and wine tasting pavilion. Click here to learn more.
North Beach Street Festival: Another popular SF Street Fair is the North Beach Festival. This one also features live music, amazing street food, and several fun activities for the kids. Click here to learn more about this year's festival.
Stern Grove Park is on the corner of 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in the city's Outer Sunset neighborhood.
Your best bet is to take public transit, since parking is very limited in this part of the city.