Yerba Buena Gardens Festival 2021

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

  1. Updated May 7, 2021

The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival will look a little different in 2021. This year, they are offering some free, lunch time performances, self-led garden tours, and classes throughout the season. Their season runs from May to October.

Instead of announcing their entire festival schedule at once, they are announcing them just a couple of weeks in advance. This will allow them to make adjustments as requirements change throughout the city.

They also plan to do a few last minute announcements for "pop-up" events, which may only be posted a few hours in advance.

Everything is free again this year and all performances are at the Yerba Buena Gardens in the South of Market District.

Visit their site here to learn more about what to expect and upcoming performances in 2021.

Previous Year's Festivals & What to Expect in 2022

Below, you can read more about how this festival was set up in 2019. This is more of what you can expect in 2022 and beyond.

Discover free music, artistic performances, and other cultural programs at the 2019 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.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival in San Francisco

During these months, you will find several 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 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. 


This year's events will run from May 4 - October 27. Below is the full schedule for this year. 

May 2019

The Opening Event for the 2019 Season is on May 4 from 1pm - 3pm. Head over to the Yerba Buena Gardens to help kick off a great new series of live performances with Tribute to Charlie Palmieri by the Uprising All-Stars.

Here are the additional performances this month:

  • 5/9: oghosthaze at 12:30pm
  • 5/11: Embodiment Project at 1pm
  • 5/14: Poetic Tuesday at 12:30pm
  • 5/16: Community Music Center Older Adult Choirs at 12:30pm
  • 5/16: Carlitos Medrano & Sabor De Mi Cuba at 6pm
  • 5/18: Celebrate 20 Years of Creativity! at 11am
  • 5/18: Roma Festival Dzambo Agusevi Orchestra at 12:30pm
  • 5/23: Afro-Cuban Ensemble of SFSU at 12:30pm
  • 5/25: Michael Doucet & Tom Rigney with Flambeau at 1pm
  • 5/30: Sandy Cressman's Homenagem Brasileira at 12:30pm

June 2019

  • 6/1: Betsayda Machado at 1pm
  • 6/6: The Onyx at 12:30pm
  • 6/7: Ka-Hon at 11am & 12:15pm
  • 6/8: Tunes of Sudan at 1pm
  • 6/11: Poetic Tuesday at 12:30pm
  • 6/13: Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco at 12:30pm
  • 6/14: Pi Clowns at 11am & 12:15pm
  • 6/15: Garba in the Gardens at 1pm
  • 6/16: Native Contemporary Arts Festival at 12pm
  • 6/20: Marcus Shelby Quartet at 12:30pm
  • 6/20: Jesus Diaz y Su QBA at 6pm
  • 6/21 & 6/22: Circus Bella – Up in the Air at 12pm
  • 6/27: Edgar Pantoja & the Afro-Cuban Tribe at 12:30pm
  • 6/28: Unique Derique at 11am and 12:15pm
  • 6/29: Jeremy Dutcher at 1pm

July 2019

  • 7/5: Duniya Dance and Drum at 11am & 12:15pm
  • 7/6: Aireene Espiritu – Tribute to Sugar Pie DeSanto at 1pm
  • 7/9: Poetic Tuesday at 12:30pm
  • 7/11: Suenos at 12:30pm
  • 7/12: Chelle! & Friends at 11am & 12:15pm
  • 7/13 & 7/14: Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest at 1pm
  • 7/20: Brooklyn Raga Massive featuring Martha Redbone Roots Project at 1pm
  • 7/25: Murasaki Ensemble at 12:30pm
  • 7/26: Alphabet Rockers at 11am & 12:15pm
  • 7/27: SF Uke Jam Summer Uke-splosion! at 1pm
  • 7/28: SF Mime Troupe at 2pm

August 2019

  • 8/2: Mahealani Uchiyama at 11am & 12:15pm
  • 8/3: AfroSolo in the Gardens at 1pm
  • 8/8: LINES Dance Center at 12:30pm
  • 8/10 & 8/11: Pistahan at 11am
  • 8/13: Poetic Tuesday at 12:30pm
  • 8/15: Kim So Ra: A Sign of Rain at 12:30pm
  • 8/15: Cabanijazz Project at 6pm
  • 8/16: Dholrhythms Dance Company at 11am and 12:15pm
  • 8/17: Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes at 1pm
  • 8/18: Brazil in the Gardens featuring Fabiana Cozza at 1pm
  • 8/22: Rob Reich Swings Left at 1pm
  • 8/23: Caterpillar Puppets at 11am and 12:15pm
  • 8/30: Red Panda Acrobats at 11am and 12:15pm

September 2019

  • 9/1: American Bon Dancing at 1pm
  • 9/10: Poetic Tuesday at 12:30pm
  • 9/14: Brass, Bows and Beats Hip-Hop Symphony at 1pm
  • 9/19: The Anita Lofton Project at 12:30pm
  • 9/19: Ricardo Lemvo at 6pm
  • 9/28: La Misa Negra at 1pm

October 2019

  • 10/15: Poetic Tuesday at 12:30pm 
  • 10/27: Halloween Hoopla at 12pm 

*Schedule is subject to change at anytime.

Places to Stay Nearby

If you plan on spending quite a bit of time in or near Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, 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.

Click here for my top recommendations in Union Square

You can also find great deals on Click here to find the perfect hotel for your stay in SF.

How to Get to the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

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.

Other Popular Annual Festivals & Events

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. One Sunday a month 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.

Yerba Buena Festival in SF

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