California is open! And you know what this means...drumroll, please. Summer festivals are so on.
While some of our favorite fests are sadly not happening this year—we'll miss the Pride Parade and Clusterfest—and others have new dates (hi, BottleRock and Outside Lands), there are still plenty of ways to enjoy chill and thrilling vibes all summer long and well into the fall. Mark your calendars and get tickets to these summer festivals around the Bay Area.
Summer Festivals Around the Bay Area
(Courtesy of @sterngrovefestival)
37th Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival
Started as a two-day event nearly 40 years ago, the San Francisco Jazz Festival now features both big names and fresh faces of jazz. This year, the fest is going virtual with 18 concerts, including past performances and new world premieres. Look out for Music in Monk Time, a showing of the first U.S. broadcast of a documentary film about jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, and music by Brian Blade, Marcus Shelby and his orchestra, and more. // Shows are available to members only, sfjazz.org.
Stern Grove Festival
June 20 through August 29
Stern Grove, 19th Ave. at Sloat Blvd. (Parkside)
We couldn't be more excited that Stern Grove Festival is back for its 84th season, albeit with some pandemic-era changes like mandatory reservations.The just-announced lineup includes Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Thundercat, and Fitz & the Tantrums—plus the SF Symphony as always. // Reserve free tickets (available 12 days before each concert at 2pm) on sterngrove.org.
San Francisco Pride
This year's theme: All in this together. Though the usual parade and Civic Center festivities are off for this year, celebrations are going strong all month long with official events like Oracle Park movie nights and a Black Liberation Event with AAACC the evening before Juneteenth—plus several cultural happenings around the city. Come October, SF Pride will host the inaugural National Coming Out Day Festival, with registration releasing in late July. // For more information go to sfpride.org.
Festival Napa Valley
Various venues in Napa Valley
This year, the classical music–focused Festival Napa Valley is an all-outdoor function. Splurge on special concerts like A Tribute to Tony Bennett or The Four Seasons of Napa Valley featuring Grammy-nominated cellist Matt Haimovitz and young violinist Chad Hoopes, both held at Charles Krug. Or, attend the free Festival Live! Chamber Series at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia. The festival will even include the Arts for All Gala with Jennifer Hudson herself, at Nickel & Nickel. Events are starting to book up, so get on it. // For the schedule and tickets, go to festivalnapavalley.org.
August 14 through October 9
Oxbow Commons Park, 1268 McKinstry St. (Napa)
This concert series in downtown Napa will host a variety of musical acts each weekend for nearly two months. Snag tickets to an evening show with Mt. Joy, Trampled by Turtles, Death Cab for Cutie, and Billy Idol. In true Napa fashion, there will be plenty of wine. // Tickets are now on sale (prices vary by show) on oxbowriverstage.com.
Silicon Valley Comic Con
San Jose Convention Center, 150 West Carlos St. (San Jose)
The annual SiliCon with Adam Savage combines technology and pop culture. This year's festival is two days instead of three and will include celebrity meet-and-greets, live panels, and maker workshops. Guests include Star Trek's William Shatner, Claire Blackwelder and Davi Santos of Power Rangers: Dino Charge; New York Times Bestselling Author Andy Weir; and many more. // Tickets ($50 and up for adults) are available at svcomiccon.com.
Music and More Festivals in September and October
(Courtesy of @bottlerocknapa)
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa Valley Expo, 575 3rd St. (Napa)
Wind down your summer with all the festival vibes at the rescheduled BottleRock Napa Valley. This year's headliners? Stevie Nicks, Guns N' Roses, the Foo Fighters, and a zillion more. As usual, the event—which no surprise, sold out within hours—also promises a culinary street food feast, silent disco, spa, and more. // Tickets are sold out, but you can still visit the official ticket exchange; bottlerocknapavalley.com.
SF Botanical Garden, 1999 9th Ave. (Golden Gate Park)
Pianos tucked into nooks and crannies within the blooming gardens of the SF Botanical Garden equal an absolutely lovely festival moment. Pop by to play your best Chopsticks during open play time and catch scheduled performances from the pros. // More info and tickets ($12 for GA) coming soon; go to sfbg.org.
Porter Robinson's Second Sky
Cesar E. Chavez Park, 11 Spinnaker Way (Berkeley)
Artist Porter Robinson and Goldenvoice are behind this vibrant electronica festival formerly known as Multiverse. The lineup includes Porter Robinson himself, and eight other artists including Madeon, Jon Hopkins, and Jai Wolf. // This show is sold out with the exception of some hotel packages (tickets included) but you can still join the waitlist, secondskyfest.com.
Day to Night Festival
The Great Lawn, 699 Avenue of the Palms (Treasure Island)Originally set to make its debut last year, the inaugural Day to Night Festival will feature one stage on Treasure Island's waterfront with music going all day long. Groove to deep house artist Nora En Pure and DJs like EDX and Spencer Brown. In the future, expect a multi-day affair. // VIP tickets are sold out, GA ($65 and up) are still available; daytonightfestival.com
The Marin Center, 10 Avenue of the Flags (San Rafael)
Just over 10 years since the first Treasure Island Flea, TreasureFest has outgrown its former Treasure Island home and is taking over San Rafael's Marin Center for a weekend of family- and dog-friendly fun. Prepare to shop vintage apparel, home goods, and crafts from local makers, and kick back while listening to up-and-coming bands with craft beer and and delicious food in hand. // Tickets will be released on June 15 at treasurefest.com.
Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Festival
Roaring Camp Meadows, 5401 Graham Hill Rd. (Felton)
Listen to folk and funk music among preserved trains and coastal redwoods at the outdoorsy, two-day Santa Cruz Mountain Sol Festival. With last year's festival cancelled for the pandemic, Michael Franti, Rising Appalachia, and other musicians on the 2020 lineup have already confirmed they'll be there come September. // Tier 1 weekend passes ($150) are available on santacruzmountainsol.com.
Monterey Jazz Festival
Monterey County Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairground Road (Monterey)
Jazz legend Herbie Hancock and Grammy Award–winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and his band Social Science are among the artists taking the Jimmy Lyons Stage during the three-day Monterey Jazz Festival. Expect 50 percent seating capacity. Stay tuned for more artist announcements soon. // Three day tickets will be available in July on montereyjazzfestival.org.
Golden Gate Park
Want to keep the summer feels going? Get ready for an epic Halloweekend featuring a kick-ass lineup at the rescheduled OSL: The Strokes, Glass Animals, Vampire Weekend, Lizzo, Tame Impala—the list goes on. That is, of course, not to mention all that food; the curated cannabis experienc, Grass Lands; and maybe even some October sun. If you got your hands on VIP or GA tix before they sold out, consider yourself lucky. // Luxury tickets to the Golden Gate Club curated by Ken Fulk are still available at sfoutsidelands.com.