Queen Bey is headed to Levi's Stadium this month as part of the Formation World Tour. (photo via the artist)

May 2016: All the Can't-Miss Parties, Concerts, Performances, Exhibits + More in the Bay Area


With so many excellent art exhibits, tasty foodie events, awesome concerts, and more, May is shaping up to be a very busy month. Here's your curated guide. Can you even handle it?


May 1st: Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is a summer-long festival featuring live performances of classical, world, and jazz music, contemporary and traditional dance shows, live theater, around the Bay Area. // May 1–October 30, Mission St. between 3rd and 4th Streets (SoMa), ybgfestival.org

May 5th: Tacit Consent, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Liss Fain Dance has joined forces with the YBCA to present a unique immersive performance installation. Fain has been working in performance installation for some years now, and one of the things which sets this one apart is its sound design. Don't miss it! // May 5- May 8, YBCA, 701 Mission Street (SoMa) lissfaindance.org

May 5th: San Francisco Cinco De Mayo Festival

The celebration of Mexican tradition and heritage hits the streets of San Francisco to bring you an alcohol-free and family-friendly environment to enjoy the holiday. Enjoy authentic Mexican and Latino cuisine and music and dance. There will be a ton of vendors and activities for your kids to enjoy! // May 5, Valencia St & 21st St. (Mission), everfest.com

May 6th: The Wild Bunch, Conservatory of Flowers

This spring, the Conservatory of Flowers is shunning the usual Cherry Blossom and similarly delicate flowers in favor of some more hardcore plant life: succulents, cacti, and fat plants. Come check out these fascinating plants that thrive in the most arid of conditions, and don't embody the conventional beauty that's associated with flowers. //May 6—October 16, Conservatory of Flowers, 100 John F Kennedy Dr. (Golden Gate Park), conservatoryofflowers.org

(Photo courtesy of Luna Rienne Gallery)

May 7th: Fire and Water Exhibition, Luna Rienne Gallery

Luna Rienne Art Gallery will be unveiling their Fire and Water exhibition by Ursula X Young. The paintings explore the delicate relationship between two opposing forces, and is the fourth solo exhibition by Young. // May 7—June 13, Luna Rienne Gallery, 3318 22nd St. (Mission), lunarienne.com

May 7th: The Acid Test with the Chocolate Watchband, Rickshaw Stop

If you've ever wondered what the psychedelic experience of the 60s was like, check out this epic bash hosted by Rickshaw Stop. This mind-expanding party will feature live music, obscure psychedelic sounds courtesy of the DJ, and a mind-blowing live liquid light show by Mad Alchemy. Far out dude, far out. // May 7, Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St. (Hayes Valley), rickshawstop.com

May 11th: From Where I Stand, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

BAMPFA presents the first solo show of Nigerian born, Antwerp-based artist Otobong Nkanga. From Where I Stand is an investigation of the colonial history of the mineral rush of the 19th and early 20th centuries in parts of Africa, when Europeans where excavating to their hearts contents and leaving vast regions in ruins. Using a variety of media, Nkanga displays her social and topographical observations in a beautiful manner. // May 11 & May 14, BAMPFA, 2155 Center St. (Berkeley), bampfa.org

May 14th: SFMOMA Re-Opens

We've been waiting a long time for this one: SFMOMA is finally re-opening! After almost three years of being deprived of everything this gorgeous gallery has to offer, it's finally back, with a pretty impressive expansion. Book your tickets now, opening weekend is going to be pretty packed. // May 14, SFMOMA, 151 3rd St. (SoMa), sfmoma.org

May 14th: Dragathon is Burning, The Cafe

This year's annual drag-a-thon was inspired by Paris is Burning, so dress to impress, sip on a cocktail, and watch the most fabulous queens in San Francisco duke it out for the coveted title of Ms. Dragathon! Donations go to San Francisco's Gay Mens' Chorus Financial Assistance Network. // May 14, 5pm - 8pm, 2369 Market St. (Castro), sfgmc.org

Close Enough for the Angels: Chiang Mai Dragon Door, 2010-2016, pen and ink on watercolor paper. (by Paul Madonna)

May 19th: Close Enough for the Angels, The Dryansky Gallery

The Dryansky Gallery is thrilled to host Paul Madonna's first solo show in five years. His new illustrated novel, Close Enough for the Angels, features over 100 drawings to accompany the text; Influenced by 19th Century woodcut artist Utagawa Hiroshige, the sketches tell their part of the story in graphic terms. The exhibit will consist of all new work, including framed originals from the book, text panels on the wall, and a limited edition of fifty hand-bound copies of the book produced by the artist. // May 19—July 14, 2120 Union St. (Cow Hollow), thedryansky.com

May 20th: Jack's Night Market, Jack London Square

Think Off the Grid meets quirky street performers, local artists, fashionistas, and delicious drinks and you may get an idea of Jack's Night Market. A favorite event for Oakland locals, it only happens a few times a year. There's even a free shuttle ready to take you to and from Jack London Square, so there's really nothing stopping you. // May 20, June 17 & July 15, Jack London Square, 472 Water St. (Oakland), jacklondonsquare.com


May 7th: Oysterfest, Golden Gate Park

San Francisco's largest shellfish event is back for the 17th year running. Learn which wine you should be sipping on while guzzling down these crustaceans by checking out the oyster-wine pairing tent, or listen to the beats provided by some of the hottest names in music. Fun fact: Over half a million oysters have been consumed in the event's history. // May 7, Sharon Meadow, 300 Bowling Green Drive (Golden Gate Park), oysterfest.me

May 7th: Uncorked Wine Festival, Ghirardelli Square

Uncorked Wine Festival is an annual tradition in the Bay Area, bringing wine from all over Northern California for one day of delicious tastings. With live music, and food provided by Off the Grid, this is one mouth-watering event. Get your tickets here. // May 7, Ghirardelli Square, 900 North Point St. (Fisherman's Wharf), sresproductions.com

(Photo courtesy of Chef Tu David Phu)

May 8th: Farm to Fork SF, The Village

Celebrate the launch of a delicious new pop-up dinner series. The dinners are meant to accompany an online docu-series that is using its platform to spread a love of food, and a portion of all proceeds goes to the non-profit sustainable farm, Slide Ranch. First on the menu, Vietnamese fare brought to you by chef Tu David Phu. Spoil your tastebuds with his mouthwatering mix of Eastern and Western food fusions. // May 8, The Village, 969 Market St. (SoMa), farmtoforksf.org

May 10th: Women Sake Makers Dinner, Yuzuki Japanese Eatery

The Sake industry remains fairly dominated by men, but that's not deterring these ladies. Miho Imada from Hiroshima, Miho Fujita from Ishikawa, and Risako Honda from Kumamoto will be hosting a five course dinner at Yuzuki Japanese Eatery, where they will pair a different sake with each meal. This rare and incredible event features a prix fixe menu at $150. Make your reservations now! // May 10, 6:30pm and 7:30pm, 598 Guererro St. (SoMa), yuzukisf.com

May 12th: Twilight at the Presidio, Main Post Lawn

More good news for those who love Off the Grid: In addition to Picnic at the Presidio, Twilight at the Presidio is officially back. Get your fill on all the most delectable foods Bay Area food trucks have to offer while enjoying the scenic views of the San Francisco Bay. // May 12—October 6, 5pm - 9pm, 103 Montgomery St. (Presidio), offthegrid.com

May 21st: San Francisco International Beer Festival, Fort Mason Center

Drink beer from around the world while eating delicious food at this boozy fest. 90% of the proceeds from the festival will go to the Telegraph Hill Cooperative Nursery School, the oldest co-op preschool in the city.be going to the school! Enjoy some beer and support a good cause. // May 21, Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd. (Marina), sfbeerfest.com

May 22nd: Swig n' Swine, SoMa StrEat Food Park

If you like Off the Grid, you'll love Swig n' Swine: an annual party full of food and drinks from San Francisco's hottest restaurants. The proceeds benefit San Francisco charter schools. Get your tickets here (they come with a free t-shirt!) // May 22nd, 12pm - 5pm, 428 11th St. (SoMa), eatdrink-sf.com

May 24th: Steve Clifton Wine Pairing Dinner, Lazy Bear

Chef David Barzelay of Lazy Bear will be hosting renowned Winemaker Steve Clifton for one night only. Clifton, founder of Palmina Wines, will be pairing his own creations with the delicious dishes of Lazy Bear, who will be serving a 12-15 course menu especially designed around Clifton's wines. Tickets to this unforgettable event are $275. // May 24, 6pm and 8:30pm, 3416 19th St. (Mission),lazybearsf.com

May 26th: Berkeley-Stanford Food Innovation and Design Symposium, UC Berkeley Jacob's Institute for Design Innovation

This one-day symposium showcases all walks of life within the food industry, from top chefs to authors, students, professors, researchers, companies, and more. Attend sessions with keynote speakers such as Michael Frost of Nordic Food Lab, or a Chef's Round Table consisting of Aaron London (Al's Place), David Barzelay (Lazy Bear), Anthony Mint, and Karen Leibowitz (The Perennial). Students, academics, and entrepreneurs from all over the world will be in attendance, so this event really should provide some food for thought. //May 26, 8am - 7pm, 2530 Ridge Rd. (Berkeley), foodinno.org

May 29th: 44th Muir Beach Volunteer Firemen's BBQ, Santos Meadow

Celebrate Memorial Day the good old-fashioned American way with a barbecue at the beach. The Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Department relies on individual donations to keep going, so head down there and purchase delicious food, drinks, and raffle tickets (maybe you'll win a getaway or restaurant gift certificate), and know that your money goes towards helping these guys keep Marin safe and beautiful. // May 29, Santos Meadow on Muir Woods Road (Muir Beach), muirbeachfire.com


April 28nd: To Kill a Mockingbird, Berkeley Playhouse

It's the beloved story that we all know by Harper Lee: a young girl named Scout learns about the evils of racism and stereotyping in the Deep South from her lawyer-father Atticus. For the first time in nine years, the Berkeley Playhouse will be putting on a non-musical, and we have to say, this is a pretty good way to go. // April 28nd through May 22nd, Berkeley Playhouse, 2640 College Ave. (Berkeley), berkeleyplayhouse.org

Author Frances Stroh(photo by Timothy Archibald)

May 9th: Frances Stroh in Conversation With Jack Boulware, Alamo Drafthouse

For all you bibliophiles and beer enthusiasts, this is a tale for you. Frances Stroh was the heir to Stroh's Beer, the largest beer dynasty in America. Somehow they managed to go from Fortune 400 to penniless in 16 years, and Stroh gives a first person perspective of how this happened in an intimate conversation with Litquake co-founder Jack Boulware. // May 9, Alamo Drafthouse, 2550 Mission St. (Mission), litquake.org

(Photo courtesy of broadwayworld.com)

May 11th: Kinky Boots, SHN Golden Gate Theatre

Kinky Boots is the classic Broadway tale of a struggling artist named Lola who, in desperate need of some stilettos, teams up with a struggling shoe factory owner, only to discover they're more alike than they could have imagined! Believe it or not, it's actually based on true story. Featuring Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein in the lead roles, this is a guaranteed good time. // May 11—May 22, SHN Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor St. (SoMa), shnsf.com


May 4th: Cypress String Quartet, St. Anthony's Dining Room

Cypress String Quartet is celebrating its 20th and final season. As their farewell show, the quartet will be performing free pop-up concerts throughout the city, featuring Beethoven's greatest hits. Click here to find out where you can catch them. // May 4th through May 19th, cypressquartet.com

May 5th: The Mountain Calls, Throckmorton Theatre

Tomales Bay Miwok descendent Sky Road Webb and Doug McConnell are hosting an evening featuring two artists whose work has been inspired by Mt. Tam and the natural environment. Enjoy the short films of Gary Yost and the spoken words of poet Jane Hirshfield; it's as good ascending the mountain itself. // May 5, 7pm - 9pm, 142 Throckmorton Ave. (Mill Valley), throckmortontheatre.org

(Photo courtesy of rihannanow.com)

May 6th and 7th: Rihanna Anti World Tour, Oracle Arena and SAP Center

Here comes RiRi. The Work singer is headed to the Bay Area to perform most of her classics, with a few songs off her new album, Anti. // May 6-7, SAP Center, 525 W Santa Clara St. (San Jose), Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, (Oakland), ticketmaster.com

May 8th: Santigold We Buy Gold Tour, The Masonic

Indie pop star Santigold is heading back to the Bay Area for yet another fun and incredible show. Her eccentric style and unique voice, just lights up the stage and you can't do anything but smile and dance. // May 8, The Masonic, 1111 California St. (Nob Hill), santigold.com

(photo courtesy of beyonce.com)

May 16th: Beyonce Formation Tour, Levi Stadium

Bringing her unbelievable vocals and inspiring aura, Queen B will be putting on an unforgettable show at Levi's Stadium with special guest DJ Khaled. We hope that you had enough time to learn all the lyrics to Lemonade! // May 16, Levi Stadium, 4900 Marie P DeBartolo Way (Santa Clara), ticketmaster.com


(Photo courtesy of Fitbit Local)

May 14th: Seadside Yoga Flow with Fitbit Local, Ocean Beach

Skip your usual yoga class and come join a big yoga session with Fitbit Ambassador Jeremy Falk on the beach. You can practice your downward dog or you're chakrasana as you feel the ocean breeze and squeeze your toes in the warm sand. Namaste! // Ocean Beach (Outer Sunset), eventbrite.com

May 15th: Bay To Breakers

It's that time of year again: runners, costumes, and beer cans abound! The race will start in the Embarcadero and end at Ocean Beach, where runners will be able to lay out on the sand and cool down with the ocean breeze. If you want to participate in the race, you can register here. // May 15, Embarcadero to Ocean Beach, zapposbaytobreakers.com

(Photo courtesy of Alcatraz Swim Challenge)

May 29th: Alcatraz Swim Challenge

Challenge yourself to this 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the East Beach of Crissy Field, followed by a 7-mile run along a Presidio dirt trail in Golden Gate Park. Get your running shoes and wetsuits on and head down for some fun. Or, you know, just watch from afar. // May 29, alcatrazchallenge.tricalifornia.com

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