Performer at the Stern Grove Festival

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May 4, 2022
The Stern Grove Festival is back for another summer of free concerts.

How to Experience Stern Grove's 2022 Summer Concert Series

Stern Grove is a San Francisco summer tradition. For more than 80 summers, visitors and locals alike have seen legendary performances in one of the most beautiful spots in the city for free. Yes, you read that right—free!

The Stern Grove Festival has released their lineup for the upcoming season of Sunday concerts, happening June 12 to Aug. 14, 2022. Here’s everything you need to know.

The History of Stern Grove

Today, Stern Grove, a natural amphitheater surrounded by giant eucalyptus, redwood, and fir trees, is one of Northern California’s favorite concert sites. But it wasn't always like this. Back in the 1840s, it was just a wild stretch of sand dunes and marshes. George Greene and his family are the first known San Franciscans to tame this patch of land.

Decades later, in 1931, the land was purchased by Rosalie M. Stern, who gifted it to the city in memory of her husband, Sigmund. Mrs. Stern declared that the site must be preserved as a park in which the public could enjoy free music, dance, and theater performances. Nearly 90 years later, her promise has been upheld!

All proceeds of Stern Grove Festival concerts benefit the continuation of this special tradition.

How to Visit

The Stern Grove Festival will gladly welcome guests back this summer, but with some noticeable changes.

Admission to each concert will continue to remain free to the public, but tickets must be acquired online in advance. At 2:00 p.m. 12 days prior to each event, an online portal will be opened through www.sterngrove.org to offer free passes on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Most concerts this summer will be streamed live in order to reach as many music fans as possible. The live stream will kick off in conjunction with the concert starting at 2:00 p.m. via www.sterngrove.org.

Guests are welcome to bring their own food and beverages to enjoy.

For more details, click here.

Concert Dates & Performers

All concerts for the 2022 season will begin at 2 p.m. Performers are subject to change without notice.

June 12

The 2022 concert season begins with a rare co-headlining performance from two legendary artists with deep Bay Area roots: the iconic soul/funk/R&B outfit Tower of Power and the multi-platinum selling emcee Too $hort

June 19

One of most of the decade's most influential musicians, Toro Y Moi, will play Stern Grove, along with indie band Hello Yello.

June 26

90s indie rock legend Liz Phair, who recently released her first album in 11 years, will take the stage, as will singer-songwriter Madi Diaz.

July 3

Make Stern Grove part of your holiday weekend by taking in a performance by the Cold War Kids and Geographer.

July 10

Nashville-based Americana string band Old Crow Medicine Show will play Stern Grove, along with Bay Area native Molly Tuttle.

July 17

Acclaimed indie songstress Cat Power and Oakland-based pop musician Spelling will perform this Sunday.

July 24

Iconic country star LeAnn Rimes will perform at Stern Grove, and Amythyst Kiah will bring her self-described "Southern gothic" styling to the stage, as well.

July 31

Stern Grove Festival will welcome a returning favorite, the San Francisco Symphony, led by conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser. Since its inaugural concert in 1938, Stern Grove Festival has partnered every year with the Symphony to offer a world-class performance to the public. This is your only chance to see the Symphony for free!

August 7

Multi-accomplished blues musician Taj Mahal will treat concertgoers to a medley of hits across his 50-year musical career. Monophonics will also perform.

August 14 - The Big Picnic

The 2022 concert season concludes with the Festival’s annual fundraiser, The Big Picnic, featuring Phil Lesh and Friends, fronted by one of the original members of the Grateful Dead. This season-ending event will help to raise funds in support of the Festival’s mission to provide free concerts and arts education programs.

Additional Stern Grove Tips

Want to make the most of your Stern Grove experience? Here are a few insider tips:

  • While the main entrance at the corner of 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard is easy to find, there are additional entrances along Wawona Street to the north. These less crowded entrances may allow you to get in quicker and find a seat.
  • You'll want to be on your best early bird game, since seating at Stern Grove is general admission. All entrances open at noon on concert days.
  • Did you know Stern Grove has a bike valet? They do! Forget the hassle of parking your car and take your bike there instead. Plus, when the concert is over, you can go for a scenic ride along the nearby Great Highway.
  • If you'd rather not sit on a blanket or low-profile lawn chair, there are picnic tables that can be reserved. Picnic table seating is available with a donation of $1,500 or more, available for all concerts except The Big Picnic on August 14. For more information, email bigpicnic@sterngrove.org.

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