How to Experience Stern Grove's 2024 Summer Concert Series | San Francisco Travel
The Stern Grove Festival
Stern Grove happens every year and typically marks the beginning of summer.

How to Experience Stern Grove's 2024 Summer Concert Series

It's a singular San Francisco summer tradition: the Stern Grove concert series. Amazing artists, beautiful scenery, and best of all, it's free!

Stern Grove is a San Francisco summer tradition. Celebrating its 87th season, visitors and locals alike have seen legendary performances in one of the city's most beautiful spots for free. Yes, you read that right—FREE!

The Stern Grove Festival has released its lineup for the upcoming Sunday concert season, which will run from June 23 to Aug. 25, 2024.

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

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

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

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Concert Dates & Performers

All concerts for the 2024 season will begin at 2 p.m. Performers are subject to change without notice.

June 23

The 2024 season kicks off with Tegan and Sara, a Canadian indie pop duo made up of twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin. Recognized globally for their unique harmonies and introspective lyrics, their music delves into themes of love, identity, and personal growth.

June 30

Chicano Batman, an LA-based band, has a highly creative musical imagination. Their prismatic musicality is infused with soulful yet unflinching honesty in their lyrics.

July 7

The San Francisco Symphony, under the leadership of Conductor Edwin Outwater, will be performing a program that includes Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Symphony No. 41", "Jupiter", and Aaron Copland's "An Outdoor Overture". The performance will also feature Broadway star Jessica Vosk, who will be singing a selection of songs inspired by California.

July 14

The Commodores, celebrated for their R&B classics such as "Just to Be Close to You," "Easy," and "Brickhouse," stood as one of Motown's premier bands, boasting a repertoire that included over 50 albums and numerous chart-toppers.

July 21

Masego is an artist who combines introspection with extroversion, love with humor, and skilled musical technique. You may know him from the hit song, "Tadow". 

July 28

Franc Moody has become widely popular among their fans through their soul, funk, and cosmic disco sound, which they have showcased across several EP projects and their debut album released in 2020.

August 4

Alex G is the stage alias of Alex Giannascoli, a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who built his reputation with intimate lo-fi pop that combines strong melodic sensibilities with a ragged, impulsive-sounding performance style.

August 11

Herbie Hancock is a pioneering figure who helped create a groundbreaking sound in jazz. In the 1970s, he released record-breaking albums that combined electric jazz with funk and rock. He also ventured into electronic dance sounds with "Rockit" and "Future Shock" while continuing to work in an acoustic setting with V.S.O.P.

August 18

Lucinda Williams is a celebrated singer/songwriter known for her fiercely independent music style. Blues, folk, country, and rock inspire her unpretentious yet emotionally powerful lyrics. Despite being compared to other musicians, her execution and performance are in a class of their own.

August 24 & 25 - The Big Picnic

This year's season finale will be bigger and better than you have ever experienced! For the first time ever, The Big Picnic, the festival's annual end-of-season fundraising event, will span two days. This event is key to Stern Grove's success and helps support its mission of providing free concerts and arts education programs. 

August 24 - Sylvan Esso and Poolside

Sylvan Esso is an indie-electronic duo renowned for their captivating blend of catchy melodies, intricate beats, and soulful vocals. The duo seamlessly merges folk-inspired lyricism with pulsating electronic rhythms, creating a sound that is both infectious and thought-provoking.

In 2011, Poolside set out to produce appropriately chill music for summer soirees, a light but danceable kind of music with sunny vibes and liquid rhythm that he dubbed "Daytime Disco."

August 25 - Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan defines what it means to be an icon. The world celebrated her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2023, marking an incredible 50 years of musical excellence. Honored with 10 Grammy Awards, her hits have transcended music genres, embodying the essence of pop, soul, jazz, gospel, classical, and funk.


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 take a scenic ride along the nearby Great Highway.
  • Parking in the neighborhood will be tough on concert days. We encourage you to use public transit or ride shares. However, if getting there with your vehicle is the only way, make things easy on yourself by using SpotHero to reserve parking ahead of time.
  • 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 24 and 25. For more information, email [email protected]
A woman sings at Stern Grove.

Did you know?

Stern Grove has partnered with San Francisco's local CBS affiliates, KPIX and KBCW, to livestream nearly every one of this year's concerts.

Tune In

Tyler Cohn headshot
Tyler Cohn

Tyler is the Sr. Manager of Global Content & Communications at San Francisco Travel. He has lived in San Francisco since 2015 and has been part of the San Francisco Travel team for just as long. He enjoys splashy production numbers and outdoor sporting events equally, which means you can usually find him at one of San Francisco’s many great theaters or at Oracle Park, cheering on the Giants. 

The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with a multicolored sky and the San Francisco Bay in the foreground.
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