Summer Festival Calendar

It's festival season in the Bay. From now until September, there’s an abundance of local festivals to fill up your summer calendar — and they’re all accessible by BART.

Whether you just want to enjoy some food, drinks and music — or soak in some culture and world history — there’s a festival on this list for you. Grab your friends and loved ones and start planning your next local festival pilgrimage.  

J U N E

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival has numerous performances all summer long. Photo courtesy of Yerba Buena Gardens.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival (Ends October 27) at Montgomery St or Powell St

This festival offers six months of admission-free music, dance and theater performances at the Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. There will be lunchtime and weekend concerts, along with poetic Tuesdays and a Children’s Garden Series, among other events. Some summer shows include performances from the Native Contemporary Arts Festival, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the LINES Dance Center. The YBG Festival is dedicated to presenting long-term and free arts and cultural programs that reflect the cultures and creativity of the Bay Area. All programs are outdoors, family-friendly and ADA accessible. Admission is free. Take BART to either Montgomery St or Powell St and walk 10 minutes to the gardens at 750 Howard St.

The Alameda County Fair takes place from June-14-July 7. Photo courtesy of Alameda County Fair.

Alameda County Fair (June 14-July 7) at Dublin/Pleasanton

The Alameda County Fair has no shortage of activities and things to check out: concerts, horse racing, shopping, contests, a carnival and an action sports arena, to name a few. It even offers specific festivals within the fairgrounds: ones for craft beer, wine and craft cocktails, all on separate days.

Tickets for the events within the Fair vary in price and can be bought online. Check the website for dates, hours and further details. Take BART to Dublin/Pleasanton and catch the WHEELS Fair Shuttle (Route 52) to the Fairgrounds.

Issa Rae will be performing at Clusterfest. Photo courtesy of Clusterfest.

Clusterfest (June 21-23) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

Comedy and music are joining forces for another hilarious weekend in San Francisco, thanks to Clusterfest. There will be stand-up, podcasts, improv and live reads, along with bands, DJ sets and dance parties all weekend long. Some comedians on the lineup include Amy Poehler & Friends, John Mulaney and Leslie Jones; for music, attendees will get the chance to see The Roots, Courtney Barnett, Girl Talk and more. Special exhibitions, food options and drinks will be available to enjoy as well. The festival will take place at Civic Center Plaza and the nearby Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

Tickets range from $109-$1250 and can be bought online. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 4 minutes to Civic Center Plaza.

LakeFest takes place on June 22. Photo courtesy of LakeFest.

LakeFest Oakland (June 22) at 19th St/Oakland

LakeFest is a celebration of the heart and soul of Oakland, from organizers who have been setting up free, public events in the community for the past 11 years. From 11am to 8pm, there will be a biergarten with craft beers and cold cocktails, cuisine from all over the Bay, retail and artisan vendors and even Lake Merritt boating opportunities. It is also a kid-friendly event, with a Kids Zone that includes a jump castle and obstacle course. Admission is free. Take BART to 19th St/Oakland and walk 20 minutes to the Lake Merritt Boating Center.

San Francisco Pride returns to the City on June 29-30. Photo courtesy of SF Pride.

San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade (June 29-30) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

San Francisco Pride has been an annual celebration since 1972, and it’s the largest gathering of the LGBT+ community and allies in the nation. There are more than 200 parade contingents and contributors, and 20 community-run stages and venues. Celebrations begin on Saturday in Civic Center Plaza, and the parade takes place on Sunday morning at 10:30am, kicking off from Beale Street along Market and ends at Market and 8th streets. This year, BART is going all out for the parade. Don't miss the BARTmobile and BART's newest float - a fabulously decorated scissor lift truck. There will be plenty of speakers, performers and exhibitors to check out both days. Come celebrate equality with thousands of other attendees at one of the most famous events in San Francisco. Admission is free. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and the festivities will be right there!

J U L Y

WorldOne Music & Circus Festival happens July 3-4.

WorldOne Festival (July 3-4) at El Cerrito Plaza

The 21st World Music & Circus Festival (July 3-4) will be held at Cerrito Vista Park, with circus performances, hula hooping, musical ensembles, dancers and DJs. Visitors can expect global music such as ancient folk, hip-hop and regional dance music. On July 3, there will be performances from 4 to 7pm, but July 4 is the main festival day, which will last from 10am to 6pm. There will arts and crafts vendors, various food options, vendor booths by local business and service groups, an art show and sale and a children’s fun area with carnival games, jump houses and more. Admission is free. Take BART to El Cerrito Plaza and walk 20 minutes to Cerrito Vista Park.

Bastille Day Festival takes place on July 13. Photo courtesy of Bastille Day SF.

Bastille Day Festival (July 13)  at Embarcadero

Come be a part of a grand Bastille Day celebration and discover French cuisine, wines and crafts. There will be an outdoor bistro with wine, beer and pastis, a Tahitian dance group, a waiters' race —a test of speed to see how fast a waiter can carry a loaded tray without tipping any of its contents, pétanque —a French game similar to lawn bowling or bocce ball, and much more! Festivities begin at 11am and run until 6:30pm. Admission is free. Take BART to Embarcadero and walk two minutes to Justin Herman Plaza.

Sunday Streets transforms congested streets into car-free spaces throughout the summer. Photo courtesy of Sunday Streets.

Sunday Streets (July 14, Aug. 18, Sept. 8, Oct. 20) at various stations

Sunday Streets transforms one to four miles of normally congested streets into car-free spaces where kids can play and adults can stroll and mingle. There are often activities for visitors to do as well.

On July 14, there will be Sunday Streets in the Mission from Duboce Ave. to 26th St. and Valencia St. Visitors and residents have a chance to roll, walk or pedal to local institutions like The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Puerto Alegre and Dog Eared Books.

On August 18, Sunday Streets newest route along Folsom Street in SoMa returns. Dance the night away at DNA Lounge, visit the collection at the Prelinger Library, tour world-class museums and arts centers like MoMa, The Contemporary Jewish Museum, The Museum of the African Diaspora and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

September 8 brings Sunday Streets Tenderloin. There is an array of nonprofits to check out — such as the Tenderloin Museum or Larkin Street’s Tenderloin Community Garden. For food, grab a local banh mi or bubble tea in the area.

And on October 20, the final Sunday Streets of the season comes to Excelsior.  Enjoy free cultural performances and enjoy nearby eateries, ranging from Mexican, Thai and Korean cuisine to old-school Italian.

All events run from 11am to 4pm and admission is free. For Sunday Streets Mission, ride BART to 16th St Mission or 24th St Mission and walk one block from the Sunday Street route on Valencia Street. For Sunday Streets SoMa, take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza, Powell St or Montgomery St and walk 10 minutes to Folsom St. For Sunday Streets Tenderloin, take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and use the Hyde or Larkin Street exits and walk north one or two blocks to Fulton Street. For Sunday Streets Excelsior, take BART to Balboa Park or Glen Park. Each station is about a 10 minute walk from the route.

SF Ethnic Dance Festival

"Nimely Napla Pan African Dance Company." Photo credit to RJ Muna.

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival (July 6-14) at Downtown Berkeley

The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival brings together world dance artists to broaden appreciation of world dance and music forms in the Bay Area.

Opening day starts on July 6. This year, UC Berkeley will host the event as Zellerbach Hall becomes a beacon for the beauty and power of our diversity, with performances by the finest world dance and music artists in the Bay Area creating magical moments you'll find only on the Festival stage. Attendees can expect Japanese, Congolese, Egyptian, Lebanese, Indian, Mexican, Cajun and Pan-Afro performances, among others.

World Arts West has put on the festival annually the past 41 years and has a vision to work with artists, organizations and communities to advance cultural understanding and achieve support of the world’s diverse dance traditions.

Tickets range in price and can be purchased online. Children's, group and subscriber discounts are available. Take BART to Downtown Berkeley and walk 10 minutes to Zellerbach Hall on the UC Berkeley campus.

40th Street Summer Block Party (July 20) at MacArthur

Get ready to rock outdoors to great live music including punk, jazz, blues plus special guests and indulge in delicious local food, beer and wine at the 40th Street Block Party in Temescal (40th Street between Webster and Opal). The free event starts at 11am and runs until 5pm. Take BART to MacArthur and walk seven minutes to the event.

Art + Soul Oakland (July 27-28)

Celebrate Oakland’s vibrant art and music scene at the biggest street party of the year with two days of music, dance, food, and family fun at the annual Art + Soul Festival in happening Downtown Oakland. The 19th annual festival features live performances, a family fun zone, an urban dance stage, craft beer, wine and food. Take BART to 12th St/Oakland City Center and walk five minutes to 14th St and Broadway.

A U G U S T

Fremont Festival returns on August 3-4. Photo courtesy of Fremont Festival.

Fremont Festival of the Arts (Aug. 3-4) at Fremont

The largest free outdoor street-festival west of the Mississippi covers more than four walking miles and attracts nearly 400,000 guests — and is right here in the Bay Area, in Fremont. Visitors to the 36th annual Fremont Festival of the Arts can expect to see one-of-a-kind pieces ranging from paintings and drawings to household decorations and furnishings. There will also be a Gourmet Marketplace with specialty foods, along with gourmet food trucks, beer, wine, margaritas and more. Enjoy food and drinks while perusing more than 500 artist booths and listening to the continuous live music on two stages. Admission is free and the event (which is Saturday-Sunday) runs from 10am to 6pm on both days. Take BART to Fremont and walk eight minutes to Walnut Avenue and Paseo Padre Parkway.

Outside Lands is set for August 10-12. Photo courtesy of Outside Lands.

Outside Lands (August 10-12) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

Outside Lands is the Bay Area’s biggest music festival, with last year’s lineup attracting over 200,000 guests. Big-name artists performing this year include Childish Gambino, blink-182, Kacey Musgraves and Lil Wayne. Beyond just music, Outside Lands also offers attractions focused around food, wine, beer and art, such as the popular “Wine Lands” and “Beer Lands.” There’s even a Barbary Coast tent that hosts comedy sets, in case you need a break from music or just want some good laughs.

There are single-day and 3-day tickets available, which are available to purchase online. Single day tickets are $155 and a 3-day ticket is $385. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza, transfer to the SF Muni outbound N Judah, ride to 34th and Judah and walk two blocks north to Golden Gate Park. Alternatively, ride BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza, transfer to the Muni 5 Fulton at McAllister and Jones outbound to 25th and Fulton.

Pistahan 2019 is scheduled for August 10-11.

Pistahan 2019: Filipino Cultural Festival and Parade (Aug. 10-11) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

The Filipino American Arts Exposition organizes the annual Pistahan Festival and Parade, which is billed as the largest celebration of Filipino Americans in the U.S. On Saturday, there will be a parade down Market St. to 4th St. displaying Filipino culture and traditions with marching bands, cultural dance groups and even Stormtroopers. The festival, which will run on both Saturday and Sunday and will be held at the Yerba Buena Gardens, will have seven pavilions for exploration, discovery and learning -- plus four food contests! The two-day event is expected to draw over 80,000 people over the weekend. Admission is free. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza for the parade. For the festival, take BART to Montgomery St or Powell St and walk 10 minutes to 750 Howard St.

Bay Area Blues Fest (Aug. 17-18) at Civic Center/UN Plaza

San Francisco is known for its love of the blues. The 9th annual Polk Street Blues Festival is a free two-day event that will feature blues artists on two main stages from 10am to 6pm. There will also be a merchant marketplace, arts and crafts, food booths, cafe seating areas and more. Take BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and walk 17 minutes to Polk St. around California to Post Streets.

S E P T E M B E R

Millbrae Art and Wine Festival returns August 31-September 1. Photo courtesy of Millbrae Art and Wine Festival.

Millbrae Art and Wine Festival (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) at Millbrae

Come over to Millbrae to partake in the “Last Blast of Summer.” The Millbrae Art and Wine Festival is celebrating its 49th year and will be offering Mardi Gras-style fun during Labor Day weekend. For food and drinks, there will be artisan specialty food, premium wine, the Hops Haven microbrew tasting tent and talented mixologists at Pacifica's own Longboard Bar tent. There will also be 250 professional artists and craft makers setting up shop.

On the music lineup are a variety of bands playing a mix of genres like soul, funk, R&B, country, hip hop, disco and more. There is also a Kids’ Playland that will have a zipline, climbing wall, bungee jump and carnival rides. Hours are 10am to 5pm both days. Take BART to Millbrae and walk three blocks to the festival.

Eat Real Festival takes place on September 21-22. Photo courtesy of Eat Real Festival.

Eat Real Festival (Sept. 21-22) at 12th St/Oakland City Center

Oakland’s Eat Real Festival has been held in Jack London Square for the past 11 years, and combines the vibes of a state fair, a street-food festival and a block party to celebrate some of the area’s best local food.

The nonprofit Food Craft Institute’s premier educational program is Eat Real. Eat Real provides a way for the community to learn where food comes from, who grows it and how to prepare it. There will be 50+ sustainably sourced menus and 40+ craft beers, wines and cocktails available.

Admission is free. Take BART to 12th St/Oakland City Center and walk 15 minutes to Jack London Square.

Autumn Moon Festival will take place in the late summer. Photo courtesy of Autumn Moon Festival.

Autumn Moon Festival (TBD) at Montgomery St

The Autumn Moon Festival in San Francisco’s Chinatown celebrates one of the oldest holidays around: the 1,000 year-old Chinese and Vietnamese holiday of honoring the moon’s symbolic relationship with the fall harvest. Visitors and locals can unite at this festival which celebrates the rich heritage of the city’s Chinatown. Chinese performers and booths stocked with Asian arts and crafts will be present. There will be the best of Chinatown’s culinary offerings along with different varieties of mooncakes — which are traditionally made with red bean or lotus seed paste and yolks or salted duck eggs. They are the staple treat of the holiday, so don’t forget to try some.

Admission is free. Take BART to Montgomery St and walk four blocks north along Montgomery Street. Turn left on California and walk two blocks to Grant Avenue.

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