SF Arts: San Francisco Stern Grove Outdoor Music Festival Prepares for 2019 Season

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It's San Francisco's original outdoor admission-free music festival, a daylong party featuring the quintessential music experience: nature, food, joy and community. The 2019 Stern Grove Festival runs June 16 through August 18. The line-up will be announced April 4 at sterngrove.org

Every summer Sunday from June through August in San Francisco, 10,000 people gather to party, picnic and celebrate music in a breathtaking setting. And all for free. Always free since 1938. Stern Grove Festival is a music event unlike any other where the sounds of rock, hip-hop, jazz, folk, classical, funk, and blues all define the experience.

 

Thousands of people share this experience of "music for all"—all genres of music breaking barriers by reaching so many people regardless of anyone's ability to pay to attend.


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Where else but Stern Grove Festival would an indie rock band like OK Go! play on the same stage as the San Francisco Symphony? Through 80+ summers almost 1,000 concerts have run the gamut from Janelle Monáe to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, from hip-hop super-group Deltron 3030 to iconic folk songstress Joan Baez, from Kronos Quartet to Diana Krall, WAR, and Fantastic Negrito, all in the same series as the San Francisco Ballet. 

NOWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY IS THERE A MUSIC FESTIVAL LIKE THIS. Over eight decades, well-known performers have taken the stage to thrill audiences in the thousands. The Festival has presented acts like Pink Martini, Mavis Staples, Rufus Wainwright, tUnE-yArDs, Smokey Robinson, Ramsey Lewis, and The Doobie Brothers, all for free. 


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And then this same vast audience is introduced, every summer by Stern Grove Festival, to the next generation of emerging talent from the Bay Area and beyond. Stern Grove Festival audiences expect to discover a new artist "on the rise," like Janelle Monáe, who one day may be nominated for a Grammy Award.


Stern Grove Festival is an eclectic mix of concerts as diverse as the city it calls home. No other city in the country has San Francisco's reputation as a place welcoming to all, where diversity, artistic expression, and inclusiveness are stalwarts. Stern Grove Festival reflects this spirit of the city.

All this happens at "The Grove"— a hollow sunk into the San Francisco coastal topography as deep as a 14-story building is high and running the length of four city blocks and the width of several standard concert halls. The floor of the meadow stretches to a perimeter of hundreds of eucalyptus and redwood trees, all planted over a century ago.


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Stern Grove Festival is more than music… it's an experience, set in the nexus of music and nature.

Concerts at Stern Grove is a Bay Area summer tradition, one that spans generations—children who grew up dancing at the Festival's Kids Days now picnic with their families for a day's outing to enjoy the music. Whether it's sunny or a typical San Francisco foggy day, the Grove overflows with a lively crowd, people hanging from the trees singing along, or sitting on the terraced stone amphitheater, or dancing in the meadow.  More videos https://vimeo.com/sterngrovefestival


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Stern Grove Festival Association is a non-profit organization with an eight-decade legacy of providing the people of the Bay Area with admission-free access to diverse performing arts. Every year since 1938, the organization presents Stern Grove Festival, an admission-free performing arts series, in Sigmund Stern Grove, a beautiful outdoor amphitheater located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco. Stern Grove was purchased by Rosalie M. Stern and given as a gift to the City of San Francisco in 1931, in memory of her husband Sigmund, a prominent civic leader. 

 

Stern Grove itself is still owned and operated by the City of San Francisco. The fourth and fifth generation of Mrs. Stern's descendants remain actively involved in overseeing the Festival. Stern Grove Festival is truly a community service, raising nearly $3 million each year to fund admission-free concerts and outreach programs, all presented for the benefit of the citizens of and visitors to San Francisco and the Bay Area.

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