(Updated on June 8th, 2021) – The famous free and open-air music festival that takes place every Summer in San Francisco, returns from June 20 to August 29, 2021. Warning, because of Covid, you have to BOOK to attend, even if it’s 100% FREE !!
Here is the line-up for 2021, and it’s impressive!
June 20th: Ledisi – The Seshen – La Dona – LadyRyan. Ledisi is a thirteen-time Grammy-nominated powerhouse vocalist with a career spanning almost two decades. Since arriving on the scene in the late 1990s, she’s garnered three Soul Train Music awards, an NAACP Theater Award, and 6 NAACP Image Award nominations. Most recently, Ledisi received two LA Alliance Ovation Award nominations one for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
June 27th: Perfume Genius, Madame Gandhi, Honey Mahogany, LadyRyan.
July 4th: The San Francisco Symphony! The San Francisco Symphony returns for its annual summer performance at Stern Grove Festival, with Edwin Outwater conducting a special Fourth of July concert featuring pianist Aaron Diehl.
July 11th: Thievery Corporation, Dessa, DJ Shortkut
July 18th: St Paul & the Broken Bones, The Dip, DJ Omar. Saint Paul & the Broken Bones worked hard to prove they were no mere retro-soul band—from touring the world relentlessly, including being selected to open for The Rolling Stones and headlining two nights at the Ryman Auditorium, to TV appearances including The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, Austin City Limits, two appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
July 25th: X, the Avengers, DJ Omar. Punk is back with X and the Avengers!!
Aug 1st. Joan Jett and the BlackHearts. Joan Jett is an originator, an innovator, and a visionary. As the leader of the hard-rocking Blackhearts, with whom she has become a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, she’s had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including the classics “Bad Reputation,” “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll,” “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” and “Crimson and Clover.”
Aug 8th: Thundercat, Cassowary, DJ ShortKut.
Aug 15th: Fitz and the Tantrums, Devon Gilfillian. The RIAA-certified 2x Platinum single has logged more than 400 million global streams, went top 5 on both the Hot AC and Alternative Radio charts, and also enjoyed major airplay across the country at Top 40.
Aug 29th: Tower of Power, Too $hort. Soul-funk-R&B andWest Coast rap.
What is the Stern Grove Festival’s history?
The Stern Grove Festival is a charming artistic venue that has delighted audiences since 1932. And like many San Francisco stories, there’s a direct connection to jeans, Levis Jeans.
Originally, the 33 acres site included a 19th-century inn that was surrounded by a grove of eucalyptus trees. This popular retreat for the rich and famous fell on hard times with the arrival of prohibition.
In 1931, Rosalie Stern purchased the property as she wanted to honor her deceased husband, Sigmund. And Sigmund’s family dates back to the early Levis days.
At the time, Rosalie was the chair of what would become the San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission. She bought the property which was famous for its micro-climate and exceptional acoustics, courtesy of the eucalyptus trees.
She then gave it to the city with three simple requirements. It could only be used for recreation and no religious or political activities would be permitted. True to her wishes, Stern Grove was inaugurated in 1932 with Chopin and Haydn concerts, and folk dances from Eastern European countries.
Starting in 1938, outdoor performances began to take place during the summer months, all of which were completely free and financed by generous donors. Already at the time, some 150,000 people flocked on Sundays to listen to music or attend high-quality shows.
When Rosalie Stern passed away in 1956, the story continued, and even today it is her descendants who preside over the Stern Grove Festival in partnership with San Francisco Recreation and Park Commission.
The site was completely renovated in 2004 with the addition of stone bleachers, the installation of new sound and lighting equipment, changing rooms for artists … all for more than 15 million dollars again financed by private donors.
Although things have changed for 82 years, the spirit of the festival has remained.
You can have a picnic, attend yoga classes before the performances or enroll your children in art discovery workshops … always for free!
Take a picnic, sweaters, and blankets; it can be chilly even in the summer, this is San Francisco.
Merci Stern Grove