26 Music, Film + Art Festivals in the Bay Area This Summer

|April 11, 2017

To be honest, it doesn’t seem like festival season ever ends in the Bay. However, we do call April and May the beginning of festival season because it prepares us for summer in San Francisco — from Sunday Streets and restaurant pop-ups to music festivals and celebrations of film, theater, art and even books!

No matter where you are — from East Bay to Peninsula and everywhere in between — mark your calendars and get to one of these Bay Area art fests. If you’re looking for fun ideas for your next date, night out with friends, or family outing, our guide has something for everyone!

Jump ahead:

April Events  |  May Events  |  June Events  |  July Events  |  August Events

April Events

San Francisco Green Film Festival

April 20 – 26

Green Film Fest

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Green Film Festival and Pamela Gentile

The annual Green Film Fest highlights everything environmental — from the streets of SF to the fields of Ethiopia. As the leading movement for films and conversations about people and the planet, their mission is to educate and connect communities through forward-thinking programs. Be a part of the movement by participating in the conversation and attending the 2017 festival!

Bay Area Dance Week

April 21 – 30

Bay Area Dance Week

Photo courtesy of Bay Area Dance Week and Kegan Marling

Each year, over 700 groups, artists and organizations participate Bay Area Dance Week. All week there are 600+ free performances, classes and workshops so you can participate, too! Don’t miss the kick-off event at San Francisco City Hall on April 21 and check out this year’s schedule.

May Events

Urban Air Market: San Francisco

May 7

San Francisco Festivals Urban Air Market

Image courtesy of Urban Air Market

Founded in 2005, Urban Air Market celebrates sustainable design by connecting independent artists and designers with local customers. Help build the community and support the local economy by shopping art, crafts, food and other goods on May 7; and don’t miss the September 17 event in the fall!

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival

May 7 – October 29

The 2017 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival kicks off on Sunday, May 7 with a concert from the Grammy-winning Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and VNote Ensemble. This is just the first of 2017’s 100 admission-free events at the picturesque Yerba Buena Gardens. All summer, you can stop by for free music, theater, circus, dance, poetry and children’s programs with artists from the Bay Area and around the world. Check out the full event calendar online.

SFMade Week

May 8 – 14

SFMade’s mission is to build and support a vibrant manufacturing sector in San Francisco, and their annual celebration serves as a monument to that community. Buy tickets to the Ramp it Up! event at Barebottle Brewing Company on May 10 and learn more about how to support their efforts.

San Francisco International Arts Festival

May 25 – June 4

Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture and the Eyes and Ears Foundation present the San Francisco International Arts Festival from May 25 to June 4 this year. With over 100 presentations by 65 ensembles and individual performing artists travelling from 15 other countries and the United States, it’s a must-see event!

June Events

San Francisco Silent Film Festival

June 1 – 4

San Francisco Silent Film Festival San Francisco Summer Festivals

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Silent Film Festival and Tommy Lau

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about silent film as an art form and as a culturally valuable historical record. If you’re a fan of film, art, education and discussion, check the line-up and buy your tickets!

SF DocFest

June 1 – 15

This film festival is a sister to the popular SF Indie Fest and features the best of documentary cinema. Since 2001, this two week-long event has brought the most weird and wonderful aspects of real life to the big screen. Learn more and find out when you can buy your tickets on their website!

Bay Area Book Fest

June 3 + 4

This annual indoor and outdoor festival celebrates all things literature — from local and national authors to a Young Authors Writing Contest. With 200 authors, 100 lit sessions and 10 films over two days, you’ll get all the literature you can handle!

SF Jazz Festival

June 6 – 18

Jazz Festival

Image courtesy of SFJAZZ

Five venues, 13 days and 43 concerts makes for a memorable music festival! Celebrate jazz this June in Hayes Valley and we promise you won’t stop dancing all week. Check the concert schedule and buy tickets online.

San Francisco Free Folk Festival

June 10

Since 1977, the SF Free Folk Festival has been run by the San Francisco Folk Music Club in celebration of history, music and dance across the genre. This all-volunteer event includes dance workshops, music jams, performances, evening dance parties and more! Join them at Everett Middle School June 1oth.

Berkeley World Music Festival

June 10 – 11

Participate in world culture, dance and music in East Bay at this free festival. Celebrating its 14th year in 2017, there will be a craft village, People’s Park concert, telegraph venues and more!

SF Design Week

June 14 – 22

From tech inventions, culture-changing products, human-centered design, emerging fashion and international architecture, San Francisco Design Week is an opportunity to experience the region’s unique design talents, impacts and innovations. Celebrate with events from Silicon Valley to San Francisco!

San Francisco Black Film Festival

June 15 – 18

Black Film Fest

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Black Film Festival and LADYLIKE

This film festival will be taking place at Sundance Kabuki Theater, The African American Art & Culture Complex, Second Act, and The Variety Premier House where you can attend special events for viewing, networking and socializing. Learn about the filmmaking process, build connections and enjoy ground-breaking cinema.


June 15 – 25

For the past 41 years, Frameline has come together annually to educate, celebrate and discuss LGBTQ films, artists and culture. Stay up-to-date with the schedule on Facebook and the festival website.

Stern Grove Festival’s 80th Season

June 25 – August 27

On summer Sundays at Sigmund Stern Grove on 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard you’ll find a new music festival for the entire family. Mark your calendars for The Big Picnic to celebrate 80th Season Opening Day on June 25 starring Kool and the Gang! And sign up for the festival newsletter so you get the full line-up when it’s announced on May 1.

July Events

18th Annual San Francisco Oysterfest

July 1

Oysterfest is a music festival with a fun twist — oysters! Awolnation, Kongos, Sir Sly and other headliners pair perfectly with fresh, succulent oysters, fine food, cold beer, craft cocktails, a shuck and suck contest and a live art exhibit! Ride your bike to Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park to take advantage of the valet bike parking and invite the whole family because kids twelve and younger get in for free! Buy your tickets online.

Fillmore Jazz Festival

July 1 + 2

Fillmore Jazz Festival

Photo courtesy of Steven Restivo Event Services

As the largest free Jazz festival on the West Coast, this year’s 33rd Annual Fillmore Jazz Festival will have all the live music, fine art and crafts, and gourmet food you’ve come to love — and more! Dance along in one of the city’s most unique neighborhoods on July 1st and 2nd.

39th Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

July 8 – 9 and 15 – 16

Save the date for these can’t-miss performances at San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. The festival serves to present the diverse ethnic dance companies in the Bay Area and always promises an exciting and ground-breaking show!

Renegade Craft Fair

July 15 + 16

Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco

Photo courtesy of Renegade Craft Fair

Renegade Craft Fair is the world’s largest curated showcase of independent craft and design. Equal parts entrepreneurial incubator and community gathering space, the San Francisco fair will feature hundreds of makers, interactive attractions, artisan food and drinks, as well as live music and plenty of good times!

Urban Air Market: Oakland

July 16

Oakland Festivals Urban Air Market

Photos courtesy of Urban Air Market

Join the community of sustainable design at Oakland’s curated art market. Showcasing over 100 designers of fashion, accessories, body products, home decor, furniture and art, you’re sure to find the perfect addition to your collection!

Frozen Film Festival

July 20 – 23

The San Francisco Frozen Film Festival is held every summer in the heart of the Mission district at the Roxie Theatre. The nonprofit organization strives to create avenues for independent filmmakers, youth and artists from underserved communities to come together and exhibit their work. Join them in celebrating ten years of the festival in 2017!

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

July 20 – August 6

Jewish Film Festival

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Jewish Film Festival and Barak Shrama Photography

This annual film festival is the largest and longest-running event of its kind and has become a leader in the curation and presentation of new media exploring the complexities of Jewish life locally, nationally and internationally. Follow the festival on Facebook for updates on the 37th Annual event!

August Events

American Craft Show

August 4 – 6

American Craft Council is a nonprofit producer of fine craft shows in the US, and their San Francisco show promises to be an exciting event! Join them and more than 225 top contemporary jewelry, clothing, furniture and home decor artists at the Fort Mason Center this August.

Jerry Day 2017

August 6

SF Art Festivals Jerry Day

Photo courtesy of Jerry Day 2017 and Bob Minkin Photography

The 15th Annual Jerry Day will take place at the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater in celebration of the man, the myth and the legend — Jerry Garcia. Admission is free, but with a donation of $100 or more, you can reserve seats in the VIP section!

Outside Lands Festival

August 11 – 13

Outside Lands at Golden Gate Park is one of the region’s largest music festivals each year. This otherworldly celebration of music, food, wine, beer, art and comedy has a little something for everyone. Secure your passes today before it sells out!

Where are you celebrating this summer?

Share your favorite festivals and summer art events with us. We can always use another excuse to celebrate summer in the Bay!

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