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!
April Events | May Events | June Events | July Events | August Events
April 20 – 26
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!
April 21 – 30
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 1 – 4
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!
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!
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!
June 6 – 18
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.
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.
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!
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!
June 15 – 18
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.
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.
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.
July 1 + 2
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.
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!
July 15 + 16
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!
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!
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!
July 20 – August 6
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 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.
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!
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!