There is something about attending an outdoor concert than cannot be beat. Whether it’s during a warm sunny day, breezy afternoon or chilly evening, music outdoors simply sounds the best. Maybe it’s the fresh air or camaraderie of being with friends and fellow music lovers and cuddling close together that helps to make it all just a bit more fun. Don’t miss these 5 Bay Area outdoor music events!

Stern Grove Festival
Sigmund Stern Grove
82750 19th Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 252-6252

Summer 2013 will be the 76th season of admission-free concerts at Sigmund Stern Grove in San Francisco. This well-loved venue has been host to a huge variety of musical performances in varied genres, highlighting excellent artists in the Grove’s beautiful setting. The setting’s natural acoustics has made this a top spot for music, dance and theater performances enjoyed by locals, friends and families from throughout the Bay Area. Each year, the festival must raise $2 million to ensure continued concert production and the related outreach and education programs it provides. Donors at all levels provide generous support to make the festival possible. The 2013 Stern Grove Festival begins June 16, with Opening Day stars Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald. A complete festival program with artist lineups and performance dates will be available May 1 on the festival website.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival
Mission St. in between 3rd St. and 4th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 543-1718

The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival is dedicated to enhancing the energy and quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area with its diverse programs. It delivers on its mission by presenting free artistic, community and cultural programs and events. The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival runs from May to October, presenting a vast schedule of music, dance, theater and poetry events, plus children’s programs for family friendly time. The festival aims to highlight creativity and cultural diversity of world artists from Africa, South America, Japan, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Europe, China, the Philippines and of course, local Bay Area talent. The YBG is a large venue located between Mission and Howard Streets and 3rd and 4th Streets. View this season’s lineup on the festival website. The 2013 season opens on May 4 and goes through October.

Related: Bay Area’s Best Outdoor Music Venues

Golden Gate Park Band
Golden Gate Park
501 Stanyan St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 831-5500

The Golden Gate Park Band has a long history of playing free public concerts in Golden Gate Park on Sundays since 1882. The Band is one of America’s oldest professional concert bands and plays to its many fans on Sundays, from April through October. All concerts are free and take place at the Spreckles Temple of Music in the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park at 1 p.m. Musical genres presented cover classical, marches, Broadway shows, swing, operas and ethnic programs. There is something for everyone. Check the band website for concert listings.

San Mateo County Fair
2495 S. Delaware St.
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 574-3247

The San Mateo County Fair is a much-anticipated yearly event in the true tradition of county fairs. Running from June 8-16, this event has everything you would expect, plus live music at the 2013 Concert Series. This summer’s entertainment lineup includes names you are sure to be familiar with, including Tower of Power, Starship, Morris Day and Queen Nation. Besides the well-known sounds, the next best thing is that all concerts are free with admission on a first-come, first-served basis. The concerts are definitely popular, as is the fair itself, so get there early to grab a seat as there is limited seating. Admission is reasonably priced so the whole family can enjoy a day in the San Mateo sun. Check website for full details, including fair and concert hours.

Point Richmond Summer Music Festival 2013
Washington Ave. and Park Place
Richmond, CA 94801

The Point Richmond Music Festival celebrates diversity and promotes the arts and community through music that speaks a universal language. PRM concerts welcome people of all ages and lifestyles to gather together for five concerts, from June to September, to enjoy the vast musical talent of Richmond, the Bay Area and beyond. For over a decade, this festival has been a collaborative effort by local businesses and volunteers to create something special. Each year, PRM delivers awesome entertainment with two 50-minute performances per show in beautiful Point Richmond. The 12th Summer Concert Series in 2013 is sure to be another success. Visit the festival website for all the details.

Related: Bay Area’s Best Outdoor Theater

Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at