Treasure Island Music Festival (credit: Creative Commons)

With no shortage of sun and year round mild temperatures, San Francisco is the perfect backdrop for enjoying live music al fresco. The Bay Area is home to vast number of talented and diverse musicians, with fall music festivals to reflect the wide diversity. Everyone, from the jazz to bluegrass or rock to world music lover will find a venue showcasing something to love. Here are five of San Francisco’s best outdoor fall concert offerings.

Treasure Island Music Festival
Treasure Island
San Francisco, CA 94130
treasureislandfestival.com
Dates: Oct. 17 – 18

A favorite annual event for many Bay Area natives, the Treasure Island Music Festival is a two-day, two-stage festival held on picturesque Treasure Island. The 2015 lineup includes Deadmau5, The National, FKA Twigs and The War On Drugs. Parking on the island is limited, and most concert-goers make use of the complimentary shuttles out of San Francisco, where valet bike parking is also available. Sealed water bottles are welcome, and make sure to remember plenty of sunscreen.

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
Hellman Hollow, Golden Gate Park
50 Overlook Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94122
www.hardlystrictlybluegrass.com
Dates: Oct. 2-4

This year marks San Francisco’s 15th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. Located in Golden Gate Park, this not-to-miss three-day event features seven stages, more than 100 artists and entirely free admission. As its name implies, the festival is not solely focused on bluegrass music, and previous year’s performers have included everyone from Lucinda Williams and Elvis Costello to Social Distortion and Roseanne Cash. Crowds are massive, but friendly, BYO picnics and beverages are welcome, and food and drink is available for purchase on-site. To avoid peak crowds, hit the festival on Friday or Sunday, and take MUNI to avoid the never-ending search for a parking spot.

Meklit
Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade
773 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 543-1718
ybgfestival.org/meklit
Date: Oct. 8 at 12:30 p.m.

Originally hailing from Ethiopia, Meklit is a now San Francisco-based singer-songwriter. Head on over to Yerba Buena Gardens Festival to see Meklit’s unique sound of folk, jazz and hip hop infused with her melodic poetry. This world music hybrid showcases some of the best of San Francisco’s diverse cultural offerings. This free lunchtime event will be held on the over five-acre Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade, amid a reflection pond, butterfly garden and waterfall.

Beyond The Blues: A Prison Oratorio
Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade
773 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 543-1718
ybgfestival.org/prisonoratorio 
Date: Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.

Another event produced by the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, Beyond The Blues: A Prison Oratorio will also be held on the Esplanade. A current artist in residence with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, composer Marcus Shelby was commissioned in 2013 to create a big band work about the prison-industrial complex. The PIC is defined as the overlapping interests of private prisons and government interests. Beyond The Blues: A Prison Oratorio explores the negative effects such a system has on persons of color.

Jazz At The Park
Speckles Temple Of Music
Music Concourse, Golden Gate Park
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 831-5500
www.goldengateparkband.org 
Date: Sept. 27 at 1 p.m.

In its astounding 133rd season, the Golden Gate Park Band was originally founded in 1882 to compete with other contemporary large cities which had community bands. The band holds free concerts at 1 p.m. every Sunday from April through October at the Speckles Temple of Music in Golden Gate Park. The Concourse is nestled between the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences. Catch one of the last two shows of the season with the Sept. 27 Jazz In The Park, or the season Grand Finale on Oct. 4.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.


 

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