Stern Grove Festival, the oldest outdoor music festival in the San Francisco Bay Area, is excited to announce this year’s music lineup as the admission-free weekend concert series makes a triumphant return to Sigmund Stern Grove for its 86th season beginning Sunday, June 18.
After hosting more than 70,000 total attendees during last year’s Festival, the independently-owned multi-genre outdoor music series will once again be home to weekly performances from some of today’s most sought-after acts, in addition to a number of local Bay Area performers throughout the summer season. Beginning June 18 through August 20, fans of all ages will be treated to musical programming as eclectic and diverse as the city Stern Grove Festival calls home with ten consecutive Sunday afternoon concerts.
This year’s season will also mark a welcomed revival of the Festival’s home at Sigmund Stern Grove, a historic park and concert meadow located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in the city’s Sunset District that for decades has offered an unparalleled outdoor concert setting for music lovers of all ages. Although the Grove experienced extensive flood damage this past winter and again at the end of the 2021 concert season, the repaired site will soon reopen to audiences this summer. Additional repair work in limited areas of Stern Grove will continue through the summer of 2023 but will not affect the upcoming concert series.
Stern Grove Festival’s 2023 summer concert calendar is listed below:
June 18 Snarky Puppy, Isaiah Sharkey
June 25 Indigo Girls (with Full Band), Neko Case
July 2 Santigold, Ogi
July 9 Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Andrew St. James
July 16 Angelique Kidjo, Jupiter & Okwess
July 23 SF Symphony with Special Guest Lettuce
July 30 Bob Moses, Neil Frances
August 6 Buddy Guy Damn Right Farewell Tour, Eric Gales
August 13 Patti Smith, Bob Mould
August 20 The Big Picnic Featuring The Flaming Lips, Alan Palomo (Neon Indian DJ Set)
This year’s festival hits the ground running with Snarky Puppy, a Jazz collective consisting of nearly two dozen talented musicians who continuously collaborate on stage to create a live performance like no other. Following this year’s season-opening concert will be the iconic guitar-backed duo Indigo Girls, who after decades of weaving their nine-album discography into modern music fans’ daily music shuffle, will make their Stern Grove debut on June 25. Warming up the stage for this female-led duo is concert co-headliner Neko Case as the inventive songwriter wraps up her “Wild Creatures” tour following the release of her latest album and celebrates her famed career spanning over 20 years.
Genre-defying music artist Santigold will perform the next weekend in support of her latest album Spirituals following a six-year hiatus from recorded music and marking her first Bay Area performance since the final edition of Treasure Island Music Festival in 2018.
After the annual 4th of July holiday festivities, Grammy Award-winning Texas legend Lyle Lovett will be joined in the Grove by his renowned Large Band on July 9 to perform a selection of classics from his impressive catalog of hit songs that spans over three decades, as well as new tunes from his critically acclaimed album 12th of June released last year.
Next, Stern Grove Festival will host the internationally-recognized Angelique Kidjo, known best for blurring the boundaries between afrobeat, jazz, and classical music on July 16. The West African singer is no stranger to the Bay Area, having produced a project with the renowned San Francisco Symphony who are also set to perform in the Grove the following Sunday.
On July 23, Stern Grove Festival will welcome to its stage a returning favorite, the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) led by none other than conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser. Since its inaugural concert in 1938, Stern Grove Festival has partnered every year with the SFS to offer a world-class performance to the public, which also marks the only opportunity each year for symphonic fans to see an admission-free performance by the SFS. Making for arguably the most unique SFS performance to date in the Grove, soulful funk collective Lettuce will infuse modern hip-hop and classic jazz into the popular orchestral ballads for an unprecedented concert performance.
A pair of Canada-born electronic DJs and music producers, Bob Moses, can be seen at the Grove on July 30, as they perform a number of dance-inducing hits songs, while the duo also supports EDM heavyweights ODESZA on their summer/fall 2023 tour.
Kicking off the new month on August 6 is Grammy Award-winning blues icon Buddy Guy as he performs in celebration of his seventh No. 1 album The Blues Don’t Lie released last year. This special Stern Grove Festival performance will serve as the sole Bay Area stop alongside his “‘Damn Right’ farewell tour as one of the greatest guitarists of all time ends his extensive touring career.
Punk rock’s brazen lyricist, Patti Smith, will perform on August 13 as she comes off of her most recent album, The Perfect Vision Reworkings, released this past year. Taking Rock & Roll fame with a reputation of shameless unconventionality, Stern Grove is excited to welcome her as a bonafide staple to their 2023 lineup.
To close out the Festival in spectacular fashion, the 2023 concert season concludes on Sunday, August 20 featuring The Flaming Lips as part of the Festival’s annual fundraiser, The Big Picnic. This season-ending concert will help to raise funds in support of the Festival’s mission to provide admission-free concerts and arts education programs for the residents of the Bay Area, with a limited number of tables available for purchase today. For more information on table reservations, interested donors can email [email protected]
“Our Grove has been put through the wringer the past few seasons, but I couldn’t be more proud of the resolve and determination our team has shown as our Festival has not only persevered but grown and ultimately thrived in the face of such adversity. Being able to bring back this annual summer reunion with no delays is a cause for real celebration among music lovers across the Bay area, and we look forward to hosting each of you at what I truly believe will be our best season yet,” said Stern Grove Festival’s Executive Director Bob Fiedler.
Although admission to each concert will continue to remain free to the public, the nonprofit-led Festival will welcome the return of its online ticket reservation system via www.sterngrove.org to offer free passes on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to reach as many music fans unable to attend in person, Stern Grove Festival will also be livestreaming performances throughout the season with more details to be announced surrounding the 2023 RSVP and livestream experiences.
Those interested in an elevated festival-going experience can pre-purchase table seating today for each concert throughout the summer season. Reserved picnic table seating is available with a donation of $1,500 or more, except for The Big Picnic, with more information available at www.sterngrove.org.
Stern Grove Festival would like to thank many of the 2023 sponsors for their support, including San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department, Lisa & Douglas Goldman Fund, Grants for the Arts, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Waymo, Bloomberg, John & Marcia Goldman Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, The Bernard Osher Foundation, William G. Gilmore Foundation, Xfinity, Anchor Brewing, The Fairmont Hotel, and Mixhalo. Local media partners also include KPIX-TV, SF Media Co., and SFMTA.
Stay tuned as the 2023 music lineup and other Festival details will be announced soon. Learn more at www.sterngrove.org