This week holds something in store for everyone. Sunny Sunday afternoons offer classical symphonies, while late evenings in San Francisco play host to dance festivals and rock concerts. If those fail to satisfy, there are art galleries and open mics there to save the day. With so many choices, this week is hardly the one to spend at home. Grab your friends, make your way to one of the Bay Area’s big cities and prepare for an unforgettable time.
Friday, July 7: Oakland Art Murmur First Friday Art Walk
Mark your calendar for the first Friday of every month — in Oakland, art galleries will be open to the public across the city. Oakland Art Murmur is an organization that provides the artistic community with opportunities to celebrate unique forms of creative expression. Sculptures, paintings and textiles all fall under the umbrella of the art walk as more than 50 galleries host tours and special events. The galleries will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Additionally, there will be an associated street festival taking place along Telegraph Avenue (between Grand Street and 27th Street) coordinated by Oakland First Fridays.
Saturday, July 8: 39th Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival (opening night)
The War Memorial Opera House — a fittingly grand venue — is playing host to the 39th Annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. In a dynamic celebration of diversity and culture, the festival presents 24 Bay Area dance and music ensembles over two weekends of performances. This year’s festival lineup features returning favorites — Ballet Afsaneh, Ballet Folklórico México Danza, Theatre Flamenco and YaoYong Dance — alongside exciting new acts. Saturday is opening night, and tickets are on sale now for $25 to $45. The opening-night show, which begins at 8 p.m., will feature pre-show performances from Leung’s White Crane Dragon and Lion Dance Association and Vinic-Kay beginning at 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 9: San Francisco Symphony at Stern Grove Festival
The San Francisco Symphony is playing at the Stern Grove Festival at the Sigmund Stern Grove, which is located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco. The atmospheric outdoor amphitheater is an unusually beautiful venue for the annual free concert, which will be conducted by Edwin Outwater and will feature a delightfully diverse set list ranging from Mozart’s works to selections from “Carmen” to a medley of Édith Piaf classics. The program — which begins at 2 p.m. — promises to be a delightful post-Sunday-brunch event for families with young children, couples searching for a memorable date idea and classical music connoisseurs alike.
Tuesday, July 11: Open Mic at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse
In the true spirit of open mics, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley opens up its stage to performers of all kinds on a first-come, first-served, minimal-guideline basis. Here are the rules: admission is $7 for all — performers and audience members alike — unless the performer brings a paying, non-performing audience member with them, in which case that performer’s admission is free. Solo performers are allotted one song, while groups may play two, and the coffeehouse management reserves the right to allow the performance of extra songs to anyone on any whim. With doors opening at 7 p.m. and the show beginning at 7:30 p.m., it’s going to be a friendly, casual evening.
Wednesday, July 12: Moonalice at Union Square Live
Moonalice — a band of musicians who emphasize the communal, give-and-take aspect of music — will be playing a free show at Union Square Park as part of the 2017 Union Square Live festival. The band’s psychedelic, roots-rock music is not easily labeled as such — the band members are known for their creativity and genre-mixing, promising a night resplendent in improvisation and freeform jams. In line with its belief in artist-audience collaboration, Moonalice exists without a label and is the first band as such to achieve 1 million downloads on a song; “It’s 4:20 Somewhere” has more than 2 million downloads. Between the dance-inducing sound, unique musical philosophy and original art posters created for each live show Moonalice performs, it promises to be great concert.