What’s the best way to spend your summer in the Bay? Attend as many concerts and festivals as you can, of course! Whether you like jazz, pop, folk or rhythm and blues, the Bay Area’s music scene is diverse enough to satisfy everyone.
Stern Grove Festival (every Saturday from June 19 to August 21)
Stern Grove Festival is determined to make your wildest dreams come true: free concerts, all summer long, in the city, on the weekend. The weekly concert series kicked off Sunday with a performance by Janelle Monae and throughout the summer will feature artists such as George Clinton, The O’Jays, the San Francisco Symphony and more!
Oakland First Fridays (July 1 and August 5)
On the first Friday of every month, thousands flood Oakland’s KONO district for a lively street festival. The event features galleries, street artists, musicians, local cuisine, food trucks, dancers and DJs. Oakland First Fridays provides a way for the community to come together and showcase its diverse art scene, and it helps to generate economic activity in the area.
M. Ward (July 8)
Indie folk darling M. Ward is making his Berkeley debut at the newly renovated UC Theater. Touring off his brooding eighth studio album More Rain, Ward is bound to transport the downpour of his Portland roots down south. Recently formed supergroup Nice as F–ck, fronted by honey-throated folk rock queen Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley fame), is opening the show.
Oakland Jazz Festival (July 16)
The Oakland Jazz Festival is one full day of exploring the furthest limits of the genre. Pack up your lawn chairs and blankets and jam out to the sounds of Grammy Award-winning acts. Look out for Boney James, multi-platinum selling saxophonist, and a special performance by the Oakland Symphony, celebrated for its commitment to diversity, community service and education programs.
Twenty One Pilots (July 21 and 22)
At this point, Twenty One Pilots needs no introduction. Catch the genre-bending power duo’s bombastic live show in July. You won’t even have to travel far — they are coming right to the Greek Theatre for your viewing pleasure. Be prepared, though, you just might need to sell your soul for tickets — both dates are already sold out.
Woodsist Festival (July 26 and July 27)
The Woodsist Festival is back in Big Sur for its seventh annual celebration of folk music. Woodsist is Northern California Woodstock, with fewer electric guitars and way more trees. A portion of all ticket sales go to benefit the Big Sur Education Council, so you can jam out to acoustic folk and celebrate at having done a good deed, too.
Outside Lands (August 5 to August 7)
Ranger Dave awaits for this year’s Outside Lands. If not for the outstanding, eclectic lineup — with headliners from the fresh-out-of-retirement LCD Soundsystem to your dad’s favorite crooner Lionel Richie — at least make the trek to Golden Gate Park for the Taste of the Bay Area (which, for 2016, will feature an astounding 79 vendors) and the singular Wine Gardens tour.
Broods (August 19)
Sure, everybody wants to go to New Zealand. Or at least, they will after seeing its beloved Broods perform at the Fox Theater in Oakland on August 19. The brother-sister duo’s reputation for impactful, smart lyrics and fun, engaging live performances will surely attract music-lovers from near and far.
Noise Pop 20th Street Block Party (August 20)
Noise Pop, an organization that aims to support Bay Area culture and artists, hosts an annual street block party in the Mission District of San Francisco. Spread across three blocks, the street party celebrates the hyper local: It features two stages of alternative indie bands and DJs, the neighborhood’s culinary artisans and cooking demos.
Adele (August 2)
Those without the funds necessary to follow Adele to every stop on her North American tour can rest easy — she’s coming to Oakland! Come August 2, friends and Adele lovers will descend upon the Oracle Arena for her 7:30 show. Patrons should expect an abundance of bad “Hello” puns and some of the most emotional damn singing they’ve ever witnessed.
Contact Joshua Bote, Sarah Coduto, Karim Doumar, Suhauna Hussain and Madeline Wells at [email protected].