The 23rd Yerba Buena Gardens Festival has you covered this summer and fall season with free outdoor programming nearly every day of the week through the month of October in the Yerba Buena Gardens. With live performances from international and Bay Area artists on weekends, lunchtime events bringing fresh culture to the city during the week, and children’s entertainment on Friday, this all-ages festival is sure to delight everyone.
After a hiatus during September, the YBGF kicks back up on September 23rd and 30th with the Yerba Buena Gardens ChoreoFest and concludes with the Halloween Hoopla, a children’s show, on October 28.
Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays)
The weekend sessions at the YBGF comprise some of the Festival’s most exciting events. Typically beginning Saturdays at 1:00 (check the calendar here for variability) in the Esplanade, and going for 90 minutes, these sets spotlight both touring and local Bay Area artists from all manner of performance disciplines—theater, circus, and music and dance. Seating is mostly open lawn, with some chair seating available. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own low lawn seats and to take advantage of the many great restaurants and cafes in the area. The mutable San Francisco weather being what it is, it is advisable to dress in layers.
2nd and 4th Tuesdays
During lunch hour in Jessie Square on Tuesdays (from 12:30-1:30), adjacent to the Contemporary Jewish Museum on Mission St., bask in the distinctive styles and rhythms of curated poets. Second Tuesdays are co-presented by the YBGF and Litquake, a San Francisco based literary festival. Fourth Tuesdays are fruits of a collaboration with the Museum of the African Diaspora. Whichever Tuesday it is, the event is sure to be a burst of expression liable to liven up your afternoon.
Yoga In the Gardens
Tuesdays through June 27
Bring your mat to connect and flow with some revitalizing Purusha yoga, brought to you by a partnership with Purusha Yoga, 111 Minna Gallery, and the YBGF. The last class of the season is on June 27 and you can sign up here.
Dance Outdoors with Rhythm & Motion
Wednesdays through June 28
On Wednesday mornings through June 28, join the YBGF and Rhythm & Motion for an uplift —of the heart rate and also of the spirit—in this hour long dance class beginning at 11:00 in the Esplanade, the central lawn in the Yerba Buena Gardens. RSVPs are encouraged!
Salsa at Jessie
Mambo and more in Jessie Square from 6:00-7:30 on the third Thursdays of the month through August 17, to the bright tones of live salsa music.
Come half-past noon on Thursday afternoons, find a lively musical performance in the Esplanade: the Thursday Lunchtime series, a diverse display of talent from all over the world. On June 22, The Honorary Consulate of Sweden unites with the YBGF to bring you The Jenny Lind Concert, and features acclaimed youth soprano Josephine Mindus. The following week, ASTU takes the stage. The Eritrean singer-songwriter is a former minister in the Charismatic church turned R&B/Soul singer with a sultry vibe. See the entire season’s calendar here.
Children’s Garden Series
11:00-11:30 & 12:15-12:45
At the Children’s Garden across Howard Street on Friday mornings and afternoons, professional artists razzle-dazzle the under-10 crowd and their adults.
Salsa Workout with Rueda Con Ritmo