Not many arts events can claim to have started before the Second World War, and have gone on continuously since. However, San Francisco’s Sigmund Stern Grove Festival has been an annual free event in San Francisco since 1938. Each weekend in the summer, some nationally or internationally acclaimed performer or performers offer the gift of their talents to The City. Within easy walking distance of Muni Metro, Stern Grove is an ideal place to picnic on the grass while listening to a diverse range of performers.
In the past, such national icons as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band (New Orleans Jazz) and Arlo Guthrie (son of the legendary Woodie Guthrie) have been at Stern Grove, as well as internationally recognized opera singers, the well-respected San Francisco Symphony, or the San Jose Taiko Dojo (which has appeared internationally, and aided in the rebirth of this ancient Japanese drumming style). And the price (free) is right. The only two problems are the festival is really popular, so you need to get there hours before the performance, and, being close to the ocean, Stern Grove can be pretty chilly. But then, that is the nature of summer in San Francisco. So, dress warmly (or better yet, in layers), pack a picnic, and hop on Muni for a true San Francisco experience. Who knows, you may see some staff or students from EC San Francisco there!