The Isley Brothers played Stern Grove in August 2019. (Leslie Katz/S.F. Examiner)

The Isley Brothers played Stern Grove in August 2019. (Leslie Katz/S.F. Examiner)

Stern Grove is coming back this year

84th outdoor music fest kicks off summer concert season on June 20

Stern Grove is coming back this year, starting June 20.

Though the concert lineup has yet to be announced, San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed and festival officials said that The City’s popular free outdoor music and performance series will return to Sigmund Stern Grove for its 84th season.

Ten events are slated for Sundays, continuing through Aug. 29, with the Big Picnic party finale.

For COVID safety concerns, however, audience capacity will be limited, and festival goers will have to order free seats through an online ticket reservation system.

Guidelines will be adjusted over time, with limited seating expected for at least the first few concerts. Initial reservation options include pods of either four or six people. Ticketing will open online before each concert and will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis, according to a news release.

“The return of live music marks a joyful part of San Francisco’s recovery,” said Breed. “For more than 80 years, Stern Grove Festival has been bringing us world class performances in a beautiful public park—free and accessible to all. And while I know the official announcement of the lineup is to come, with what I’m hearing about the first show, I absolutely cannot wait to be there.”

“This pandemic altered our lives, impacting livelihoods, health, family and community connections. So, we are thrilled to be part of the healing process for San Francisco’s reopening,” said Stern Grove Festival Executive Director Bob Fiedler. “Live music is an excellent tonic for our individual and collective souls. We are delighted to be of service again.”

Concerts will begin at 2 p.m. at Sigmund Stern Grove, the historic park and concert meadow at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in the Sunset District.

Additional changes this year will include new temporary fencing to help maintain social distancing. Other safety-related protocols will be announced closer to day-of-show at sterngrove.org.

Officials also announced that the 2021 shows will be streamed live, for the first time in festival history.

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