Grammy-winning R&B singer Ledisi opens the Stern Grove 2021 season on June 20. (Courtesy photo)

Grammy-winning R&B singer Ledisi opens the Stern Grove 2021 season on June 20. (Courtesy photo)

Stern Grove announces summer schedule: Returns live on June 20 with Ledisi

Tickets for season’s concerts must be reserved online in advance

Stern Grove Festival has announced its lineup of free concerts for its 84th annual season, beginning June 20 with Grammy-winning R&B singer Ledisi, and closing Aug. 29 with the Big Picnic fundraiser featuring funk-soul greats Tower of Power headlining.

Although the shows will be free, guests must register in advance to reserve a spot for each concert — beginning two weeks before — at Initial online reservations open June 8 at 2 p.m. for the June 20 concert. All shows start at 2 p.m. at Stern Grove at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in the Sunset District.

Here’s the full lineup, including headliners and openers:

June 20: Ledisi, The Seshen, La Doña, LadyRyan

June 27: Perfume Genius, Madame Gandhi, Honey Mahogany, LadyRyan

July 4: San Francisco Symphony led by Edwin Atwater

July 11: Thievery Corporation, Dessa, DJ Shortkut

July 18: St. Paul & The Broken Bones, The Dip, DJ Omar

July 25: X, The Avengers, DJ Omar

Aug. 1: Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

Aug. 8: Thundercat, Cassowary, DJ Shortkut

Aug. 15: Fitz & The Tantrums, Devon Gilfillian, DJ Omar

Aug. 29: The Big Picnic featuring Tower of Power, Too $hort, DJ Shortkut

Following the opening event, Perfume Genius, the indie-rock project from Mike Hadreas, headlines June 27. In July, Thievery Corporation, the DC-born electronica group celebrating 25 years since the release of its debut album “Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi” appears; as well as St. Paul & The Broken Bones, the eight-piece Alabama–based rock and soul band known for its gospel-tinged sound; and legendary punk rockers and trailblazers X, who recently released the album “Alphabetland,” coinciding with the 40th anniversary of their debut album.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Joan Jett & the Blackhearts play in August, as do R&B singer-songwriter and bassist Thundercat, as well as indie pop and neo-soul band Fitz & The Tantrums. The closing Big Picnic features two Oakland artists: soul-funk-R&B outfit Tower of Power and multi-platinum selling emcee Too $hort. The fundraiser supports the festival’s mission to provide admission-free concerts and arts education programs for Bay Area residents. A limited number of tables for the benefit party are on sale now at

“It’s been so long since most of us have been able to enjoy live music with masses of other people, and we’re beyond excited to be able to be one of the first festivals to bring this soul-uplifting experience back,” said Stern Grove Executive Director Bob Fiedler. “Our lineup is diverse as always and we’re even going to push a few more boundaries than we usually do. Whether it’s punk rock, hip-hop, crossover jazz, or the good old Symphony on the Fourth of July, we hope that everyone can find something they love in this year’s lineup.”

Additional changes this year include the construction of temporary fencing to maintain social distancing, though patrons may bring their own food and beverages. Other safety-related protocols will be announced closer to day-of-show, and strictly enforced to protect the health and safety of patrons, performers and staff.

Stern Grove Festival will also be live streaming its shows for the first time. In partnership with StageIt, each of the future live stream events can be viewed for free at on concert day.

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