Stern Grove is a 33 acre oasis in the outer Sunset district of the city. The area was planted with Eucalyptus trees imported from Australia around 1871. Rosalie Meyer Stern turned over the park to the city in 1931 in memory of her husband, deeding it in perpetuity to be used as a recreation site. Her late husband, Sigmund Stern was the nephew of Levi Strauss. Yes, that Levi Strauss. (Special thanks to Tracey Panek, the Levi Strauss & Co archivist for confirming.)
For over 80 years, The Stern Grove Festival has offered free summer concerts in San Francisco. There is always a variety of top notch performers. It’s mostly general seating on the lawn. People line up in the early morning fog with picnic baskets waiting for an afternoon concert. You really must dress like a San Franciscan to enjoy this – in layers, from a tank top to a parka.
Membership in Friends of Stern Grove Festival is available. The medium tier memberships offer seating at performances. Higher tier memberships even include reserved parking.
The new post-pandemic set up includes required reservations for socially distanced pods. You can cluster with up to 6 people from your own household or group. That means fewer people on the lawn for the show. But, all concerts will be live-streamed for those who can’t get a reservation.