World-renowned cultural destination and one of the best urban green spaces in North America, Yerba Buena Gardens, is also home to the 17th Annual Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. This year’s festival includes 100 programs, including music, theater, circus, dance, poetry readings and children’s activities.

The festival kicks off Sunday, May 7 with the Grammy-winning Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra + VNote Ensemble. Every week and weekend, the festival has curated a lineup of musicians, dancers, poets, and actors for Bay Area residents, families, workers, and tourists to enjoy. The festival will also offer a children’s series with interactive performances specially designed for kids and families every Friday from June to August.

Recurring ‘Poetic Tuesdays’ bring together poets and music every second Tuesday of each month from 12:30-1:30pm and will be guest curated by Litquake’s Brynn Saito.

There will also be a handful of annual cultural celebrations such as the 20th Native Contemporary Arts Festival on June 18, the 17th Annual AfroSolo in the Gardens on August 5, the 24th Annual Pistahan on August 12 and 13, and Brazil in the Gardens on August 20.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival also plans to co-present a series of free outdoor programs with Union Square Live that will be announced later this month.

Yerba Buena Gardens is located in downtown SF between Mission Street and Howard Street and 3rd and 4th Streets. Visit the event website for more information. See below for the complete calendar of free events.

May

  • Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra + VNote Ensemble, Sunday, May 7, 1pm-3pm
  • Poetic Tuesdays with Litquake, Tuesday, May 9, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble, Saturday, May 13, 1-2:30pm
  • CMC Older Adult Choirs, Thursday, May 18, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie! Changüí Majadero, May 18, 6-7pm
  • Brass Convergence II: Protest Brass, Saturday, May 20, 1-2:30pm
  • The Anita Lofton Project, Thursday, May 25, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Richard Howell & Sudden Changes, Saturday, May 27, 1-2:30pm

June

  • Howard Wiley & Extra Nappy, Thursday, June 1, 12:30pm-1:30pm
  • Michael Doucet and Tom Rigney with Flambeau, Saturday, June 3, 1pm-2:30pm
  • YBG ChoreoFest, June 7-9
    • Nina Haft and Company, Embodiment Project, RAWdance, Friday, June 9, 6-7:15pm
    • The MoveMessenger(s), Greg Dawson, Simpson/Stulberg Collaborations, RAWdance, Saturday, June 10, 1-2:30pm
    • Maurya Kerr / tinypistol, Post:Ballet, KAMBARA + DANCERS, RAWdance, Sunday, June 11, 1-2:30pm
  • Aireene & the Itch, Thursday, June 8, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Poetic Tuesdays with Litquake, Tuesday, June 13, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Destani Wolf, Thursday, June 15, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie! La Mixta Criolla, Thursday, June 15, 6 – 7:30pm
  • M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, Saturday, June 17, 1-2:30pm
  • Native Contemporary Arts Festival, Sunday, June 18, Noon-3:00pm
  • Jenny Lind Concert, Thursday, June 22, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Circus Bella, Friday, June 23, Noon; Saturday, June 24, Noon & 2:15pm
  • The Jamming Nachos, Thursday, June 29, 12:30-1:30pm

July

  • AXIS Dance Company – The Garden Project, Saturday, July 1 & Sunday, July 2, Noon & 2:30pm
  • Eva Salina, Thursday, July 6, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Theatre Rhinoceros – Lear!, Friday, July 7, Saturday, July 8, Sunday, July 9 (time TBD)
  • Poetic Tuesday with Litquake, Tuesday, July 11, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Cascada de Flores, Thursday, July 13, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Ensemble Mik Nawooj – Death Become Love, Saturday, July 15, 1-2:30pm
  • Shamisen of Bachido + Awakko Ren, Thursday, July 20, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie! Somos el Son, Thursday, July 20, 6-7:30pm
  • San Francisco Mime Troupe, Sunday, July 23, 2-4pm
  • RUBaDUB Posse, Thursday, July 27, 12:30pm-1:30pm
  • SF Uke Jam Summer Uke-splosion!, Saturday, July 29, 1-2:30pm
  • San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, Sunday, July 30, 1-2:30pm

August

  • Blue Tango Project, Thursday, August 3, 12:30-1:30pm
  • AfroSolo in the Gardens, Saturday, August 5, 1-2:30pm
  • Poetic Tuesday with Litquake, Tuesday, August 8, 12:30-1:30pm
  • LINES Dance Center, Thursday, August 10, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Pistahan Festival, August 12 &13, 11am-5pm
  • Jazz Herstory Collective, Thursday, August 17, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie! Bobi Céspedes, Thursday, August 17, 6-7:30pm
  • Daymé Arocena + Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble, Saturday, August 19, 1-3pm
  • Brazil in the Gardens, Sunday, August 20, 1-2:30pm
  • Dalia Marina, Thursday, August 24, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Paula West, Saturday, August 26, 1-2:30pm
  • Evie Ladin Band, Thursday, August 31, 12:30pm-1:30pm

September

  • Kugelplex with special guest Linda Tillery, Saturday, September 2, 1-2:30pm
  • The Flock, Thursday, September 7, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Alsarah & the Nubatones, Saturday, September 9, 1-2:30pm
  • Poetic Tuesday with Litquake, Tuesday, September 12, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Brooklyn Raga Massive with Classical Revolution – Terry Riley’s In C Saturday, September 16, 1-2:15pm
  • Camilo y los Robot Ninjas, Thursday, September 21, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Let’s Go Salsa@Jessie! Richard Lemvo & Makina Loca, Thursday, September 21, 6-7:30pm
  • Marcus Shelby Orchestra, Saturday, September 23, 1-2:30pm

October

  • Poetic Tuesday with Litquake, Tuesday, October 10, 12:30-1:30pm

Children’s Series

  • Two performances each day: 11-11:30am and 12:15-12:45pm, except Circus Bella and Halloween Hoopla.
  • Alphabet Rockers, Friday, June 2
  • Chelle! & Friends, Friday, June 9
  • Red Panda Acrobats, Friday, June 16
  • Circus Bella, Friday, June 23, Noon; Saturday, June 24, Noon & 2:15pm
  • Ka-Hon, Friday, June 30
  • Crosspulse, Friday, July 7
  • Caterpillar Puppets, Friday, July 14
  • Pi Clowns, Friday, July 21
  • Unique Derique, Friday, July 28
  • Non Stop Bhangra, Friday, August 18
  • Venezuelan Music Project, Friday, August 25
  • 17th Annual Halloween Hoopla, Sunday, October 29, Noon-2pm

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