Datebook’s live events updates will compile the news you need to know as the Bay Area arts and entertainment scene bounces back from the pandemic shutdown, with details on venue reopenings and COVID restrictions and announcements of concerts and other in-person performances. Check back regularly for the latest.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: Sept. 13-17
Alameda County Fair announces schedule for October return
The Alameda County Fair plans to swing back into action this fall with a lineup of live music, rides and other events.
The 10-day festival, scheduled for Oct. 22-31 at the fairgrounds in Pleasanton, is titled “Come Together.” Nightly musical acts include Kalimba the Spirit of Earth Wind & Fire (Oct. 22), Lenny Williams (Oct. 26), Smash Mouth (Oct. 27) and War (Oct. 29).
Other attractions include Pig Racing, Professor Smart’s Science Show and the Imperial Knights Medieval Stunt Show.
The fair is operating under state and county safety protocols, with hand sanitizing stations and touchless payment options.
For more information, visit alamedacountyfair.com.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: Sept. 6-10
Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival canceled
The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival had hoped to host a one-day Pumpkin Minifest this year after canceling last year’s festival because of coronavirus concerns. But now, with the delta variant looming, even that plan is scuttled after an unanimous vote at a Tuesday, Sept. 7, Half Moon Bay City Council meeting. Organizers announced “heartbreak beyond words” on the festival’s website.
The Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-Off, however, is still set to take place on Oct. 11. More information at pumpkinfest.miramarevents.com.
SkyStar Observation Wheel temporary closure
SkyStar Observation Wheel, the Golden Gate Park Ferris wheel whose existence has provoked frothy debate among the Board of Supervisors, plans to close temporarily for maintenance Sept. 13-15, organizers announced.
When it reopens Sept. 16, new weekday hours will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m., with weekend hours 10 a.m.-10 p.m. More information at www.skystarwheel.com.
Foo Fighters to perform in Sacramento
The concert follows the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, set for October.
Tickets for the Sacramento show go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 10 at www.ticketmaster.com.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: Aug. 30-Sept. 3
S.F. Playhouse postpones opening of ‘Starting Here, Starting Now’
The theater company in San Francisco’s Union Square canceled the Friday-Saturday, Sept. 3-4, performances of the musical “Starting Here, Starting Now” because of “a company member’s possible exposure to COVID-19,” the theater wrote in a Friday, Sept. 3 statement. It did not specify which worker might have been exposed.
“San Francisco Playhouse is contacting all ticketholders from affected performances to exchange tickets or issue refunds,” the statement continued.
The David Shire and Richard Maltby Jr. musical is now scheduled to open Sept. 11. Visit www.sfplayhouse.org for more information.
Stern Grove to broadcast two-part TV special on KPIX
Following the news that this year’s Stern Grove Festival had to cancel its culminating concert because of flooding caused by a water main break, the festival plans to broadcast a TV special, organizers announced Wednesday, Sept. 1.
Airing on KPIX in two parts, at 7 p.m. Sept. 4, and again Sept. 11, “Best of the Fest — Stern Grove Festival 2021” features performances from Dessa, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Madame Gandhi, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, the Dip and the Seshen on Sept. 4, followed by concerts by Devon Gilfillian, Cassowary, La Doña, Fitz and the Tantrums, the Avengers, Thievery Corporation and X on Sept. 11.
More information at www.sterngrove.org.
Sweetwater Music Hall lineup impacted by Hurricane Ida
BottleRock Napa Valley act In The Valley Below is expected to perform Saturday, Sept. 4, while jazz singer Lavay Smith is slated for Sunday, Sept. 5, both filling in for New Orleans funk musician George Porter Jr., who had to cancel his two-night run “due to the ongoing effects of Hurricane Ida,” the Mill Valley venue announced Thursday, Sept. 2.
Sweetwater Music Hall will be donating proceeds from Saturday’s show to lowernine.org, while Smith plans to donate a portion of the proceeds from her show to Hurricane Ida relief.
Porter’s two-night stand at Sweetwater are now postponed to Feb. 18-19.
For more details and to purchase tickets, go to sweetwatermusichall.com.
Santa Rosa Symphony will make concert recordings available for remote subscribers
The Santa Rosa Symphony will offer patrons a virtual subscription package that includes video recordings of six of the eight orchestral programs scheduled for its 2021-22 season.
The concerts, all conducted by Music Director Francesco Lecce-Chong, will be made available for viewing on YouTube for up to 30 days after each performance.
The subscription package, dubbed SRS @ Home, is priced at $300, and includes the following programs:
- Elgar & Mozart (recorded Oct. 2): Violinist Julian Rhee in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, along with music by Elgar, Libby Larsen and Gabriella Smith.
- Klezmer & Krakauer (recorded Nov. 6): Clarinetist David Krakauer in the world premiere “The Fretless Clarinet,” a concerto by Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg; also Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” and klezmer selections arranged by Krakauer.
- Showcasing Our Own (recorded Dec. 4): Hindemith’s Concerto for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Harp and Orchestra, featuring principal soloists from the orchestra, along with music by Vaughan Williams and Shostakovich.
- Beethoven à la Kern (recorded Jan. 8): Pianist Olga Kern in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, along with music by Wagner and Gabriella Smith.
- Valley of the Moon (recorded May 7): Violinist Elina Vähälä in Korngold’s Violin Concerto, as well as music by by Debussy, Johann Strauss and Michael Daugherty.
- Visions of Hope (recorded June 11): Mariachi Champaña Nevín, Rafael Jorge Negrete and Mónica Ábrego in the world premiere of Enrico Chapela Barba’s “Los Braceros,” Cantata for Mariachi and Orchestra, along with music by Respighi and Arturo Marquez.
In addition to these concert programs, the orchestra’s live season at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park includes “American Rhapsody” (Feb. 12-14), with guest conductor Aram Demirjian and piano soloist Michelle Cann in music by Still, Gershwin, Price and Copland; and “Rach and the Hollywood Sound” (March 19-21) with Lecce-Chong conducting music by Rachmaninoff, Hildur Gudnadóttir and Nino Rota.
More information at www.srsymphony.org.
California Symphony plans an expanded season of live concerts
The California Symphony and Music Director Donato Cabrera plan to return to live performance with an expanded 2021-22 season schedule of five orchestral programs, each one performed twice at the orchestra’s home in Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts.
The season schedule follows:
- “Emperor” (Sept. 18-19): Adam Golka, piano; Marianna Martines, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams.
- “Four Seasons” (Nov. 6-7): Alexi Kenney, violin; Walker, Vivaldi, Montgomery, Schubert/Mahler.
- “Take Flight” (Jan. 29-30): Jennifer Cho, violin; Vaughan Williams, Haydn, Sibelius, Dvorák.
- “French Impressions” (March 26-27, 2022): Kelly Guerra, mezzo-soprano; Molly Netter, soprano; Alexandra Smither, soprano; Adès, Balch, Debussy, Ravel.
- “Epic Finale” (May 14-15, 2022): Nathan Chan, cello; Cuong, Elgar, Tchaikovsky.
Subscription packages for three to five concerts start at $99, with single tickets at $20-$74. More details at www.californiasymphony.org.
Kacey Musgraves’ 2022 tour includes Oakland date
The award-winning singer-songwriter announced a 15-city tour in early 2022 to support her new record and film “Star-Crossed.” The tour is slated to run Jan. 19 to Feb. 19, and features a Feb. 19 appearance at the Oakland Arena.
King Princess and Muna are the support artists for the tour.
Tickets go on sale Sept. 2, for American Express cardholders, and on Sept. 9 to the general public at www.kaceymusgraves.com/tour.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: Aug. 23-26
BottleRock 2021 food and drink lineup announced
Among the most enticing new food offerings at the Napa Valley music and food festival may be the sandwiches filled with chickpeas or crispy pastrami from Loveski, a Jewish-inspired deli opening in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market later this year by Christopher and Martina Kostow of the Restaurant at Meadowood fame.
Other notable newcomers include San Francisco Malaysian outfit Azalina’s, Sacramento Nashville hot chicken sandwich truck Nash & Proper and San Francisco seafood restaurant Woodhouse Fish Co.
For the full list of vendors, click here.
Italian Heritage Parade to return to North Beach
The San Francisco Italian Heritage Parade, an annual celebration in North Beach, plans to return Oct. 10, organizers announced exclusively to The Chronicle on Friday, Aug. 27, making it the first major parade in San Francisco since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Read the full story here.
Neil Young drops out of Farm Aid, blasts concert promoters
After dropping out of the lineup for Farm Aid 2021 over COVID safety concerns, Young published a blog post on his website titled “Concerts And Covid,” criticizing concert promoters for pushing ahead with tours and festivals as the delta variant continues to drive up infection numbers.
“They hold the power to stop shows where thousands congregate and spread,” his post read. “It’s money that keeps it going. Money that motivates the spreading. The big promoters are responsible for super spreaders.”
Outside Lands announced food and drink offerings
After a year of postponements, the San Francisco music festival returns to Golden Gate Park on Oct. 29-31 with 85 restaurants, more than 40 wineries and 30 breweries slinging sustenance while major performers like feel-good rapper Lizzo, psychedelic outfit Tame Impala and rock band the Strokes take the stage.
For the full story and lineup, click here.
S.F. Playhouse requires proof of vaccine for all patrons
San Francisco Playhouse notified patrons Thursday, Aug. 26, that the company has have modified its health and safety protocols for all in-person performances, effective immediately.
Ticket holders must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and matching photo ID upon entry. The policy is in line with the San Francisco vaccination mandate that went into effect Aug. 20, and replaces the theater company’s previous policy that permitted a negative test in lieu of vaccination.
Audience members must continue to wear masks at all times unless actively eating or drinking in the lobby. No food or drink is allowed in the auditorium.
Huichica festival requiring proof of vax only
Huichica Sonoma, the boutique indie music festival that takes place at Gundlach Bundschu Winery set to return Oct. 15-16, announced an update to its entrance policy requiring attendees be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. A negative PCR test will no longer be accepted.
The two-day outdoor festival is slated to feature performances by Mac DeMarco, Devendra Banhart, Whitney, Cass McCombs, Wet and festival regulars Vetiver, among others. For more details, visit sonoma.huichica.com/faq
San Jose comic and pop culture convention still on this weekend
SiliCon with Adam Savage, the annual fan convention for sci-fi, fantasy, technology and pop culture formerly known as Silicon Valley Comic Con, is still moving forward this weekend in San Jose, despite the COVID-19 vaccine mandate that the South Bay city approved on Tuesday, Aug. 24, for events of 50 people or more at city facilities.
The event, which regularly hosts more than 60,000 attendees over the weekend, is set to take place at the San José McEnery Convention Center on Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 28-29.
Click here for the full story.
Stern Grove Festival ends season early
Organizers of the Stern Grove Festival confirmed just days from its final weekend concert that its 2021 season will have to end early due to a flood at the park that has forced the venue to close “until further notice.” For the full story, click here.
Memorial for Michael McClure to take place next month
A celebration of the life and legacy of Beat poet Michael McClure is scheduled for 1-4 p.m. Sept. 18, at California Shakespeare Theater.
McClure, who died last year, at 87, helped create the Beat Movement and read his work at seminal counterculture events including the Human Be-In and the Band’s “Last Waltz.” Giving tributes at the memorial are Juvenal Acosta, George Brooks, Garrett Caples, Clark Coolidge, Peter Coyote, Jack Foley, Henry Kaiser, Elaine Katzenberger, Paul Nelson, Gyan Riley, Michael Rothenberg, Andrew Schelling, Rebecca Solnit and Frank Wildman. Click here for details on the event.
Music festival linked to 4,700 positive cases in U.K.
A music and surfing festival in southwest England was linked to some 4,700 confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, Aug. 25, the Associated Press reports.
About 76,000 people attended the Boardmasters festival event in Cornwall during Aug. 11-15. Attendees were required either to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide a negative test within 24 hours of arrival.
On the same day, authorities in Suffolk, England, released an analysis of the more than 1,000 positive virus tests confirmed after the Latitude music festival in July, attended by around 40,000 people.
San Jose passes vaccine mandate for city buildings following protests
Despite facing a swarm of unmasked protestors on the ground and an organized effort by anti-vaccination groups to take over the public comment section of its meeting on Zoom, the San Jose City Council unanimously voted Tuesday, Aug. 24, to pass a resolution from Mayor Sam Liccardo to require attendees and staff of events with 50 or more people held at city facilities to show proof of full vaccination for entry.
Negative coronavirus tests can not be used as an alternative, according to the new rule.
“Everybody is absolutely able to make their own health decision on whether or not to get vaccinated, but we as a council are also able to decide how to safely operate our city-owned facilities,” Councilman Raul Peralez said at the meeting.
This new mandate applies to several arts and entertainment venues:
- SAP Center
- San Jose McEnery Convention Center
- San Jose Civic
- Center for Performing Arts
- California Theatre
- Montgomery Theater
- Hammer Theater
- San Jose Museum of Art
- The Tech Interactive
- Mexican Heritage Plaza
No date has yet been announced as to when the mandate will go into effect.
Outside Lands Festival to require proof of vaccination
Organizers of the San Francisco festival, which is set to take place in Golden Gate Park over Halloween weekend, Oct. 29-31, will require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of attending for all guests.
The new requirement comes after San Francisco Mayor London Breed said last week that she hopes to issue a mandatory vaccine mandate for any events in the city with more than 5,000 attendees.
Click here for our story.
BottleRock 2021 announces Culinary Stage talent
Some of the biggest names in the food world are headlining the Culinary Stage at BottleRock Napa Valley, the sold-out music festival returning after a year-long absence this Labor Day weekend.
Main attractions include José Andrés, the James Beard Award-winning chef known for feeding wildfire victims through his nonprofit, World Central Kitchen; Guy Fieri, the Santa Rosa celebrity chef behind Food Network shows like “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”; and Ayesha Curry, the famed cookbook author and co-owner of San Francisco’s International Smoke. Click here to learn more.
SF Sketchfest plans comeback to celebrate 20th anniversary
The San Francisco comedy festival is scheduled to return to the city’s live stages Jan. 7-23, organizers announced Tuesday, Aug. 24.
After hosting the event only online last year, SF Sketchfest 2022 plans to have both in-person and live stream offerings that include sketch and stand-up comedy, live music, improv, film screenings, panel discussions, its signature tribute events and more.
SF Sketchfest will be requiring proof of vaccination from all attendees, performers and staff. A more detailed COVID policy will be announced prior to tickets going on sale in November.
Acts — from comics to improv groups, podcast hosts and more — are encouraged to apply for a spot at the 20th anniversary of the festival at sfsketchfest.com/get-involved.
As wait for the festival’s return archival videos are available to rent and view online, including last year’s Festpocalypse! virtual benefit show.
Check back in at sfsketchfest.com for updates.
Oakland First Fridays to resume this fall
Oakland First Fridays, the long-running block party held the first Friday of every month, is scheduled to return Oct. 1, organizers announced via the festival’s Instagram on Monday, Aug. 23.
The event regularly features visual, immersive and performance art; live music, DJs and dancing; poetry and multidisciplinary work; as well as local food vendors.
Hosted by the Koreatown/Northgate Oakland Community Benefit District, the event is expected to take place on Telegraph Avenue between West Grand Avenue and 27th Street. Details, including vendor registration information, is slated to be announced at a later date. Visit www.oaklandfirstfridays.org for updated.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: Aug. 16-20
K-pop supergroup BTS cancels world tour, Bay Area dates
The chart-topping Korean pop group has canceled its planned “Map of the Soul” world tour, due to COVID-19 safety concerns.
“Due to changing circumstances beyond our control, it has become difficult to resume performances at the same scale and timeline as previously planned,” the band’s management company Big Hit Music said in a statement released on its Weverse fan platform.
The tour was originally scheduled to start in April 2020 with back-to-back performances Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Chase Center institutes proof of vaccination requirement
In compliance with a new order from the San Francisco health department for all indoor events with more than 1,000 attendees, Chase Center announced Friday, Aug. 20, that all attendees ages 12 and older must provide proof of full vaccination for admittance to the arena. Those with medical or religious exemptions, but must provide a current negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to an event.
S.F. mayor hints at vaccine mandate for large outdoor events
Mayor London Breed said Friday, Aug. 20, the goal is to have a vaccine mandate for outdoor events with more than 5,000 people, especially with festivals like Outside Lands on the horizon.
The announcement comes on the day Breed’s city-wide vaccination mandate for entry into all “high-contact indoor sectors,” went into effect. Read more here.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass scraps in-person festival
Despite plans to bring the long-running free music festival back to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park over the first weekend of October, Hardly Strictly will be online-only again this year due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the region.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2021’s Come What May is expected to feature 15 live-streamed and 12 prerecorded performances stretching over three days, Oct. 1-3.
Ahead of the online celebration, organizers also announced two COVID-19 vaccination and testing events dubbed “Community Immunity,” scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 22, and Sept. 12, at the Bay View Opera House.
Click here for the full story.
Willow tour to bring singer to San Francisco
Willow plans to embark on a headlining tour this year in support of her new album, “lately I feel EVERYTHING,” featuring her hit single “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l ft. Travis Barker,” that is expected to bring her to San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom on Sept. 18.
The announcement comes shortly after the singer — and daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith — released a performance video of her latest track, “Lipstick,” with Barker on the drums.
Willow is also expected to join Billie Eilish on tour in 2022.
California to require proof of vaccination or recent negative test for indoor events of 1,000 or more
The new requirement, announced by the California Department of Public Health on Wednesday, Aug. 18, takes effect Sept. 20, superseding a previous requirement that applied to events of 5,000 or more and only asked for attendees’ word of honor, not for actual proof.
The announcement follows a much stricter rule, issued by the city and county of San Francisco on Aug. 12, requiring proof of vaccination for “high-contact indoor sectors,” including any theaters and concert halls that serve drinks, regardless of venues’ capacity. The state’s new rule marks a change only for other Bay Area counties, applying to venues such as Oracle Arena, the UC Theatre and San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.
Learn more here.
Marin Theatre Company postpones start of next season
The Mill Valley company, which had been slated to resume in-person performances in September with “The Sound Inside” by Adam Rapp, has moved that show to the end of its season, the company announced Tuesday, Aug. 17.
Its season now commences in November with the world premiere of “Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley,” reuniting the playwriting team of Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon.
“The Sound Inside” is scheduled to begins performances May 2022. The move follows a similar postponement by Berkeley Repertory Theatre, which also now begins its season in November. For more details, visit www.marintheatre.org.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: Aug. 9-13
S.F. to require proof of vaccination at all indoor venues
San Francisco is now the second major U.S. city to mandate proof of vaccination in “high-contact indoor sectors,” sending a clear message to arts fans: To see a show at a theater or concert hall, it’s no longer enough to show proof of a recent negative coronavirus test or to simply wear a mask.
Chase Center, which was already requiring proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test for entry into the 18,064-person venue, plans to comply with the mandate as well, starting with its next concert headlined by Tame Impala concert set for Sept. 15.
Find out more about when the mandates begins and what it means for other S.F. venues with our fill story here.
Aftershock to require proof of vaccination
Aftershock, the metal music festival in Sacramento set for October, is the latest to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test for entry. For unvaccinated attendees, a negative test result must be obtained within 72 hours of the first day of coming onto the festival grounds.
Organizers note that the last day to obtain a second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or single dose of Johnson & Johnson is Sept. 23.
— AFTERSHOCK FESTIVAL (@AFTERSHOCKSAC) August 11, 2021
Masks will be required at indoor spaces during the festival regardless of vaccination status and Aftershock organizers strongly request that all fans wear a mask while on the festival grounds at Discovery Park.
If you have tested positive or been exposed to someone who has tested positive within 14 days of the festival it is requested you not attend.
The sold-out event is scheduled for Oct. 7-10, with headliners Metallica slated to perform Friday and Sunday nights. My Chemical Romance, which had been originally billed as Saturday’s headliner, is now replaced on the bill by the Original Misfits, with Limp Bizkit headlining a pre-festival concert on Oct. 6.
Berkeley Rep delays reopening
Berkeley Repertory Theatre is postponing its world premiere of “The Ripple, the Wave that Carried Me Home” from October until the fall of 2022, the company announced Wednesday, Aug. 11.
The news pushes theater’s reopening until November, with “Wintertime” by Charles L. Mee. “Ripple,” which is written by Christina Anderson, now wraps up the season, with performances beginning Sept. 9, 2022.
For more details, click here.
‘Hamilton’ reopens Orpheum Theater
Fans lined up around the corner of the San Francisco venue before curtain on Tuesday, Aug. 10. They had their masks and proofs of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test ready to show ushers, many patrons saying they felt safe attending the show, which producer BroadwaySF is currently billing as “the only place in the Western Hemisphere to see ‘Hamilton.’ ”
Read the full story from the scene here.
Golden Gate Jazz Festival to be postponed due to COVID concerns
Organizers of the Golden Gate Jazz Festival, which was scheduled for its inaugural outing Aug. 27-29 at San Francisco’s Presidio Theater, have postponed the event citing health and safety concerns. New dates will be announced at a later date. Scheduled artists for the three weekend concerts included the Count Basie Orchestra, Pete Escovedo & Sons and Regina Belle.
Tickets will be automatically refunded through City Box Office. For more information, contact [email protected]
Stevie Nicks drops out of BottleRock, citing delta concerns
The Fleetwood Mac singer has canceled all her upcoming tour dates, including a headline appearance at the BottleRock Napa Valley music festival over Labor Day weekend, due to the growing threat of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
“The rising COVID-19 cases should be of concern to all of us,” Nicks said. “While I’m vaccinated, at my age, I am still being extremely cautious.”
Country star Chris Stapleton will take her Friday night slot at the festival scheduled to take place Sept. 3-5 at the Napa Valley Expo. Read more here.
Sound Summit to require patrons show proof of vaccination
To promote a safer environment and provide some peace of mind, Sound Summit announced that all attendees at the North Bay outdoor event will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test result from a test taken within 48 hours of the show.
The outdoor music festival is expected to welcome back fans to the slopes of Mt. Tam on Sept. 11 for a day of live music featuring Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real and Father John Misty, So Cal-based band Allah-Las and many others. For details about the event, click here.
Exit Theatre cancels San Francisco Fringe Festival
The festival, which had been scheduled to run Sept. 9-18 at the Exit Theatre in the Tenderloin, has been canceled, organizers announced.
“It was a very difficult decision, but we believe after much deliberation and talking with companies and staff, it’s the best one to keep everyone safe,” Artistic Director Christina Augello wrote The Chronicle in an email.
The theater had planned to host 10 acts from the Bay Area and beyond; this year was supposed to mark the festival’s 30th anniversary.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: Aug. 2-6
Live Nation allows artists to set vaccination requirements for concerts in the U.S.
The largest concert promoter in the world will allow individual artists to decide whether to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test result for entry to its concerts in the United States, according to an internal memo obtained by Variety.
“Our teams have worked together to put new processes in place so that artists doing shows with Live Nation in the U.S. can require all attendees and staff to be fully vaccinated or show a negative test result for entry, where permitted by law,” Michael Rapino, the company’s CEO said in the document.
The memo added that all Live Nation employees must be vaccinated by Oct. 4.
Live Nation operates the Fillmore and Masonic in San Francisco, Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, and Concord Pavilion. It also co-produces the BottleRock Napa Valley music festival.
“We believe this is a great model, and we have already implemented this successfully at many major shows, including Lollapalooza,” Rapino said.
UC Theatre announces updated attendance guidelines
The UC Theatre in downtown Berkeley plans to enforce new COVID-19 safety guidelines, including requiring patrons show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test to enter the indoor venue.
The theatre will also require masks to be worn at all times, in accordance with local ordinances.
The changes are coming amidst growing transmission rates of the Delta Variant throughout the country. For more information, go to theuctheatre.org.
SFJazz Center now also requiring proof of vaccination
SFJazz announced it has updated its health and safety protocols to include requiring patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test for all of its in-person performances at its indoor venues, joining a growing list of arts presenters and venues that have taken this cautionary step.
The new policy will be in place for SFJazz’s reopening concerts beginning on the weekend of Sept. 23, which starts with shows featuring with Zakir Hussein and Pat Metheny ensembles.
For more details, call 866-920-5299 or visit www.sfjazz.org.
San Francisco Symphony updates safety protocols at Davies Symphony Hall
The San Francisco Symphony has updated health and safety protocols for its three remaining summer concerts at Davies Symphony Hall. Patrons will have to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. The masking mandate continues in effect.
The new requirement applies to the orchestra’s concerts on Friday, Aug. 6 (with guest conductor Xian Zhang and piano soloist George Li) and Aug. 12-13 (with Edwin Outwater conducting music of John Williams).
For more information, go to www.sfsymphony.org.
Another Planet Entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination
Those planning to attend concerts put on by Another Planet Entertainment at any of its Bay Area venues — including the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and the Independent in San Francisco, the Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley, and Oakland’s Fox Theater — will have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test result for entry. Click here for more.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: July 26-30
BottleRock Napa Valley to require attendees show proof of vaccination
BottleRock Napa Valley festival organizers announced they will require attendees to prove they have been vaccinated for COVID-19, or provide a negative laboratory test, to attend this year’s music and food festival over Labor Day weekend.
The Wine Country event is still on track to return Sept. 3-5, at the Napa Valley Expo, with more than 80 acts are scheduled to appear, including Stevie Nick, Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, Guns N’ Roses, Foo Fighters and G-Eazy.
Click here for the full story.
Smuin Ballet announces new season
The San Francisco dance company announced plans to open Sept. 9 with a series of virtual performances highlighting the works of late founder Michael Smuin, including “Stabat Mater,” “Cyrano,” “Pinocchio” and “Zorro!” The season concludes May 28.
For details on programming and tickets, read the full story here.
Another shot for $10 tickets for ‘Hamilton’
The blockbuster musical “Hamilton” is set to reopen the Orpheum Theatre with a four-week run from Aug. 10 to Sept. 5, and BroadwaySF is once again making a limited number of tickets for every performance available for $10 each through a digital lottery. For details, click here.
Comedian Ronny Chieng announces rescheduled Bay Area dates
Ronny Chieng, “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent and comedian, is scheduled to perform back-to-back standup sets at the Masonic in San Francisco on Oct. 23, as part of his 10-date “The Hope You Get Rich Tour.”
hieng, who was originally scheduled to headline the venue on May 1, has also starred in the blockbuster “Crazy Rich Asians” and Netflix comedy special “Asian Comedian Destroys America!”
Tickets for the rescheduled Masonic shows, starting at $34.50, go on sale beginning on Friday, July 30 via www.ticketmaster.com.
San Francisco Opera to require proof of vaccination
The San Francisco Opera announced new safety protocols for audiences in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent surge in delta variant cases. The company said it would now require proof of vaccination for all patrons age 12 and older. For more details, click here.
Napa Valley Film Festival goes virtual — again
In April 2020, the Napa Valley Film Festival was one of the first festivals to realize the significance of the coronavirus pandemic, outright canceling their November festival and promising a return in 2021. On Wednesday, July 28, organizers announced the 10th anniversary festival, scheduled for Nov. 10-14, will be a virtual event.
“After careful consideration of factors that could affect the safety and successful execution of an event in November, we have decided the cautious and prudent approach is to shift our focus this year to a virtual event,” said Rick Garber, chairman of Cinema Napa Valley, in a statement. “As we reimagine the festival’s future in a post-COVID world, we are excited about creating a new event in the spring that will entirely focus on entertainment storytelling emerging from the major digital streaming platforms. We want to thank our sponsors and community for their ongoing support.”
A full festival pass — offering access to 60 features and shorts — is $99. A short films-only pass is $25 and individual screenings are $10. A full lineup will be announced at a later date.
For more information, go to www.napavalleyfilmfest.org.
Concert presenters Live Nation are celebrating a return to live, in-person music performances with an offer of $20 tickets for nearly 1,000 concerts nationwide through 2021.
Tickets go on sale 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 28, at LiveNation.com, with an exclusive presale offer for T-Mobile and Sprint customers at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 27.
Among the Bay Area shows included in the offer are Dierks Bentley (Aug. 21), the Black Crowes (Aug. 22), Jonas Brothers (Aug. 27), Kiss (Sept. 10), the Doobie Brothers (Oct. 13, 2021), the Outlaw Music Festival featuring Willie Nelson (Oct. 23) at the open-air Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View; Megadeth (Sept. 2), Maroon 5 (Oct. 8) and TLC (Oct. 10) at Concord Pavilion; Farruko (Nov. 21) at SAP Center at San José; and more. For a full list of shows offered under this deal, visit returntolive.livenation.com.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: July 19-23
SFJazz announces live shows for the upcoming 2021-22 season
SFJazz announced their upcoming season, set to take place at the center’s Miner Auditorium and Joe Henderson Lab halls, as well as at Grace Cathedral and Paramount Theatre in Oakland, from Sept. 23 to May 29, 2022 .
The 2021-22 resident artistic directors will be Ambrose Akinmusire, Terri Lyne Carrington, Anat Cohen, Soweto Kinch, and Chris Potter. The season will include more than 300 concerts, with performances by 2022 NEA Jazz Masters Stanley Clarke, Billy Hart, Cassandra Wilson and Donald Harrison Jr; the 2022 SFJAZZ Gala honoree Wynton Marsalis, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Joshua Redman, Branford Marsalis, Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter, Bill Frisell, Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart, John Scofield & Dave Holland Duo, Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya, the SFJAZZ Collective, Snarky Puppy, Ravi Coltrane, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Jacqui Naylor, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Mike Zilber, Maceo Parker, DakhaBrakha, Jon Jang, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Rosanne Cash, Mimi Fox, Keb’Mo’, Kronos Quartet and many others.
For more information, go to sfjazz.org
Tickets now on sale for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
The general public can now buy tickets to the San Francisco engagement of the play about an adult Harry Potter and his young son, who’s struggling to find his own path at Hogwarts. Revised into a single sitting of theater — as opposed to its former, two-part format — the show is known for spectacular special effects.
Performances begin at the Curran Jan. 11. For tickets and more information, go to www.harrypotterplaysf.com.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: July 5-16, 2021
Sweetwater Music Hall reopens for in-person shows on Sept. 3
The iconic Mill Valley venue has redesigned their restaurant, made considerable improvements to the seating and sound system, and announced an expanded line-up of live shows. Performance highlights include George Porter Jr. & Friends, Natalie Cressman, Koolerator with Barry Sless, Austin DeLone, Petty Theft, Amendola vs. Blades vs. Skerik vs. Parker, Hellman Summer Stomp, Lilan Kane, The Mother Hips, Super Diamond, David Grisman, Vinyl and others.
For more details and ticket information, go to sweetwatermusichall.com.
Red Bull to host skateboarding block party as Oakland’s Fox Theater reopens
Red Bull is hosting a takeover of Fox Theater in Oakland for a skateboarding block party in what will be the theater’s first presentation since the start of the pandemic. The 93 year-old venue will host more than 50 local skateboarders and seven Bay Area DJs to celebrate the reopening its reopening.
The event will take place over two days, starting with an art show pop-up Oakland’s Good Mother Gallery starting at 6 p.m. Friday. The block party will kick off noon on Saturday, and continue late into the night with live music and skating. Red Bull will also host multiple after parties at surrounding venues.
“This event will be unlike anything we’ve ever held at the Fox,” said General Manager Tony Leong in a statement. “We’re excited to welcome our fans back into the venue after more than a year, but more importantly, we’re excited to give the local community a chance to see the Fox in a new light.”
For more information on the free event, go to www.redbull.com/us-en/events/skate-oak-stages
Metallica sets 40th anniversary celebration in San Francisco
Metallica is turning 40 this year, and the hometown metal band is inviting their fans to celebrate with them. On Dec. 17 and 19, the rock band plans to host two shows at San Francisco’s Chase Center, featuring different setlists for both nights. Tickets will only be available to registered members of Metallica’s Fifth Member fan club. This is the first time the band has returned to Chase Center since Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony inaugurated the venue with a performance in September 2019.
For more information, go to www.metallica.com
Monterey Jazz Festival adds more artists to 2021 lineup
The Monterey Jazz Festival announced a second wave of artists for their 2021 program. The event, now in its 64th year, runs Sept. 24-26 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Additional acts include Ledisi, the 2021 Grammy-winning jazz and R&B singer, actress and author, who is set to headline the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena Saturday. Bahamian trumpeter Giveton Gelin and saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins will perform multiple sets on the Yamaha Courtyard Stage on Saturday and Sunday; with Wilkins also performing with Kandace Springs and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra on the Jimmy Lyons Stage in the Arena on Sunday. The Mimi Fox Organ Trio will now open the festival on Friday with three sets on the Yamaha Courtyard Stage. On Sunday, the Monterey Jazz Festival’s all-star student group, the Next Generation Women in Jazz Combo, directed by Katie Thiroux, will perform on the Courtyard Stage.
Three day tickets go on sale Wednesday, July 14. For more information visit montereyjazzfestival.org.
44th Mill Valley Film Festival marks a return to cinemas
The Mill Valley Film Festival will return to theaters in 2021. The California Film Institute announced the dates for the 44th festival – set to run Oct. 7-17 – and said in a news release that the event will return to CineArts Sequoia in Mill Valley, the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael and the Berkeley Art Museum’s Pacific Film Archive. Virtual screenings will also be part of this year’s program.
Last year’s festival was entirely virtual, save for a few drive-in screenings.
Films and schedule for the 44th festival will be announced at a later date. Early-bird ticket packages go on sale on Aug. 3. For information, go to mvff.com.
BFF.fm to host Music Scavenger Hunt through San Francisco
BFF.fm announced plans to host San Francisco’s first Music Scavenger Hunt, a 56-hour event that hopes to celebrate the city’s music history.
The hunt, which will raise money to support the local radio station, will test participants’ knowledge of iconic venues, landmarks and businesses that made San Francisco the quintessential music city.
“The weekend will be filled with reminders of what we’ve missed during the past 16 months and offer hope for our growing community of DJs, artists, and listeners who work together to uplift the underground music scene,” said BFF.fm Executive Director Amanda Guest in a statement. “From its rich musical history to its endless supply of live music, San Francisco offers countless opportunities to see and experience music, no matter who you are or where your interests lie.”
The event is scheduled to run Sept. 4-6. Tickets are $15-$25. For more information, go to bff.fm.
Pokémon Go Fest to make a stop in San Francisco
To celebrate five years since the mobile game sparked a global frenzy, Pokémon Go Fest is scheduled to hit 20 cities throughout the world this summer, including a stop in San Francisco. The event, which will feature checkpoints throughout the city where players can enjoy photo ops, giveaways and more, plans to be a place for avid fans and newbies alike to come together and celebrate the acclaimed game.
The free event is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 17. For more information, go to pokemongolive.com.
The ‘Mothership’ to land at Oakland museum this summer
“Mothership: Voyage Into Afrofuturism” is set to premiere Aug. 7 at the Oakland Museum of California, featuring work by author Octavia E. Butler, avant-garde jazz musician Sun Ra and filmmaker Kahlil Joseph, among others. The exhibition, organized by Oakland Museum staff curator Rhonda Pagnozzi and consulting curator Essence Harden, has been planned since 2019 and was delayed a year by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the museum, Afrofuturism will be explored “as a strategy that imagines the world through a Black cultural lens and strives for a more just present and future.” Fittingly, a Dora Milaje costume by designer Ruth E. Carter from the Ryan Coogler-directed Marvel superhero film “Black Panther,” partially set in Oakland, is expected to be among the pop culture items featured.
For more details, visit museumca.org.
Anti Police-Terror Project announces community event in Oakland
The Anti Police-Terror Project announced its plans for “Reimagine Safety: Community Celebration and Caravan,” a solidarity caravan through Oakland for Saturday, July 10. Beginning with a caravan starting at Lake Merritt, the event will continue with a community barbecue at Lowell Park featuring music and art. The event will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. For more details on how to participate, go to www.antipoliceterrorproject.org.
First Night Monterey already looking to the new year
With the theme of “New Beginnings,” the annual First Night Monterey celebrates nearly three decades of bringing the community together through family-friendly visual and performing arts programming. Held at multiple downtown venues on New Year’s Eve, festivities are expected to include a Kids’ Night Out with live music, art activities and storytelling, a Twilight Parade down Alvarado Street, and more. The main event, however, is its Evening Festival of the Arts, which boasts a wide range of live music performances, interactive art stations and food vendors.
The event is set to run from 3 p.m. through midnight Dec. 31. Free. For more information, call 831-233-2092 or visit www.firstnightmonterey.org.
Paula West to hit the Feinstein’s stage
Feinstein’s at the Nikko’s concert series, Feinstein’s Presents, has announced an upcoming concert series featuring renowned Bay Area jazz vocalist, Paula West.
In her first in-person concert since the start of the pandemic, West is scheduled to perform in a new space on the third floor of Hotel Nikko accompanied by Bay Area pianist Adam Shulman, guitarist Ed Cherry and New York-based drummer Jerome Jennings. Tickets to the performances, which will be at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays starting Aug. 13 through Aug. 28, are currently on sale for $75.
For more information, go to www.feinsteinssf.com.
San Mateo science museum and zoo to expand
CuriOdyssey Science Playgound & Zoo in San Mateo has started construction on a new campus for early science learning in a $65 million plan, officials announced Tuesday, July 6. Set to be located in Coyote Point Park, the expansion is expected to feature “Whoosh!” a Magical Bridge- inspired playground set to open this fall, a Marina Gallery that will offer learning labs and sweeping views starting in 2022 and a new otter exhibit to hold Gunnar, CuriOdyssey’s rescued river otter.
“The new campus will better support our mission ‘to inspire a love for science and curiosity about the world to create a brighter future,’ ” said Executive Director Aragon Burlingham in a statement. “We believe that the natural world is the gateway to science, and we will be able to reach thousands more children and help them learn to think like scientists.”
For more information, go to curiodyssey.org.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: June 28- July 2, 2021
Common to headline San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2021
Academy Award-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning musician, actor and memoirist Common is set to headline the music festival running Aug. 13-15 at the Plaza de César Chávez in downtown San Jose.
Common, known for his albums “Let Love” and “A Beautiful Revolution (Pt 1)” and the single “A Place in This World” (which was part of Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” initiative), as well as film appearances in “Ava,” “The Informer,” “Alice” and “El Tonto,” is scheduled to perform Aug. 14.
Now in its 31st iteration, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest features 45 acts across seven stages. Genres span jazz, R&B, Latin and beyond.
Day passes ($35-$190) and three-day festival passes ($105-$470) are on sale now. For more information, go to summerfest.sanjosejazz.org.
S.F. Ballet announces first in-person performance since beginning of pandemic
The San Francisco Ballet plans to hit the live stage again with “Starry Nights: SF Ballet’s Return to the Stage” on Aug. 13-14, at the Frost Amphitheater. Performances will include George Balanchine’s “Serenade and Tarantella,” Danielle Rowe’s “For Pixie” and Helgi Tomasson’s “The Fifth Season,” with all music performed by the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.
“ ‘Starry Nights’ is a celebration of our dancers’ resilience and a symbol of gratitude to the community that has ushered us through this remarkable time. It is time for us to be back on stage, under the stars, doing what we do best,” said Tomasson, the Ballet’s artistic director, in a statement.
Tickets to the performance, which will be at 7:30 p.m. each day, go on sale at noon July 10 and range from $50-$225. For more information, visit sfballet.org.
Club Fugazi close to welcoming back live audiences
The name of the new circus show at Club Fugazi is “Dear San Francisco: A High-Flying Love Story,” and performances of an open-ended run begin Sept. 22, new producer Club Fugazi Experiences announced Tuesday, June 29. For the full story, click here.
Napa Valley film festival brings back summer film series
Cinema Napa Valley, the Napa Valley Film Festival and Camera Cinema plans to kick off its Sunset Cinemas film series with screenings of Pixar’s “Soul” (July 9) and the critically-acclaimed “Coda” (Aug. 6). The outdoor screenings, which take place at the Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, are timed for when the sun goes down in Wine Country (doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie begins at 8:30 p.m.), with attendees encouraged to bring their own blanket or lawn chair.
There will be wine available for purchase as well as other concessions and a variety of food trucks. Admission is $10. For tickets for the “Soul” screening, go to bit.ly/SunsetCinemaNapa.
H.E.R. plans to bring back Lights On Festival
H.E.R. announced on Monday, June 28, details of the second Lights On Festival set for the Concord Pavilion on Sept. 18-19.
The Grammy-winning R&B singer-songwriter from Vallejo will once again headline the concert, which will also feature nearly two dozen other acts, including Erykah Badu, Bryson Tiller, Ari Lennox, Ty Dolla $ign, Keyshia Cole and more. Read more about the festival here.
S.F. Jewish Film Festival schedule announced
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival is slated to present more than 50 films from all over the world July 22 to Aug. 1, marking its 41st event. Themes this year include coming of age stories, LGBTQI+ issues, stories surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian region, and more celebrating and highlighting stories of the Jewish diaspora.
The festival will offer in-person live screenings at the Castro Theatre on July 24 and 25, as well as virtual screenings available online throughout the festival. For more information, go to sfjff.org.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: June 21-25, 2021
Beat Museum in North Beach reopens with new Ferlinghetti exhibit
On Friday, June 25, the Beat Museum repoened the exhibition “Lawrence Ferlinghetti at Home,” consisting of many of the late writer’s home furnishings and more. Read the full story about how the museum acquired Ferlinghetti’s belongings here.
New festival at Presidio Theatre announced
The first Golden Gate Jazz Festival is scheduled for Aug. 27-29 at the San Francisco’s Presidio Theatre, organizers announced has been announced Friday, June 25.
The brain child of two-time Emmy Award winning bassist, composer and producer Tony Saunders, the festival is expected to feature performers such as Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Regina Belle; Jamaica-based reggae artist and producer Brandon the Messenjah; the Bay Area’s own Pete Escovedo with his sons Juan Escovedo and Peter Michael Escovedo; and Saunders’ own act, Tony Saunders & the Rainforest Band.
Saunders said in a statement that he looks forward to “welcoming audiences to our concerts to celebrate this continuum of creativity, connections, love and just plain great music.”
Tickets, on sale now, are $85. For an additional $50, fans can attend a VIP pre-show reception 5:30-9 p.m. on both days of the festival. For more details, go to goldengatejazzfestival.com.
Emporium Arcade Bar reopens
The late-night arcade chain for those who enjoy adult beverages with their childhood favorite games, announced its reopening two of its Bay Area locations after being shuttered the last 15 months.
The Emporium Arcade Bar in San Francisco and Oakland — which have a mix of classic arcade game favorites, pool tables and pinball, among other games — also invites patrons to its outdoor patio at their East Bay location and a parklet at their S.F. bar.
“After the last year, people are ready to socialize in a fun environment and we can’t wait to see our customers again,” aid Danny Marks, co-founder of Emporium Arcade Bar, in a statement released Thursday, June 24. “Summer 2021 is going to be a party and we are here for it.”
Both locations, open 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and 2 p.m. to midnight on weekends, also plan to host revolving DJs, game tournaments and other events. For more information, go to emporiumsf.com.
S.F. Opera to return to the War Memorial Opera House for live performances
In a season like no other in the company’s 99-year history, San Francisco Opera plans to return to live performance at the War Memorial Opera House with an abbreviated 2021-22 bill of five fully staged productions and two special concerts.
Called a “transitional year” in its announcement Tuesday, June 22, the season is expected to open with Puccini’s “Tosca” on Aug. 21, and features Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” a double helping of Mozart and a revival of Bright Sheng and David Henry Hwang’s “Dream of the Red Chamber.” Three of the five operas are new productions. For the full story, click here.
Golden State Warriors to host free events at Thrive City
The NBA team invites fans to Thrive City, the outdoor space at surrounding Chase Center by the San Francisco waterfront, for its first two-day block party set for 11 a.m.-4 p.m. July 3-4. There will be live entertainment and music as well as food vendors, a beer garden, a kids’ zone and more.
The weekly Thrive City Farmers Market, presented by Kaiser Permanente, will be open at 9 a.m. July 4 in the East Plaza.
Then on July 9, the Thrive City Summer Series kicks off with a Friday Night Happy Hour set in the beer garden with live music, followed the next day by a Saturday Night Cinema Series featuring a screening of the Pixar’s “Soul,” live jazz performances and food trucks.
All events are free to attend. For more details, go to chasecenter.com/thrivecity.
Audiotistic festival unveils lineup for 2021 event
Audiotistic, the 25-year-old electronic music festival that debuted in the Bay Area in 2017, released the lineup for its Nov. 20-21 run at Shoreline Amphitheatre, promoter Insmoniac announced Monday, June 21. Acts, which will perform across two stages include Alison Wonderland, Blossom, Claptone, Dombresky, Dr. Fresch, Drezo, Eli Brown, Habstrakt, Jauz, Joyryde, JSTJR, Juelz, K?d, Kamino, Kayzo b2b Subtronics, Level Up, Meduza, Moore Kismet, Noizu, Nostalgix, Playboi Carti, Rossy, Skepsis, Slander, Softest Hard, Svdden Death, Tchami, Volac, Walker & Royce, Wax Motif, William Black, Yula and Zookëper. Tickets, which start at $149.99, go on sale 10 a.m. Thursday, June 24, at audiotistic.frontgatetickets.com.
Bob Weir & Wolf Bros are going to the Greek
Bob Weir and his band are scheduled to perform at the iconic Greek Theatre in Berkeley on July 24. The venue has been host to 29 Grateful Dead performances throughout the years dating back to 1967. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 25. For more information, click here.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: June 14-18, 2021
San Francisco Symphony updates pandemic protocols
The San Francisco Symphony announced plans to return to full audience capacity starting June 24, for live performances in Davies Symphony Hall and lift “most restrictions … in accordance with health and safety guidelines from the City and County of San Francisco.” The Symphony will also no longer require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. For more information, go to www.sfsymphony.org.
Green Day band members play surprise gig at Oakland’s Golden Bull, with hint of more to come
The Coverups — a supergroup and side project of Green Day band members Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt — played a surprise gig at downtown Oakland bar Golden Bull on Thursday, June 17; and the bar’s Instagram account hinted that there might be more to come Friday, June 18. “Best Thursday night we’ve had in over a year!” the post reads. “Who knows, maybe tonight will be the best Friday ever? Come see!” Thursday’s show, which was originally reported by Audacy, celebrated the birthday of bar owner Bill Schneider, and this week marked the bar’s reopening for the first time since March 2020.
The Roller Disco coming to San Francisco this fall
The Roller Disco, a touring company that puts on roller skate nights, plans to hold one of its first events in the US in San Francisco this fall. The event is set for Saturday, September 18, in a secret location within the city. Organizers are asking attendees to don their best ’80s garb and get ready for good food from local food trucks, good music and a great night. Tickets start at $50 and are available for purchase here.
Berkeley Rep announces in-person season
Berkeley Repertory Theatre plans to open its 2021-22 season with in-person performances again starting Oct. 1. The theater company is slated to present seven shows consisting of four musicals and three plays, with four of the productions making their world premieres. For more details, click here.
Sound Summit Music Festival returns this year
Sound Summit Music Festival is set for Sept. 11 — first time the event will be held since 2018, organizers announced Wednesday, June. 16.
The festival will be at its usual location, the Mountain Theater in Marin County, which was also the site of the country’s first music festival, the Fantasy Faire and Magic Mountain Festival, during the summer of 1967.
This year’s lineup features Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Father John Misty, Allah-Las, Cha Wa and Teal Collins. The event will benefit local Roots & Branches Conservancy.
For more details and ticketing information, check the festival’s official site at soundsummit.net.
Bay Area Playwrights Festival tickets on sale now
The Playwrights Foundation’s 44th annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival invites audiences to “Gather Around Bold New Plays” from July 16-25, organizers announced Wednesday, June 16.
The foundation, which has existed in San Francisco as a launchpad for plays and playwrights since 1976, plans to present readings of five new plays by five dynamic playwrights during the festival. Playwrights featured include Jaisey Bates, Miyoko Conley, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, Sam Hamashima and Johnny G. Lloyd.
There will be select events available in-person and the entire event will be available to stream online.
All-access festival passes range from $25-$175. Tickets to individual readings are $5-$20. For more information, playwrightsfoundation.org.
Solano County Fair plans in-person return
The Solano County Fair Association announced that in addition to its previously planned virtual “The Fair is on the Air” programming, there will also be three days of onsite music and food to this year’s festivities.
“Our virtual fair programming will go on as planned, but SCFA wanted to celebrate the reopening of Solano County with the addition of onsite activities that are exciting, fun and most importantly, safe,” Manny Angel president of the fair’s board of directors said in a statement.
The fair will offer a drive-in concert format, with the Delfonics on Friday, June 18, a Juneteenth celebration with Lakeside and Slave on Saturday, June 19, finishing with the Vallejo Show n’ Shine Cruise-in car show on Sunday, June 20.
For those who prefer to stay at home, Angel said there will be programming available to stream online “for you to celebrate with us virtually.”
Find more information here.
S.F. Performances returns to live presentation
Pianist Isata Kenneh-Mason, soprano Golda Schultz and the Catalyst Quartet are among the performers slated to make debut appearances as part of the 2021-22 season of San Francisco Performances, which marks a full return to live performances for the organization. For more details, click here.
Musée Mécanique welcomes back visitors
Since 1933, the locally-owned, interactive penny arcade has provided a place for visitors and locals alike to enjoy antique games and other fun coin-operated machines from player pianos to Laffing Sal and the arm-wrestling machine featured in the Disney film “The Princess Diaries.” It is among the largest privately owned collections of such machines in the world and it is open once again after the long pandemic-induced closure.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us during the past 15 months. We would not have made it here without our amazing fans donating to our GoFundMe and liking and sharing our content,” operators posted on the museum’s website.
10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. Free. Pier 45, Fishermans Wharf, S.F. 415-346-2000. museemecanique.com
Legendary S.F. comedy club announces reopening
The Punch Line in San Francisco announced Tuesday, June 15, that the storied comedy club will reopen next month.
“Effective July 1, the Punch Line is officially open for business, baby!” the club tweeted.
WE’RE BACK, SAN FRANCISCO! 🥊 Effective July 1, the Punch Line is officially open for business, baby! Tickets go on sale Thursday, June 17 at 10 AM Pacific at https://t.co/lKk1SzTtgQ. Can’t wait to have you back!
— The Punch Line (@punchlinesf) June 15, 2021
Pink Triangle plans reopening celebration
To celebrate California’s reopening day, the Pink Triangle LGBTQ memorial on Twin Peaks will add additional klieg-searchlights to their LED display on Tuesday, June 15.
The Pink Triangle is lit up by Illuminate, the company that also executed Leo Villareal’s “Bay Lights” on the Bay Bridge. The installation, chosen to commemorate the LGBTQ people forced to wear the symbol in concentration camps, has been a tradition in San Francisco since 1996. More information here.
2021 Mendocino Music Festival announces live concerts in July
Artistic Director Allan Pollack announced this year’s lineup, which includes performances by the festival’s string orchestra and big band ensemble featuring songstress Kim Nalley; pianist Stephen Prutsman’s Bach transcriptions; the Alexander String Quartet; bluegrass legend Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands and more.
7:30-8:30 p.m. July 16-25. $15-$35. Cotton Auditorium, 500 North Harold St., Fort Bragg. mendocinomusic.org
Marin Symphony announces plans for 2021-22 concert season
The North Bay orchestra plans to resume live performances with a full 2021-22 season of orchestra, holiday and pops concerts, beginning Nov. 6-7 at the Marin Center Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium, the company announced Monday, June 14.
Alasdair Neale plans to celebrate his 21st season as music director, beginning with a program of Jessie Montgomery, Schumann and Brahms, with pianist Orli Shaham as guest soloist.
Other classical programs scheduled include Jan. 29-30 (Jennifer Higdon, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky, with piano soloist Joyce Yang); March 5-6 (Anna Clyne, Beethoven and Saint-Saëns, with violin soloist Vadim Gluzman); and April 23-24 (Mason Bates and Orff’s “Carmina Burana”).
Subscriptions and information are at marinsymphony.org.
Mountain Winery releases lineup for 2021 concerts series
Performances at the venerable 2,500-seat outdoor amphitheater in Saratoga are scheduled to begin July 31, with an appearance by Little Big Town, and continue through Oct. 31, when Gipsy Kings conclude the series.
Other headliners include Billy Idol, Lord Huron, Train and a joint appearance by Rufus Wainwright and Aimee Mann. Read more here.
Philharmonia Baroque season welcomes new music director at last
The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale has announced an ambitious schedule for its 2021-22 season, the first series of live performances under Music Director Richard Egarr.
Egarr, who succeeded Nicholas McGegan as music director in 2019 but saw his first season derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to open the season Oct. 14-17, with Schumann’s rarely performed Requiem alongside the composer’s Violin Concerto with soloist Shunuske Sato. For more details, click here.
Oakland Symphony continues its exploration of neglected composers
Music by female and African American composers will once again be in the spotlight as the Oakland Symphony resumes live performances under Music Director Michael Morgan.
The orchestra’s seven-concert 2021-22 season, announced Monday, June 14, includes Florence Price’s Piano Concerto with soloist Lara Downes (Nov. 19) and Amy Beach’s “Gaelic” Symphony (Jan. 21, 2022).
The season, which runs through May 20, at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre, is also expected to include music by the African American composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (Oct. 15), a world premiere by Bay Area composer Jack Perla, works by Dvorák, Debussy and Brahms, and a performance of the Verdi Requiem featuring the Oakland Symphony Chorus.
Subscription tickets and more information are at www.oaklandsymphony.org.
Trevor Noah announces dates for ‘Back to Abnormal’ tour
“The Daily Show” host and comedian plans to take his standup show to cities across the U.S. beginning Sept. 18 in Santa Barbara, concluding Dec. 10 at San Francisco’s Chase Center. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 14 at www.livenation.com.
Kiss will conclude its farewell tour with dates through 2021
The legendary rock ‘n’ roll band Kiss has announced plans for the long-awaited final leg of its “End of the Road” tour, billed as a conclusion to the band’s nearly 50-year career.
The tour itinerary, which features new dates as well as shows rescheduled during the pandemic, includes a Sept. 10 appearance at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 14 at www.livenation.com.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: June 7-11, 2021
The Improv in San José will reopen on June 24
D.L. Hughley will headline the opening weekend at a newly reopened Improv in San Jose on June 25-27. The comedy club and restaurant plans to open Thursday, June 24, after being shut through most of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Comedy shows through the summer include appearances by Gareth Reynolds (July 1-3), Anjelah Johnson (July 15-18) and Felipe Esparza (July 30-Aug. 1). Information at improv.com/sanjose
Opera San José announces four shows for 2021-22 season
Opera San José is planning a mixture of live and streaming performances for its four-opera 2021-22 season. The season opener, Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Mozart and Salieri,” will run Sept. 30-Oct. 31 in an online production from the company’s Heiman Digital Media Studio. The season will continue with three live presentations at the California Theatre: Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” (Nov. 13-28), Bizet’s “Carmen” (Feb. 12-28, 2022) and Bernstein and Sondheim’s “West Side Story” (April 16-May 1, 2022). Complete casting is still to be announced. Subscriptions are on sale now, with single tickets available Aug. 2. 408-437-4450. operasj.org
JMBLYA Festival expands tour to include Bay Area date
The Texas hip-hop festival JMBLYA plans to widen its reach with a 2121 tour that includes an Oct. 2 show at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, along with dates in Massachusetts, Arkansas and Arizona. Headliners includes Future, Gunna, The Kid LAROI, and more. Tickets are on sale at jmblya.com
Nederlander Concerts to promote the Rohnert Park SOMO outdoor performance venue
With a long and impressive lineup of artists (including Sheryl Crow, Weird Al Yankovic, King Krimson, Hozier, to name a few) and venues (Oakland Paramount Theatre, Oakland Arena, The Warfield, SAP Center), the independent event promotion firm has added the 3,000-person capacity, outdoor, solar-powered SOMO Concerts venue to their roster. Nestled directly in the heart of a music-friendly, live-work community in Rohnert Park, SOMO Village’s live music events have been showing signs of life already, with a dinner and music series in the SOMO grove. The final concert in the series is set for June 18, featuring The Highway Poets, and Terrier with Ben Morrison and Erika Tietjen. Get more information about the SOMO venue here, and Nederlander Concerts, here.
Yerba Buena Gardens Festival returns with summer events
The Yerba Buena Gardens Festival plans to bring free, live programs and performances back to downtown San Francisco as part of a special summer program running June 26 through Aug. 28, organizers announced Thursday, June 10. Find out who’s on the festival lineup here.
Benicia Art Walk series returns for 10th anniversary edition
The North Bay city will kick off the 10th anniversary edition of their art walk series on Saturday, June 12, which includes live artist demonstrations. Art Walks are scheduled to be held from 1-5 p.m. on the second Saturdays in June, July, September and October. See a list of participating galleries and more details here.
‘Blindspotting’ stars give Bay Area an early screening of new show
“Blindspotting,” the Oakland-set TV spinoff of the 2018 film from Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, is slated to debut on Starz on Sunday, June 13. But Bay Areas are invited to an early screening of the series’ first episode during a free block party on Saturday, June 12. In-person guest appearances by the show’s stars include Casal, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Benjamin Turner, Candace Nicholas-Lippman and Jaylen Barron. Read more about the creation of the series and get details to the event here.
Cal Performances unveils season 2021-22 season
Cal Performances announced Tuesday, June 8, a robust schedule of more than 70 live music, dance and theater presentations for the 2021-22 season. Among the highlights are a season-long residency by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo, partnerships with the Danish String Quartet and the Joffrey Ballet, and a long list of premieres and commissions. For details, click here.
Stern Grove Festival announces lineup
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Ledisi, Thundercat, Perfume Genius, Too Short and more are part of the musical lineup at the free outdoor festival, which plans to host in-person entertainment again this summer at its namesake Sunset District park, organizers announced Tuesday, June 8. The schedule, from June 20 to Aug. 29, ranges from gospel-inflected soul to punk to electronica to classical, with Bay Area DJs part of the mix for the first time. Learn more about the full lineup and what COVID restrictions will be enforced at this year’s Stern Grove Festival here.
BottleRock announces after-hours concert lineup
BottleRock Napa Valley has announced a series of intimate after-hours concerts to supplement the festival’s main concert lineup. The schedule of shows, announced Tuesday, June 8, features many of the festival’s headlines performers, and will run Sept. 2-6 at venues in Napa, San Francisco, Sacramento and Berkeley. Among the late-night performers are Digable Planets, Jimmy Eat World, Milky Chance, Chromeo and Watchhouse. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, June 9. Read more about the schedule here.
Hasan Minhaj sets Bay Area stop for “King’s Jester” tour
Comedian Hasan Minhaj has announced plans for a 23-city U.S. tour beginning Sept. 17 in Miami. The Northern California native, known for his Netflix special “Patriot Act,” is scheduled to perform Nov. 26 at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 11 at HasanMinhaj.com.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: May 28-June 4, 2021
Stanford Live partners with S.F. Symphony and SFJazz for live concert series
On July 1, Stanford Live plans to kick off a six-week series of in-person performances at Frost Amphitheater. Each weekend will include a rotating selection of jazz and classical concerts, presented in partnership with the San Francisco Symphony and SFJazz. The balance of the program will include evenings of mariachi, Bollywood classics, family programming and comedy. Read more about the series here.
Unauthorized Banksy exhibit coming to S.F. in the fall
“The Art of Banksy,” presented by Starvox Exhibits, is scheduled to open Nov. 22 at a to-be-announced venue in the city showcasing at least 80 pieces, founder Corey Ross told The Chronicle in an exclusive interview. Starvox is the company that brought “Immersive van Gogh,” which runs through September, to the city. Read more here.
Oxbow RiverStage in Napa unveils concert lineup
Oxbow RiverStage, the outdoor concert series next to the Napa River and Oxbow Market in downtown Napa, announced its 2021 season, beginning in August with Mt. Joy & Trampled by Turtles (Aug. 14), Billy Idol (Aug. 21), Brett Dennen (Aug. 22) and Widespread Panic (Aug. 27-29). September includes Rodrigo y Gabriela (Sept. 11), Death Cab for Cutie (Sept. 17), Gary Clark Jr. (Sept. 18), and Herbie Hancock (Sept. 25). The season wraps up with STS9 (Oct. 8-9). For tickets, many of which go on sale Friday, June 4, visit www.oxbowriverstage.com.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival to perform in person
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore. — a favorite jaunt for Bay Area theatergoers — plans to reopen its outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre with ” Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer,” a new musical about the civil rights activist. The show, written by Cheryl L. West, runs July 1-Oct. 9, with E. Faye Butler playing the title role through Aug. 28, succeeded by Greta Oglesby for the remainder of the run. The general public can buy tickets starting June 18 at www.osfashland.org.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: May 21-28, 2021
Cal Shakes is back at the Bruns
California Shakespeare Theater, known for its outdoor summer season performed in front of spectacular views in the Orinda hills, announced dates for the one Shakespeare play it’s producing this summer at the Bruns Amphitheater. “The Winter’s Tale,” which features a jealous husband, a statue that comes to life and Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction — “Exit, pursued by a bear” — performs Sept. 1-26, adapted by Philippa Kelly and directed by Eric Ting. Tickets go on sale in July at www.calshakes.org.
Noise Pop releases two key dates at once
The 20th Street Block Party is happening Oct. 16, and the Noise Pop Music & Arts Festival is scheduled for Feb. 21-27, 2022, Noise Pop announced Thursday, May 27. “One of the positive things that came out of quarantine was a bunch of great music, and we can’t wait to help bring live entertainment back to the Bay Area,” Noise Pop founder Kevin Arnold said in a statement. Read more here.
BottleRock tickets sell out
Less than two weeks after BottleRock Napa Valley announced the lineup for its Labor Day weekend return, the event sold out, music festival organizers announced Thursday, May 27. Acts include headliners Megan Thee Stallion, Guns N’ Roses, Foo Fighters, G-Eazy, Run the Jewels, Stevie Nicks and Miley Cyrus. Fans still hoping for tickets can visit lyte.com/bottlerocknapavalley, a ticket exchange service.
Arts & entertainment news from the Bay Area: May 17-21, 2021
Billie Eilish announces Northern California dates
Following the release of her latest single “Your Power,” and ahead of the July 30 release of her forthcoming album “Happier Than Ever,” Grammy-winning artist Billie Eilish has announced that the first leg of “Happier Than Ever, The World Tour” is slated to begin in February 2022. Starting Feb. 3 in New Orleans, the 32-date North American arena run is scheduled to stop at San Francisco’s Chase Center on March 29 and Golden 1 Center in Sacramento on March 30.
California to drop physical distancing, capacity limits June 15
The state is on track reopen on June 15, state officials said Friday, as they provided the first details of what happens when they lift almost all of the public health restrictions that have been in place since at least August. The state will do away with all capacity limits and other social distancing requirements for businesses and other activities. Gatherings of all sizes will be allowed, and everything from buffet service to open bars will be able to resume in public space and private events.
Organizers of so-called mega indoor events — gatherings of more than 5,000 people — will be required to confirm that attendees are vaccinated or have a negative coronavirus test. Organizers of outdoor events with more than 10,000 people will be advised, but not required, to do the same. Read more here.
Outdoor event attendees don’t have to show proof of vax
San Francisco officials said Thursday that attendees at outdoor ticketed, seated sports and other events no longer have to show evidence of vaccination or testing, except for those seated in vaccinated sections that do not require physical distancing. And up to three households may sit together as a ticketed group, up from one household.
San Francisco loosens restrictions
On May 20, San Francisco health officials announced the city is loosening pandemic restrictions on businesses and other activities in preparation “to fully reopen over the summer.” Officials said the changes are in line with California state guidance and include allowing “a broader range of activities in indoor dining and bars, indoor houses of worship, personal services, real estate, recreational sports programs, and out of school time programs.”
Additionally the new order reduces restrictions for “small indoor gatherings and some operational requirements will be lifted for outdoor live, seated events, recreational sports programs, and out of school time programs.”
The city will no longer require businesses to screen all personnel and patrons before allowing them to participate in on-site activities. Read the story here.
Regal Stonestown Galleria postpones opening
Movie theaters are not only reopening in San Francisco during the pandemic, new ones like the Regal’s latest cineplex is opening — eventually. Just days after Regal announced plans to debut its state-of-the-art 12-screen theater, Regal Stonestown Galleria, on May 21, officials had to nix those plans, citing “unforseen circumstances.” When the indoor theater does open, it plans to screen new films including “Spiral: Saw.” To celebrate the opening, movie tickets will be $3 for a limited time. Read more here.
Stern Grove Festival returning this summer
Organizers of the annual free summer concert series in San Francisco announced Thursday that the festival will return for its 84th season beginning June 20. “Stay tuned for our line-up announcement soon and get ready to celebrate the return of live music to San Francisco,” they said on Twitter. The series will run through Aug. 29 and unlike previous years that were free-for-all, reservations will be required to attend. Read more here.
Is it still a prom without slow dancing?
San Francisco high school seniors face one of the strangest pandemic twists yet: a prom night with “no dancing in the traditional sense,” according to city health officials still battling with COVID-19. People who aren’t vaccinated will have to stay 6 feet away from others. Indoor promgoers must wear face masks. And no close dancing — either cheek to cheek or clutching your date during a slow song — will be allowed. Read the story here.
S.F. lures families to get shots with free food, prizes
In the hopes of getting more young San Franciscans vaccinated, the city’s public health department is holding a series of drop-in family vaccination events offering free food, entertainment and giveaways over the next two weeks. The events will take place at various locations, offering the Pfizer vaccine, which the federal government has approved for everyone 12 and older. Details on times, dates and locations are here.
Oakland Museum reopening
After a 15-month pandemic closure, the Oakland Museum of California plans to reopen June 18 with three days of free admission, officials announced Wednesday. Initially, the museum’s hours will be 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Last month, the museum announced a 15% staff cut due to pandemic-related budgetary losses. Leadership also began refocusing the museum as an “anti-racist and equitable multicultural institution.” Read more here.
Popular East Bay bar to require proof of vaccination, contact tracing for entry
Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland, which hosts bands and drag shows, plans to reopen its doors this week. But patrons will have to show proof of vaccination to imbibe, and the owners will keep a list of attendees for contract tracing purposes to reduce the likelihood of people using counterfeit vaccination cards.
Santa Clara, Santa Cruz counties go yellow
Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties advanced May 18 to the yellow level of California’s reopening blueprint. The two counties join San Francisco and San Mateo in the Bay Area in the category with the least-restrictive pandemic restrictions, allowing restaurants, movie theaters, libraries, offices, churches, family entertainment centers, gyms and fitness studios to expand capacity indoors. Read the story here.
Lollapalooza fest returning to Chicago at full capacity
Organizers announced May 18 that the Lollapalooza music festival will return to downtown Chicago’s Grant Park at full capacity July 29-Aug. 1. In a potential sign of what Bay Area concertgoers might expect this year for outdoor music festivals like Outside Lands and BottleRock Napa Valley, Lollapalooza will require attendees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a negative coronavirus test within 24 hours of attending each day.
“Here in Chicago, the word ‘Lollapalooza’ has always been synonymous with summer, great music and four days of unforgettable fun — which made last year’s decision to postpone it all the more difficult,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot.
Musee Mecanique plans to reopen next month
Musee Mecanique, a museum of antique arcade attractions at San Francisco’s Pier 45, said it plans to reopen on June 15 after being shut down for more than a year.
Carnaval San Francisco to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations
For the second straight year, Carnaval San Francisco will host a community resource fair in place of its traditional parade and festival. The event will offer free COVID-19 vaccinations, unemployment benefits information and housing referrals and assistance. The “Our Existence is Resistance — Community Resource Fair & Celebration” is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Memorial Day weekend, May 29-30, at John O’Connell High School, on Harrison between 18th and 20th streets, and on Alabama from 19th to 20th streets.
Green Day postpones Oracle Park concert
The platinum-selling East Bay rock trio Green Bay has once again pushed back the scheduled date of its San Francisco stadium show with Fall Out Boy and Weezer. The Hella Mega Tour, originally set for July 2020, and later rescheduled for July 20 this year, will now be on Aug. 27. The band says tickets for the previous dates will be valid for the new dates. Those who cannot make it will receive refund options via email. Read more here.