Summer in the Bay Area has no shortage of outdoor concerts and music festivals—some practically in our backyards, and others worth a scenic road trip to a gorgeous vineyard or beachside park. Whether you're into low-key community gatherings or large-scale productions with stacked lineups, we've got you covered with our list of this summer's must-see shows.
A wine-country summer staple, BottleRock returns with electro-pop band Imagine Dragons, rock'n'roll great Neil Young and indie-folk group Mumford & Sons as daily headliners. The rest of the lineup is even more eclectic, with highlights including guitar god Carlos Santana, super-producer Pharrell Williams and rapper Big Boi of Outkast. Local artists such as garage rock revivalist Shannon Shaw (plus her hand, Shannon and the Clams), Town legend Too Short and soul band Con Brio will rep the Bay.
California Roots May 24–26, 2019
Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey More information
Sunshine, reggae and camping less than a mile from the beach? Say no more. This year's California Roots Music and Arts Festival stars California bands Stick Figure and Slightly Stoopid, who both fuse elements of reggae, pop-punk and funk into their sound, as well as the Grammy-nominated Rebelution. For out-of-town guests who prefer not to stay in hotels, the festival offers on-site, luxury glamping. Attendees who prefer the much cheaper option of regular camping can pitch their tents at Laguna Seca, where a shuttle will take them to and from Cali Roots.
Live at Lagunitas May 27–Oct. 7, 2019
Lagunitas Brewery, Petaluma More information
The Lagunitas Brewery's Petaluma Amphitheater has shaped up to be one of the North Bay's most popular outdoor music venues, hosting a wide variety of up-and-coming and established artists. This summer's highlights include the high-energy pop-punk band Fidlar on June 4, virtuoso bassist Thundercat on June 24 and folk-rock singer-songwriter James McMurtry on Aug. 5. Bonus for beer lovers: Lagunitas offers plenty of locally brewed beverages to choose from.
Huichica Music Festival June 7–8, 2019
Gundlach Bundschu Winery, Sonoma More information
As mega-festivals such as Coachella get more popular every year, Huichica provides a low-key alternative for those who want to see great live music in a less crowded setting. Set against the stunning backdrop of a historic winery, this year's Huichica features indie disco experimentalist Connan Mockasin, psych rockers Lumerians, SF treasure Chuck Prophet, indie rock outfit Real Estate and more.
Phono del Sol June 15, 2019
Potrero del Sol Park, San Francisco More information
Back from a year-long hiatus, the free festival Phono Del Sol boasts a stacked lineup of must-see Bay Area rising stars. Hip-hop band Sol Development, whose uplifting work features social-justice themes and a rollicking instrumental section, performs, as well as experimental singer and loop pedal wiz Spellling. Ah-Mer-Ah-Su, whose delicate electropop soundtracked a recent documentary about trans activist Miss Major, is also slated to grace the stage, plus feminist rapper Queens D.Light and psych band Salami Rose Joe Lewis, who recently toured with Toro y Moi.
Stern Grove Festival June 16–Aug. 18, 2019
19th Ave and Sloat Blvd., San Francisco More information
One of the Bay Area's most beloved free concert series, Stern Grove features a slate of rising stars, local talent and all-time greats. Indie rocker Mitski, whose Be the Cowboy was one of KQED Arts' favorite 2018 albums, performs July 14 (local singer-songwriter Madeline Kenney opens). The '90s rap trio Digable Planets perform on June 16 with local bilingual hip-hop group Bang Data. July 7 presents a rare opportunity to see the San Francisco Symphony in a casual, outdoor setting, and the festival wraps up on Aug. 18 with a performance from soul music stars the Isley Brothers.
Now in its 10th year, Burger Boogaloo brings garage-punk weirdness to Oakland's Mosswood Park, with filmmaker and counterculture icon John Waters as host. The festival provides a chance to catch old-school cult favorites such as the Jesus & Mary Chain, the Scientists and Dead Boys, plus newer acts such as Sheer Mag and Terry & Louie. Burger Boogaloo partners with the Homeless Action Center this year and encourages showgoers to donate to the nonprofit with their ticket purchase or at the festival.
San Jose Jazz Summer Fest Aug. 9–11, 2019
Plaza de Cezar Chavez, San Jose More information
The San Jose Jazz Summer Fest is one of the South Bay's most highly anticipated live music events, with a lineup of jazz, soul and blues legends, mid-career artists and up-and-comers alike. One of this year's headliners is the Family Stone, born out of the pioneering Oakland funk band, with Sly Stone's daughter Phunne Stone as bandleader. Rock'n'roll-Hall-of-Famers the O'Jays are set to perform as well, in addition to Afrofuturist psychedelic jazz sensations Sons of Kemet, Grammy-winning jazz contralto Dianne Reeves and Oakland's well-loved and uplifting Interfaith Gospel Choir.
Paul Simon came out of retirement to headline this year's Outside Lands, so you know it's gonna be good. The long-running festival is one of the Bay Area's largest and most popular, with Twenty One Pilots and Childish Gambino as 2019's other big headliners. More acts to look forward to include country star Kacey Musgraves, Southern rap icon Lil Wayne, "Boo'd Up" singer Ella Mai and R&B and gospel legend Mavis Staples. Plus, up-and-coming Bay Area artists the Seshen, P-Lo and ALLBLACK also perform.
Sonido Clash celebrates left-of-center Chicanx and Latinx culture with live cumbia, twerk-worthy DJ sets, punk, indie and experimental bands, poetry readings and more. The fest was founded in 2016 by a party collective of the same name—one that's been championing eclectic underground sounds in San Jose's nightlife scene since the 2000s. Although this year's festival lineup has yet to be announced, previous years have boasted self-described "Cholo goth" band Prayers, indie crooner Helado Negro and reggaeton producer Rosa Pistola.
Hiero Day is an Oakland staple, celebrating Bay Area rappers and R&B singers who hold it down for their community, as well as like-minded artists from across the country. The grassroots festival is curated by the influential hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics, who brought us hits like "You Never Know" and Souls of Mischief's "93 Til Infinity." The 2019 lineup hasn't been released yet (that usually happens after the $19.93 tickets are sold out), but if the inclusion of Bun B, Goapele, Mistah Fab and Richie Rich in previous years is any indication, Hiero Day is always a good time for West Coast hip-hop lovers.
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