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How to See Chaka Khan, Chicano Batman for Free at Stern Grove

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Chaka Khan performs at Blue Note Jazz Festival in St. Helena on Friday, July 29, 2022. (Estefany Gonzalez for KQED)

Stern Grove, a San Francisco institution if there ever was one, is back for an 87th season of free outdoor concerts starting June 23 and continuing every Sunday through Aug. 25.

Its eclectic lineup kicks off with a performance by popular queer indie rock duo Tegan and Sara, with an opening set from rising Oakland singer-songwriter King Isis. June 30 sees the arrival of Chicano Batman, whose oozing, psychedelic guitar pop shines on their new, bilingual album, Notebook Fantasy; Colombian Canadian singer Lido Pimiento will open with her tropical, electronic indie pop.

Chicano Batman performs at the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco, Aug. 10, 2018.
Chicano Batman performs at the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco, Aug. 10, 2018. (Estefany Gonzalez for KQED)

On July 7, the San Francisco Symphony performs en plein air with Broadway singer and actress Jessica Vosk. Funk and soul legends the Commodores (the band of “Brick House” fame that gave rise to Lionel Richie) perform July 14 with The Grease Traps. July 21 welcomes saxophonist and R&B singer Masego, along with soulful Oakland vocalist Satya.

Nu-disco British electronic duo Franc Moody takes the stage July 28 with funk revivalists Drama. Indie rocker Alex G and local faves Fake Fruit perform on Aug. 4.

Jazz legend Herbie Hancock — who has plenty of history in San Francisco — headlines Aug. 11, with the SFJAZZ Collective. Americana treasure Lucinda Williams performs on Aug. 18 with Jobi Riccio.

a young woman with dark hair and a dark dress plays a white guitar on stage in purple lighting
Hannah D’Amato of Oakland’s Fake Fruit performs at Pitchfork Music Festival London in 2022. (Burak Cingi/Redferns)

On the closing Big Picnic Weekend, which also includes a Saturday show, electronic pop duo Sylvan Esso (whose song “Coffee” you’ve definitely heard even if you don’t know it by name) performs Aug. 24 with lounge-y disco and pop band Poolside. And finally, on Aug. 25, the queen of funk, boogie and disco Chaka Khan closes out the summer festivities.


All shows are free, but RSVP is required. Tickets get released one month ahead of each event at 2 p.m. Reserved table seating is available for purchase, and the concerts will also broadcast and livestream on KPIX.

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