Press Release

Press Release: GG Park Bandshell Welcomes Back Live Performances

From San Francisco Recreation and Park Department:

Golden Gate Bandshell Welcomes Back More Live Performances in 2022

Diverse lineup of musicians to play more free concerts at historic landmark 

Live music will soon return to the Golden Gate Bandshell’s iconic stage with another season of free outdoor performances in Golden Gate Park starting Wednesday, March 2, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, San Francisco Parks Alliance and the arts nonprofit Illuminate announced today. The Lift Every Voice performance series, presented by Illuminate, will offer more than 100 free shows in GGP’s Music Concourse in 2022.

The lineup of performers taking to the stage is diverse and local, with occasional international flourishes—The season will include rock bands and singer/songwriters, R&B, soul, jazz, big band musicians, string ensembles, dancers, and will feature many homegrown stars. All shows during March will feature women or women-fronted bands in celebration of  International Women’s Month. 

The expanded, multicultural program is part of a larger effort to ensure Golden Gate Park is a welcoming place for all. Informed by extensive public feedback gathered through the Golden Gate Park Safety and Access Program, the improvements include art installations and performances that reflect the diversity of the city and access upgrades that connect Black and brown communities, seniors, and people with disabilities to the park.  Other improvements launched this week include expanding free shuttle service and breaking ground on a project to add 20 new accessible parking spaces and ADA upgrades to the Golden Gate Bandshell parking lot.  

“The return of live performances in the park is another step forward in our City’s recovery,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “Arts and music, especially free public performances, are such an important part of what makes San Francisco so special. I’m so excited that residents and visitors who come to Golden Gate Park to experience all it has to offer will get to enjoy a full season of live performances at the historic Bandshell’s outdoor stage.”

The free, all-ages concerts will run through November of 2022, and echo the 2021 schedule with Singer-Songwriter/Folk/Rock Wednesdays, Jazz and Soul Friday Happy Hours, Cultural and Community performances on Saturdays, and Reggae Sundays, as well as many special events, including the return of the Golden Gate Bandshell Kid’s Festival featuring Charity and the JAMband March 5 from noon to 3:30 pm.

Sculptor Dana King, creator of the art installation Monumental Reckoning honoring Black history and lives in the Music Concourse, will emcee the season kickoff Wednesday with three singer-songwriters: Meredith Axelrod, Fo Fera, and Essence. 

Friday, March 4 features two sets from The Free Press. Sunday, March 6 will feature well-known reggae DJ Green B. 

A full schedule can be found here. 

In 2020 Illuminate raised $800,000 to renovate the public stage, which now includes built-in theatrical lighting, and a state-of-the-art Meyer sound system. In 2021, Illuminate and Parks Alliance produced 65 shows from August to December, including the Alterverse, a month-long celebration of poetry and light, which was kicked off with the debut of the words “Lift Every Voice” by civil rights champion James Weldon Johnson installed on the Bandshell on December 1, 2021. 

“Golden Gate Park is everybody’s park,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “This season’s diverse lineup of talented performers is a celebration of the power of music and the importance of public spaces where we can connect with nature and each other. With our new weekday shuttle service and addition of accessible spaces, getting to the bandshell will be easier and more enjoyable than ever.” 

“We are thrilled to double-down on the breakout success of last year. The diverse lineup of local performers and artists at the Bandshell will provide entertainment and joy for the whole family,” said San Francisco Parks Alliance CEO Drew Becher. 

The 122-year-old Golden Gate Bandshell is the oldest structure in Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse, an open-air plaza built for the 1894 Midwinter Exposition. Also called the Spreckels Temple of Music, the Bandshell was a gift to San Franciscans from sugar magnate Claus Spreckels. 

“Music is a powerful force to unite us and bring us into harmony,” said Illuminate Founder and CEO Ben Davis. “The words Lift Every Voice atop the Bandshell sends a clear message of radical inclusion.” 

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