Press Release

Press Release: Golden Gate Bandshell Offers Full Line Up of Performances in 2023

From SF Recreation and Park Department:

Golden Gate Bandshell Welcomes Back More Live Performances in 2023

Diverse lineup to play 100+ free concerts at historic landmark venue 

Live music will return for its third season at the Golden Gate Bandshell’s iconic stage with another series of free outdoor concerts in Golden Gate Park, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the arts nonprofit Illuminate announced today. 

The series, Illuminate Live, which kicks off March 1, will bring 100+ free concerts to the GGP Music Concourse in 2023. The lineup of performers returning to the stage is diverse and local as it was in its first two seasons – the 2023 concerts will feature R&B, soul, jazz, funk, big band musicians, string ensembles, indie and psychedelic rock bands, and many diverse singer-songwriters. In addition, the series will include reggae, salsa and some EDM and electronic music. 

Courtesy photo.

In honor of International Women’s Day March 8, all concerts throughout March will feature women or women-fronted bands. The series begins March 1 with “Market to Bandshell” featuring three female singer-songwriters: Common De Nomi, Frances Ancheta Becker and Nikki Nash. Friday, March 3 features R&B and soul with Nate’ SoulSanger, and Saturday, March 4 from noon to 4 p.m. it’s Women of the World Day – a Musical Journey showcasing female artists Ants, Monica Maria, and Free Press Music. Sunday, March 5 will present up-and-coming reggae artist Estrella and her band alongside house DJs Irie Dole and DJ Guid8nce for Crucial Reggae Sundays’ 2023 kick-off.

The free, all-ages concerts will run through mid-November of 2023, and echo the past two seasons schedule with Singer-Songwriter/Folk/Rock Wednesday; Jazz, Soul, R&B and Funk Friday Happy Hours; Cultural and Community performances on Saturdays; and Reggae Sundays, as well as many special events, including a special performance for St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 with celebrated Bay Area artist Shana Morrison and her band Caledonia performing two sets from 4:30 to 7 pm.

A full schedule can be found here. The series’ website is here and has up-to-the-minute listings and will also have special events.

The free concert series was originally launched as part of Golden Gate Park’s 150th anniversary in 2020, a yearlong celebration put on by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Parks Alliance. While the series kickoff was delayed by the pandemic, the Golden Gate Bandshell was upgraded with a new stage, built-in theatrical lighting and state-of-the-art Meyer sound system. The Golden Gate Bandshell has since hosted nearly 200 free shows.

“Free live music at the Golden Gate Bandshell has made Golden Gate Park even more vibrant and inviting for people in every neighborhood in San Francisco, and across the world,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Adding to larger annual events like Outside Lands and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, the bandshell series features hundreds of acts four days a week that you can easily access by car, bus, bike, or foot. This exciting series also ensures that the park’s proud music history lives on!” 

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 California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894. Also called the Spreckels Temple of Music, the Bandshell was a gift to San Franciscans from sugar magnate Claus Spreckels. 

“To witness live free music at the Bandshell is to experience San Francisco at its finest,” said Illuminate Founder and CEO Ben Davis. “The Music Concourse is an epicenter of generosity, the place where the gift of people’s talent meets the gift of people’s attention, the place we move together as one.” 

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