Top Ten List of Music Festivals In San Francisco and the Bay Area in 2016

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San Francisco is quickly becoming a top destination for some of the biggest live music festivals in 2016 in the country. In the late spring and into summer the city floods with outside music festivities. Here’s a list of some of the biggest San Francisco music festivals in the Bay Area perfect for local or visiting music junkies alike.

1. BottleRock Napa Valley

Location: Napa Valley Exposition

Lineup highlights include: Outkast, The Cure, LL Cool J, Eric Church, Weezer, TV on the Radio,

Yep! You heard it right. If you had missed Outkast’s reunion at Coachella then this is your best chance at seeing the band’s reunion tour. You’ll get to witness your favorite Fifty-nine (59!) other bands as well at the rocking three-day music festival. And you know what else? Because it’s in Napa, there’s always lots of Wine to sip on from some of the best vineyards in the Bay Area.

2. LIVE 105 BFD

Location: Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View

Lineup highlights include: Foster the People, M.I.A., Phantogram, Fitz and The Tantrums.

BFD is to be appreciated for including local bands on their own particular stage. The current year’s neighborhood selection incorporates the following San Francisco live music bands on the ascent: Waters, the Hundred Days, and French Cassettes.

3. Stern Grove Festival

Location: Stern Grove

Lineup highlights include: Smokey Robinson (June 22), SF Symphony (July 6), Allen Stone (June 29), Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory (Aug. 3).

The outstanding San Francisco traditions are almost entering their 77th year but still, it amazes us with the awesome range of incorporated changed activities yet some favorite features still stay the same for us. This is one San Francisco music festival that is not to be missed.

4. Fillmore Jazz Festival

Location: Fillmore St.

Lineup highlights include: An assortment of local Jazz, Blues and Soul bands from San Francisco.

Looking for the largest West Coast’s jazz music Festival? You need to look no more. It can be found within the San Francisco music festival scene. Burn through a couple of days absorbing a portion of the best jazz names in the informal jazz passage of the city.

5. Phono Del Sol

Location: Potrero Del Sol Park, Potero Hill

Lineup highlights include: Wye Oak, Blackbird Blackbird, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down,

Potrero Del Sol is by far the most impressive and fantastic local neighborhood festival. Although not as large as the other San Francisco music festivals on this list, it packs a punch and includes some of the hottest locals bands coupled with some great food options from the best food trucks in San Francisco.

6. Outside Lands

Location: Golden Gate Park

Lineup highlights have included: Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys, Disclosure, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Death Cab For Cutie, The Killers, Tiësto, The Flaming Lips

Did you know? It’s been only 7 years since this festival has been taking place. Amazed? The feeling is mutual. What’s even more astonishing is that the tickets to this San Francisco music festival sell out almost immediately. The fact that the festival is held in one of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. only adds to the prestige of this yearly event.

7. The First City Festival

First City Festival is named after Monterey’s claim as the official “first capital” of California.  Monterey was home to the state’s first theater, public library, publicly funded school, printing press, and newspaper. Today it is one of California’s most desirable vacation destinations with attractions including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, and the annual Monterey Jazz Festival.


Lineup highlights include: Beck, The National, The Naked and Famous, Phantogram

8.Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 

Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, or HSB for short (previously Strictly Bluegrass) is an annual free and non-commercial San Francisco music festival held the first weekend of October in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Conceived and subsidized by San Francisco venture capitalist Warren Hellman, the festival has been held every year since the first event in 2001.

Location: Golden Gate Park

Lineup highlights include: Chris Isaac, Cindy Lauper and Allen Stone

9. Treasure Island Music Festival

Location: Treasure Island

Since its inception in 2007, this San Francisco music festival has brought attendees an eclectic mix of music performances with no overlapping sets, and this year is no exception. West Coast hip-hop royalty Ice Cube will headline the first day of the festival on Saturday night, alongside fellow N.W.A. members MC Ren and DJ Yella. Zhu will be accompanied by Glass Animals, Duke Dumont, Young Thug, Flight Facilities, and a recent addition of Sofi Tukker to Saturday.

Lineup highlights include: Partial N.W.A reunion with Ice Cube

10. Oakland Music Festival

This Bay Area music festival is meant to keep Oakland’s creativity at its best. For all the people out there who are into becoming full time artists, this is their chance. This is now Oakland’s 4th year. Mark your calendars for October 9th. For more details, visit their official website:

Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.

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