Summer festival season is here, folks, and the Bay Area is back in full swing. 

You can forget the awkwardness of listening to concerts over Zoom with the mass rollout of vaccines and declining covid cases. The best events are back in person again!

Whether you love Jazz, wine, or simply some good food and fun, there’s a summer festival perfect for you. So mark your calendars for some of the city’s best events. 

Summer Festivals To Kick Off Your Summer

Here are some of the best festivals the Bay Area has to offer and everything you need to know to get in. 

June Festivals

Juneteenth on the Waterfront

Even though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, it wasn’t until Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19th, 1865, that enslaved African Americans were finally told they were free. The resulting holiday, Juneteenth, has been celebrated by African Americans for more than a hundred years.

This year, Juneteenth on the Waterfront is back! It’ll feature local Black-owned businesses selling delicious foods like Afro-Colombian empanadas, red beans and rice, bourbon caramel bread pudding, and vegan BBQ sliders. Local DJ Lonnie Taylor will provide music at the event. 

The Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival

The 39th Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival runs from June 8th-19th. This year’s extensive artist lineup includes Dianne Reeves, Sun Hop Fat, Changüí Majadero, Mo’Fone, and Rhiannon Giddens. 

To keep everyone safe while having fun, The SFJazz Center is implementing policies to prevent the spread of covid. All attendees over the age of two must wear masks to enter the SFJazz Center and provide proof of vaccination (however, children under the age of five aren’t required to be vaccinated since there’s no vaccine available).

The Artichoke Festival

The Artichoke festival has taken place for 62 years in Monterey county. During the event, you’ll get to try the fan-favorite fried artichokes and even artichoke cupcakes and ice cream (don’t knock it until you try it). 

There’s more to this festival than eating artichoke cupcakes. The events include chef demos, wine tastings, and even a quilt challenge. 

This year’s festival runs June 11th-12th. Featured Chefs include Pamela Burns of Wild Plum Bakery and Café and Hondo Hernandez, the Pit Boss at Showoff BBQ. 

Festival organizers are deeply committed to keeping everyone safe and healthy while having fun. All bags at the event are subject to search, and guests are required to follow all CDC and local county COVID-19 guidelines.

August Festivals

Summer’s ending, but it isn’t over yet. We couldn’t talk about summer festivals without mentioning Outside Lands!

Outside Lands

This three-day music, cannabis, food, and wine event features hometown music heroes (such as Illenium) and international stars. This year’s performers include Green Day, Pussy Riot, Sza, and Weezer (among many others). 

The festival also features some of the best food vendors in the Bay Area. This year’s lineup includes Curry Up Now, Escape from New York Pizza, and Rosamunde Sausage grill. Dry Creek Vineyard, Lost Coast Brewery, Martine’s Wines, and several others will provide attendees with plenty of wine and beer options

Covid precautions are in place to make sure everyone stays safe. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination or provide a negative covid test to enter the festival.

Recurring Events

If you have a busy schedule, don’t fret. These events are occurring all summer long.

Off the Grid Fort Mason

After two long years, Off the Grid Fort Mason Center is back for its 12th season! We’re bringing back monthly theme nights and events that feature the best vendors and entertainers in the Bay Area. 

Every 3rd Friday, bring your pup for Fido Friday. You’ll get 10% off for Yappy Hour and a treat for your best friend (because our events aren’t just for people to enjoy). Be sure to join us on June 24th for the Off the Grid Pride Block Party.

Friday Nights at OMCA

Join us for a free, family-friendly event at the Oakland Museum of California. Every Friday at 5 pm, Off the Grid’s local creators will provide delicious eats and an opportunity to deepen community connections. 

After grabbing some local grub, head to the Museum’s garden to enjoy a relaxing family dinner together (and skip doing the dishes). Enjoy a glass of wine while trying your hand at some Giant Jenga!

Some of the vendors featured this season include Curry Up Now, Kabob Trolley, Southern Comfort Kitchen, and Golden State Gyro. Make sure to grab your tickets today!

Don’t Miss The Bay Area’s Biggest Festivals

After two long years, all of us are ready to gather together with our neighbors and have some fun. Luckily for us, the Bay Area has no shortage of festivals and events. Whether you’re trying artichoke ice cream for the first time or dancing to Pussy Riot like no one is watching, there’s something in our great city for everyone.