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Golden Gate Park’s Brand New Street Busking Program

More live music is coming to the park with pop-up venues
By - posted 9/20/2022 No Comment

The San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department has launched an initiative that may be music to the ears of street performers: Busking in Golden Gate Park.

The program allows musicians and other performers to easily obtain permits and schedule performances in designated locations that will not conflict with other activities in the park. Interested performers can find more information and apply here.

The program is free until March 1, 2023 to aid pandemic recovery. After that, it will be $73 per year.

“We are really excited about Busking in Golden Gate Park,” said San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “This is a great way to enhance arts and culture for park visitors while giving visibility to emerging performers. There will be loads of talent in the park, with a bit of structure to keep all the other activities running smoothly.”

Coming Soon: Music Mosey on JFK

While the majority of busking opportunities are for non-amplified performances due to impacts on park users, two areas for modestly amplified music will launch Sept. 23 along the JFK Promenade at Nancy Pelosi Drive and at the 14th Avenue East Meadow.

These pop-up venues, known as Music Mosey, are a temporary activation by San Francisco-based arts nonprofit Illuminate, which will coordinate a schedule of live performances as a complement to its free concert series in the Golden Gate Bandshell. The venues will also serve as open mic opportunities for buskers who want amplified sound.

Music Mosey is just one part of Promenade Play Days, a series of free installations and events appearing on the JFK Promenade over the next several months. The activations are part of a larger effort by Rec and Park and SFMTA to ensure safe, equitable access to Golden Gate Park. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors in April voted to keep a portion of the park’s main drag, John. F. Kennedy Drive, as a car-free promenade.

Additional activations include murals by local artists through Paint the Void; Doggie Diner heads and public pianos; chairs for socializing and relaxing; enhanced entrances to the Promenade; games and mobile recreation; the library Bookmobile; food trucks; and seasonal events such as Halloween Haunt on JFK and the Holiday Tree Lighting.