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SF’s 5th Annual African Arts Festival at Yerba Buena Gardens

Saturday, September 7, 2024 - 11:00 am to 4:00 pm | Cost: FREE
Yerba Buena Gardens (Esplanade) | 773 Mission St., San Francisco, CA

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SF’s Yerba Buena Gardens Festival 2024 (May 4 – Nov. 2)

The 2024 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival hosts a full lineup of free outdoor music, theater, circus, dance, poetry, and children’s programs. The Festival opens on Saturday, May 4 at 1:00pm with Cuban soul from Pedrito Martinez.

Now in its 24th year, the Festival will run each and every week and weekend until November 2 and is located between Mission and Howard Streets and Third and Fourth Streets in downtown San Francisco.  

YBG Festival presents classical, world, and jazz music, contemporary and traditional dance, theater, children’s and family programs, and cultural events reflecting the rich cultures and creativity of the region. Artistic excellence, inclusion, diversity and innovation are at the heart of our mission. As the only curated arts park fully dedicated to the long-term presentation of free arts and cultural programs, Yerba Buena Gardens has a unique place in the cultural landscape of San Francisco.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival 2024

May 4 – November 2, 2024
Yerba Buena Gardens, Mission btwn Third and Fourth, SoMa, SF
FREE

Directions & Parking | Admission-Free Seating | Performance Times | See the Full Calendar

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Programs & Series 2024

Salsa at Jessie: Open-Air Salsa Dance Party

The outdoor, monthly salsa event takes place at Jessie Square, near the Contemporary Jewish Museum and the historic St. Patrick’s Church. From May to October, folks are invited to dance into dusk to amazing live salsa bands. Many musical acts hail from the Bay Area and some from out of town, all bringing electrifying salsa sounds to Jessie Square.

Starting just before sunset, Salsa at Jessie is a casual, outdoor event to get your body moving under San Francisco skies. Fun for first-time and seasoned salseras/salseros, or music lovers enjoying rhythms of the syncopated top-notch performers. Salsa at Jessie is a unique dance experience, just one of many cultural activities the Yerba Buena neighborhood has to offer. And it’s FREE! Friends, families and conga-lines welcome.

Salsa at Jessie performances begin promptly at 6pm (unless noted otherwise), so plan ahead and arrive early! Performances are approximately 90 minutes long at Jessie Square is located on Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets, San Francisco.

Children’s Garden Series
June through August is a great time for parents, caregivers, and camp counselors to bring kids to the Children’s Garden for sunshine and a show. The Children’s Garden Series features professional artists with expertise in engaging children under 10 and their adults. Each show features excellent performers skilled in puppetry, music, dance, acrobatics, body percussion, clowning and more! Outstanding featured groups like Ka-Hon and Duniya Dance & Drum demonstrate diverse musical and dance traditions from all over the world. With such rich cultural and artistic experiences, the Children’s Garden is the place to be in the summertime.

Children’s Garden shows are on Fridays, June–August, and feature two repeat performances: 11:00am & noon (unless noted otherwise), so plan ahead and arrive early! Each performance is approximately 30 minutes long and held near the Children’s Creativity Museum and LeRoy King Carousel at Howard/Fourth Streets, San Francisco.

Thursday Lunchtime Concert Series

From May to October, the Thursday Lunchtime series features artists carving out their own niches in the world of music and dance. While international and touring artists perform in the Lunchtime Series, many homegrown Bay Area artists view Yerba Buena Gardens as the perfect venue for new works. These fantastic performers are exploring new depths in jazz, blues, soul, classical, world, swing, salsa, modern dance and more!

Always free, fresh and outdoors, Thursday Lunchtime programs are a great way to reinvigorate the day. Downtown office workers, neighborhood groups, students and even out-of-towners needing a break from the city’s hustle and bustle come down to the Gardens with lunch in hand. Then, stroll through Yerba Buena Gardens for a jolt of fresh air, art and inspiration.

Thursday Lunchtime Concerts performances begin promptly at 12:30pm (unless noted otherwise), so plan ahead and arrive early! Performances are approximately 60 minutes long, at Yerba Buena Gardens on Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets, San Francisco.

Poetic Tuesdays
A fabulously curated line-up of poets and musicians grace Yerba Buena Gardens to share poems and songs that delight, provoke, stir and inspire. Held monthly from May-October, Poetic Tuesdays make for a lovely lunch. Downtown office workers, neighborhood groups, students and even out-of-towners needing downtime from the city’s hustle and bustle come down to the Gardens. Poetic Tuesdays are the perfect midday breather over line breaks. Poetic Tuesdays readings begin promptly at 12:30pm (unless noted otherwise), so plan ahead and arrive early!

 Performances are approximately 60 minutes long, at Yerba Buena Gardens on Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets, San Francisco.

Outdoor Classes

San Francisco locals and visiting out-of-towners can look to these outdoor classes to refresh their body and spirit through dance, music, movement, public art and more. On any given day of the week, you can always find something Free, Outdoors and Fresh at Yerba Buena Gardens.

Outdoor Classes are each approximately 60 minutes long at at different spaces in Yerba Buena Gardens, on Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets, San Francisco.

Weekend Sessions

The Weekend Sessions is the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival’s premier program series, highlighting touring and regional artists performing to delighted audiences. Each weekend program features a diversity of world-class artists giving thrilling performances not to be missed. Crowds of arts-lovers, Bay Area locals and out-of-towners flock to Yerba Buena Gardens for outstanding entertainment in music, dance, poetry, circus, theater or large-scale cultural festivals.

Weekend Session performances begin at 1pm (unless noted otherwise), so plan ahead and arrive early! Performances are approximately 90 minutes long, located at Yerba Buena Gardens on Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets, San Francisco.

2024 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival Programming Highlights

All events are free and take place outdoors in Yerba Buena Gardens, off Mission Street between 3rd and 4th Streets, and the Yerba Buena Children’s Garden located at Howard & Fourth Street.

APRIL 2024 – Pre Festival Events

MAY 2024

JUNE 2024

JULY 2024

AUGUST 2024

SEPTEMBER 2024

OCTOBER 2024

The 5th Annual African Arts Festival celebrates the glorious diversity and extraordinary creativity of the continent’s peoples. Co-presented by Duniya Dance and Drum Company and the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival, it’s a family-friendly celebration of live music and dance featuring Bay Area ensembles representing different regions of Africa and the African diaspora, including a sneak peek at “Raices et Résistance,” a collaboration between Duniya and the Afro-Cuban Arenas Dance Company, and a performance by the Guinean funk combo Bongo and the TonTons. Formed in April 2007, Duniya Dance and Drum Company creates dance and music from Punjab, India, and Guinea, West Africa, as well as unique blends of these forms and beyond. Along with interactive activities like dance and drum lessons and face-painting for children, vendors offer a variety of traditional African food and goods for sale, including clothing, jewelry, hair care and skin care. “The idea for the festival came from the desire to bring Africans and the diaspora together as one community in the Bay Area, to inspire each other and share each other’s culture,” explains Duniya Dance and Drum Company Artistic Director Bongo Sidibe. “We are highlighting joy and celebrating who we are as Black people.”

Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.


Cost: FREE
Categories: *Top Pick*, Fairs & Festivals, In Person, Outdoors, San Francisco
Address: 773 Mission St., San Francisco, CA

Saturday, September 7, 2024

10:00 am   Oakland Vintage Market (First Saturday of the Month)  FREE
All Day   Bank of America’s “Museums On Us” Free Museum Weekend (2024)  FREE*
*Free for Bank of America or Merrill Lynch Card Holders. Some venues may be closed on certain days; please confirm directly with participating museums.
11:00 am   Redwood City’s “Pub in the Park” Summer 2024 Inflatable Pop-Up Bar  FREE*
*Free! All Ages! Food/drinks for purchase
11:00 am   “Pub in the Park 2024” Inflatable English-Style Pub Day (Redwood City)  FREE
1:00 pm   2-for-1 Distillery Tour & Whiskey Tasting at Tripp Distillery (Pacifica)  $9*
*Distillery Tour and tastings for two $9 (normally $18)
4:00 pm   SF’s New “Lucky Cat Club” Night Market at Stonestown  FREE
7:00 pm   FREE: Oakland Comedy Saturday Night @ Secret Speakeasy (7p + 9p Shows)  FREE*
*Limited free tickets with code FUNCHEAP (donations appreciated). Otherwise use code FUNCHEAP5 for $5 off early bird and general admission tickets
7:00 pm   San Francisco POC Comedy Night (Fridays & Saturdays)  FREE*
*Use secret code FUNCHEAP for comp tickets, otherwise, $10 off with secret code FUNCHEAP
7:00 pm   “Rush Hour Comedy Night” w/ SFs Best Black & Asian Comedians (The Function)  FREE*
*RSVP Required
8:00 pm   “Drunk Theatre” SF’s Wildest Comedy Show (September 2024)  $20*
*$20 adv / $25 door
8:00 pm   $5 Off Tix: Tony-Winning Musical “Evita” from San Francisco Playhouse (June 27-Sept. 7)  $10*
*Tickets normally start at $15, but you can get $5 with code FUNCHEAP. Not valid for past purchases. Subject to availability.
9:00 pm   SF’s Prince vs. Michael Jackson DJ Party (NoPa)  $10
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