Over the course of the past 75 years, the Stern Grove Festival has grown to become one of the most prototypically San Francisco events in the city.
On any given summer Sunday, the Eucalyptus-lined natural amphitheater on the southern edge of the Sunset District is a cheery mix of Chardonnay quaffing yuppies, sunbathing hipsters, picnicking families and pot-smoking hippies enjoying a toke underneath the trees.
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It's friendly, egalitarian and, best of all, completely free for anyone to set down a blanket and watch an eclectic selection of music and dance performances.
After Rosalie Stern donated Stern Grove to the city of San Francisco in memory of her husband Sigmund in the early 1930s, she formed the non-profit Stern Grove Festival Association and started putting on free concerts. While Stern died in 1956, the concerts never stopped.
This year, the festival is celebrating three-quarters of a century in San Francisco. In addition to the standard yearly performances by the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Ballet, there will be shows by R&B legend Anita Baker, New Orleans institution the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, local neo-classic rock sensation The Stone Foxes, Grammy award-winning jazz singer Al Jarreau, Latin rockers Ozomatli, music video pioneers OK GO and more.
Check out this slideshow of the artists playing this summer's Stern Grove Festival:
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