Music & Nightlife

Discover San Francisco’s best dance clubs and hottest music venues

Best summer music festivals in San Francisco
Music

Best summer music festivals in San Francisco

Summer is coming, and that means that festival season is here. To gear you up for six months of fun, sun, food trucks and live music, we’ve put together your ultimate music festival guide for the San Francisco Bay Area. If you’re looking for musical mayhem in a field (or most likely Golden Gate Park) this summer, we’ve got you covered.  RECOMMENDED: Dance the night away at the best nightclubs in San Francisco

Dance the night away at the best nightclubs in San Francisco
Clubs

Dance the night away at the best nightclubs in San Francisco

San Francisco is inundated with cocktail lounges, dive bars, craft breweries, and speakeasies, but sometimes you just want to dance. We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re feeling ‘80s and ‘90s jams, old-school hip-hop, or international electronica, these top nightclubs in San Francisco invite you to drink up and let loose. RECOMMENDED: The best gay bars in San Francisco

The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine, and Janet Jackson headline Outside Lands 2018
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The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine, and Janet Jackson headline Outside Lands 2018

The lineup for this year’s Outside Lands Music Festival has just been released and suddenly we can’t wait for August to get here. The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine and Janet Jackson headline an eclectic collection of artists that spans genres and even generations. If you're more into the second line acts, other highlights from the 2018 lineup include Future, Odesza, Beck, Carly Rae Jepsen, Bon Iver, N.E.R.D, Chvrches, Huey Lewis & The News, DJ Snake, James Blake, Jessie Ware, Jamie XX and more.  And if all that music wasn’t enough reason to make your way to Golden Gate Park this summer, there will also be stages dedicated to comedy, food and art, and a marketplace of craft vendors. The Wine Lands and Beer Lands tents will be serving beverages from local wineries and breweries, a perfect accompaniment to the Taste of the Bay Area station offering fare from some of the region’s best restaurants. Check out the complete lineup below:   Outside Lands takes place August 10–12 in Golden Gate Park. Tickets go on sale on Thursday, April 5 for $375 or $795 for VIP. For the first time, Outside Lands is also offering a 3-Day GA layaway plan option, allowing fans to pay for their pass in four installments. See you in the park! 

Montréal’s MUTEK festival will make its U.S. debut in San Francisco
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Montréal’s MUTEK festival will make its U.S. debut in San Francisco

Famed international electronic music festival MUTEK (May 3–6; $150–$450) will make its first foray into the United States this spring with a four-day festival set in San Francisco. The decade-and-a-half-old fest has toured in cities like Tokyo, Barcelona, Mexico City, Bogota and Dubai as well as its home country of Canada for years, but this will be its first pop-up in the U.S.  Hundreds of international performers will descend on SF as part of the fest. Fans can look forward to a live performance by techno innovator Moritz Von Oswald (credited by RBMA as having 'practically invented minimal techno') as well as sets by local artists like 8ULENTINA, Christopher Willits, DIBIA$E, Foozool, King Most and Only Now. While rooted in electronic music, the festival will also include art installations, audio-visual works, panel discussions, technical education and food.  The festival is spread across various venues throughout the city, including the San Francisco Mint, Mezzanine, The Midway, Bimbo’s 365 Club, Gray Area Grand Theatre, Herbst Theatre, The California Academy of Sciences and Heron Arts. Four-day passports are currently available for $250, which gives attendees all-access throughout the duration of the event. 

The story of how hip-hop changed the Bay Area ... and the world
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The story of how hip-hop changed the Bay Area ... and the world

Before rap, deejaying and graffiti were mainstream, a group of dedicated trendsetters and musicians made hip-hop the cultural force that took California by storm in the 1980s. And while hip-hop was once associated with violence, drugs and gang culture, a new exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California focuses on the valuable lessons to be learned from hip-hop culture in its role as a platform for self-expression and activism. “These radical movements have matured and are giving back,” says senior curator René de Guzman, who compiled the expansive exhibit, which highlights everything from deejaying and MCing to hip-hop entrepreneurialism, dance and fashion. The gallery is filled with everyday items like skateboard decks, barber chairs, lowrider cars and Grandmaster Flash’s original turntable. In one very special corner of the gallery hangs a tapestry by renowned artist Kehinde Wiley—famous for his heroic portraits of Black celebrities and who Barack Obama recently commissioned to paint his official presidential portrait—alongside party flyers and rare photographs from the 1980s and ’90s. Photograph: Amanda Sade Salako   Another section centers on the history of hip-hop in the Bay Area and was curated with the help of local music legends E-40 and group Hieroglyphics. Included are a map of hip-hop’s historical markers—from Hayward to Vallejo—works from local graffiti artists and modern street fashion. OMCA comissioned a photographer to shoot contemporary hip-hop fashion