Flower Piano, the annual event that began in 2015 in which a dozen pianos are scattered around the SF Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, is returning next week after a pause in 2020 — and this time it will happen during the usually sunnier month of September, instead of foggy July.
Organized by a group called Sunset Piano, spearheaded by artist Mauro ffortissimo after he placed an upright piano on a bluff in Half Moon Bay in 2013 and welcomed people to play it, Flower Piano has been a well loved event during the five years it happened in the park. Some of the pianos are tucked away along trails in the Botanical Garden, one is in the middle of the Great Meadow, and there's another on the "stage" of the Zellerbach Garden, which has its own grassy, natural amphitheater.
And while Flower Piano features a full schedule of distinguished local musicians putting the pianos to use, the public is free to play them in between those sets, and passersby can pause and enjoy the music as they please.
"It is coming back at a perfect time, allowing our community to heal together through the combination of music and nature,” said Rec & Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg in a statement.
Instead of two weekends, Flower Piano will only take place over one long weekend in 2021, from September 17 to 21.
You'll find the full schedule of music here, and note that from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 18, there's a "Twelve Piano Extravaganza" with mini-concerts happening on all 12 pianos at once, with one-hour sets by 36 different artists and groups.
Entrance to the Botanical Garden is free for San Francisco residents, and $7 to $13 for non-residents — but everyone is being encouraged to reserve tickets here (you can also donate to the Botanical Garden there).
Flower Piano is always a uniquely joyful event, with music tinkling around every corner of the Botanical Garden, and visitors should bring a picnic and a blanket and expect to move around as little or as much as they like.
Below, a preview via 2019's Flower Piano.
Photo courtesy of SF Botanical Garden