The SF Public Library’s new streaming music platform for Bay Area bands and musicians launches Saturday, and they’re celebrating with a Saturday afternoon live music bash on the Fulton Street steps of the library’s Main Branch.
It was music to our ears in April when the SF Public Library and Amoeba Music announced they were launching a free streaming music platform featuring Bay Area musicians. And it was probably nice news for local musicians too, as all artists accepted to the platform would get $250, plus a new avenue to promote upcoming shows and their merchandise. That announcement came with a call for musicians to submit their music, which several hundred did.
And now, this coming Saturday, that new music streaming platform Bay Beats will be launching, with the music of more than 100 Bay Area artists available to stream absolutely free, with no ads.
“Bay Beats, a free music streaming platform offered by San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), goes live on Saturday, October 28,” according to an SF Public Library announcement. “After a hugely successful open call for submissions, albums from more than 100 top-rated solo musicians and bands from popular genres—jazz to soul, rap to rock, classical to world—will be available for anyone to listen, with or without a library card.”
And to mark the launch, there will be a Bay Beats Launch Party Saturday, October 26 (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.) at the SF Public Library Main Branch’s Fulton Street steps. The food trucks El Alambre SF and Churros Mexicanos will be on hand, plus the following lineup of musicians featured on Bay Beats scheduled to perform:
11:00 a.m. – Opening Remarks
11:10 a.m. – Alison Faith Levy
12:05 p.m. – Nashville Honeymoon
1:00 p.m. – UnLearn the World
1:55 p.m. – Tori Roze & The Hot Mess
2:50 p.m. – Razteria
3:45 p.m. – gloomy june
The new Bay Beats – a free music streaming platform offered by @SFPublicLibrary – goes live on Saturday, October 28. And to celebrate the occasion they’re throwing a Launch Party on Fulton Plaza the same day from 11am to 4:30pm! https://t.co/TCx3APr3jn pic.twitter.com/aNaNR32Yn7— CivicCenter (@CivicCenter) October 23, 2023
According to the Chronicle, more than 600 Bay Area music acts submitted their work for consideration, which was winnowed down to around 100 artists that would be featured on the platform. KQED reports the panel of judges included Penelope Houston of legendary SF punk band Avengers, hip-hop historian Dregs One, and up-and-coming SF vocalist La Doña.
“For anyone wondering whether we’ve still got it, I can personally assure you that the music scene in San Francisco and beyond is alive and well,” SFPL librarian Brian Weaver said in the release. “The talent we saw from the submissions round was phenomenal and it was a real challenge to be able to select only 100 albums. To say we’re excited to launch Bay Beats is an understatement—we can’t wait for everyone to discover bands and artists they’ve never heard before.”
You will not need an SFPL library card to stream music on Bay Beats once it launches, but you will need an SFPL library card to download music. But since the listeners can stream music without a library card on the online platform, it will be accessible worldwide.