There’s yet another free outdoor concert series called SF Live that hopes to get you out of the house and spending money this summer, and the shows are curated by clubs like Bottom of the Hill, the SF Eagle, and Cafe Du Nord.

Okay, so it’s not Outside Lands, which just announced its 2024 lineup, and will set you back around $500 for a three-day pass. And it’s not that series of free outdoor concerts that Another Planet Entertainment has promised this summer but has not announced details of yet. And it’s not the Stern Grove Festival, which generally announces its lineup in the last week of April, so expect that any day this week or next.

But as SF City Attorney David Chiu (of all people!) announces above, there is a new free outdoor concert series called SF Live coming to various outdoor and park venues across town this summer. According to a press release from Mayor Breed, it’s a $2.5 million effort that “brings arts and culture into our parks and plazas through free performances curated by live music and entertainment venues.”

This appears to be the concert series Supervisor Aaron Peskin mentioned last week in connection with the city's effort to revitalize Union Square.

Screenshot: SF Live Fest

The schedule tends to place the acts on Thursday nights and weekends, generally in the afternoon or early evenings. But the first one’s a banger called Electric Fields, with DJ Galen of Sunset Sound System fame, plus well-known DJs Doc Martin and M3, at the Golden Gate Bandshell from 2-6 pm on Saturday, May 4. That’s followed by one-time Santana band musicians called Formerly Santana on Thursday, May 16 at Fulton Plaza (the area between the Main Library and the Asian Art Museum in Civic Center) from 4-7 pm; hip-hop/jazz collective Howard Wiley & Friends on Saturday, June 1 from 4-6 pm at the Golden Gate Bandshell; and bluesman Earl Thomas on Thursday, June 13 from 5-8 pm at Union Square.

Screenshot: SF Live Fest

Yet the later shows in the summer, which only have dates announced thus far, may prove even more interesting. The city has partnered with Noise Pop and a bunch of different nightclubs like the Great American Music Hall, Rickshaw Stop, and The Endup to “curate” outdoor live shows that are not at those particular venues.  

“The SF Live project has been a bright spot for Bottom of the Hill this year,” Bottom of the Hill owner Lynn Schwarz says in Breed’s press release. “It allowed me to book a headlining band I've always wanted to book but was too big for my venue.”

Who is this headlining band? We don’t yet know, and oddly, Bottom of the Hill does not appear on the concert lineup as being one of the partner clubs for any of the events, whereas we do see the SF Eagle, and Cafe Du Nord. and the Boom Boom Room.

Screenshot: SF Live Fest

But we do see Bottom of the Hill listed as a participating venue operator, so we imagine more shows will be announced, and this will be among them.

This appears to be the same SF Live concert series that the Chronicle reported was announced in 2021, and was scheduled to happen in 2022, but never did. That Chronicle reports references the same $2.5 million in state money that David Chiu references above, as he was a state Assembly member when he lined up the funds. According to the Wayback Machine, the SF Live website just launched this month, so it seems thing merely took a couple years to get off the ground.

Either way, SF Live is coming this summer, and it’s certainly no slouch. The idea, of course, is to get people out and spending money. But the concerts themselves are free, and there’s good reason to follow SF Live on Instagram for the announcements of more shows.

Related: Another Planet Entertainment Wants To Bring Free Outdoor Concerts To Downtown SF, Starting Next Year [SFist]

Image via SF Live Fest