SAN FRANCISCO—The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of the 2020 Stern Grove Festival season. Organizers have found a way to entertain fans through Best of the Fest, a series of video playlists featuring archived performances, scenery of the Grove, and special guests.
According to Stern Grove Festival’s press release, Best of the Fest began airing on Sunday, June 14 and currently airs every Sunday through the season finale on August 16. All episodes are broadcast on KPIX at 4:30 p.m. TV and radio personality Liam Mayclem, who also spotlights as the season’s emcee, hosts the video series. Every week highlights a different genre of music as well as some of the most popular artists who have played at Stern Grove in the past.
“Stern Grove Festival’s mission is to deliver free music to our community, and even though we aren’t able to do that in-person this year, we thought it was still important to deliver on that promise,” said Stern Grove Festival Executive Director, Bob Fiedler. “We feel that music is a healing and unifying force. So, especially in these times, we hope that people enjoy our virtual offering this year.”
Every year since 1938, the nonprofit Stern Grove Festival Association presented the festival, a 10-week summer concert series featuring free live music and dancing. For 83 years, large crowds of people have shown up to the San Francisco outdoor amphitheater Sigmund Stern Grove to enjoy the performances.
While the venue remains shuttered this summer, Stern Grove leadership plans to close out their first ever virtual season on a high note. According to the organization’s official finale information release, they are planning an hour-long special featuring newly recorded performances by many local artists. They will release the official lineup of performers for the August 16 event on Wednesday, July 29.