Stern Grove Festival Executive Director Bob Fiedler announced today the cancellation of the 83rd Stern Grove Festival due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the continued moratorium on large gatherings. The Bay Area’s original free outdoor music festival was initially scheduled to take place on Sundays from June 14 through August 16, 2020. It is the first time in the Festival’s long history that it has been canceled.
“In these unprecedented times, and in an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our staff, artists, audience, and the community, we made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Festival,” said Fiedler. “We are grateful to our board, sponsors, and donors, whose support makes it possible to retain our core staff and turn our focus to planning for the 2021 season-we’ll be back better than ever!”
Thanks to a generous challenge grant, donations from individuals this summer will be matched, helping the organization to continue. Festival fans and supporters who are looking for ways to support the Festival can donate online at sterngrove.org/support/.
The exciting and eclectic 2020 line-up was to include Animal Collective, Jimmy Cliff, Cuco, Billy Ray Cyrus, Macy Gray, Hanson, San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Symphony, Tank and the Bangas, and Tower of Power.
A hallmark of the Festival’s programming is introducing local up-and-coming artists and emerging talents from around the globe as the opening acts for several of the concerts. This season the support acts scheduled to appear were Emily Afton, Cindy Lee, North Mississippi Allstars, The Onyx, Megan Slankard, and Ana Tijoux. The Festival hopes to reschedule some of the 2020 musicians for the 2021 season.
This summer, in place of canceled performances, the Festival is creating Best of the Fest, a virtual video series featuring highlights from the Festival’s vast library of concert footage from the past 13 years. Hosted by TV and radio personality and seasoned emcee Liam Mayclem, Sheila E. (2012), Pink Martini (2013), The Doobie Brothers (2015), and George Clinton (2016) are among the musicians to be included in the weekly concerts. Best of the Fest will also feature artist interviews, scenic footage of the Grove, and special guests. It will be posted on the Festival’s website, YouTube channel, and Facebook page every Sunday from June 14 through Sunday, August 16. Beginning Sunday, May 31, visit sterngrove.org for each Sunday’s lineup.
In addition to Best of the Fest, the Festival will be offering a virtual arts education program utilizing many of the teaching artists who would have participated this summer. Classes in music making and dance will be offered online on the Festival’s YouTube and Facebook channels. More information to follow.
With this year’s stellar schedule, attendance for the 10-week Festival was projected to exceed 75,000, and more than 3,000 children were expected to take part in the Festival’s free music Education & Outreach programs and summer camps.
Stern Grove Festival’s 2020 Sponsors include: Doug and Lisa Goldman Fund, John and Marcia Goldman Fund, Bernard Osher Foundation, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Wells Fargo, Levi Strauss & Co., Kaiser Permanente, Koret Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, NEA, and Grants for the Arts.
Stern Grove Festival’s 2020 Media Sponsors include: KPIX/KBCW-TV and SF Media Co.
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