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San Francisco Bay Area Events The Best Upcoming Events in August 2021

The last ful month of summer, August is a busy travel month as people get ready for school to start and take advantage of the warm weather before it starts to cool down in September and October. In San Francisco, however, it is the time when the weather actually starts to get warmer before the best outdoor time of the year. August is a month full of great events, fun outdoor activities, amazing concerts, big festivals and more. There are many August events around the world that people look forward to all year long. If you like music festivals, you can head to Lollapalooza in Chicago or Bumbershoot in Seattle to see some of the most popular bands in the world in amazing settings. Sports fans can enjoy watching the PGA Championship, the Little League World Series and U.S. Open Tennis Championship or, if you like a little bit of weird in your life, you can head to Memphis for Elvis Week or take a long flight to Spain to experience La Tomatina, which is a festival that includes a massive food fight involving tomatoes. 

If you are looking for things to do in San Francisco during the month of August, there is one event that trumps them all, Outside Lands Music Festival. The annual mega-festival located in Golden Gate Park brings almost 100,000 people per day to see 40+ bands, DJs and comedians perform live. Although not located in the Bay Area, you can also make the long drive to Black Rock Desert for a truly one-of-a-kind experience at Burning Man. August is also the month where football returns and you can take in a 49ers game at Levi’s Stadium or see the opening games for the Cal Bears, Stanford Cardinals and more. Our San Francisco August Event Guide offers a list of the best events in the city, so check out all the options and enjoy your summer in the City by the Bay. 

Top Event in San Francisco in the Month of August

August is a great time to be in the San Francisco Bay Area and definitely one of the busiest months of the year as tourists flock to the city to enjoy the last full month of summer. Tourist attractions like Alcatraz, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate Park are packed with people enjoying some of the best things San Francisco has to offer. Because of the large influx of visitors, you will see a massive amount of fun events throughout the Bay Area like concerts, festivals, wine events, nightclub parties and more. Outside Lands and Burning Man are definitely the major attractions with hundreds of thousands of people attending these events, but there are plenty of cool things to do every day of the month. Check out the Bay Area Event Calendar for a list of all the upcoming events or check out the best events in August below. 

(1) Outside Lands Music Festival: One of the biggest events of the year in San Francisco, Outside Lands is a massive music festival that takes place every August. It all began in 2008 as Another Planet Entertainment, Superfly Presents and Starr Hill Presents saw their dream become real, a giant music festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The largest independently-owned music festival in the US, Outside Lands brings around 200,000 people every year to the park to enjoy 3 days of music, delicious food, wine tasting, cannabis, local artists, local merchandise vendors and more. 

Event Website: www.sfoutsidelands.com/

(2) Burning Man: Located about 300 miles from San Francisco in the Black Rock Desert, Burning Man is a truly unique event and is a great festival to add to your bucket list. The festival came from humble beginnings as two San Francisco locals, Larry Harvey and Jerry James, built a wooden man and set it ablaze on SF’s Baker Beach. This tradition continued for a few years, building up to only a few hundred people in attendance and because of issues with bonfires on the beach in San Francisco, they were unable to actually “burn” the burning man. This prompted a small group to head to Black Rock Desert to complete the burn. After 1990, the event was officially moved to Black Rock Desert and was more of a gathering of friends than a festival. Attendance slowly grew to 1,000, then 10,000 and eventually building up to over 70,000 people in attendance. While Burning Man is often referred to as a “festival” it is really hard to categorize this unique event. At an empirical level, Burning Man is a fully-functioning city built in the middle of the desert for the event and then torn down and cleaned up with out a trace until the next year. There are small communities, bars, restaurants, art cars, and music almost everywhere you go. If you have a chance to attend the event and are lucky enough to grab some tickets, you definitely will not be disappointed. 

Event Website: burningman.org

(3) Jerry Day: While there have been many famous artists, musicians, comedians, authors and more that lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jerry Garcia, the elusive frontman of the Grateful Dead, is definitely one that stands above the rest. Millions of people head to to Haight-Ashbury, the eclectic San Francisco neighborhood and epicenter of the Summer of Love in 1967, to see the the house where Jerry lived in the city. The acclaimed singer and songwriter died of a heart attack in 1995, but the loyal Grateful Dead fan base still celebrates his legacy. An annual event every August, Jerry Day takes place at McLaren Park and features a variety of amazing bands playing live.

Event Website: jerryday.org

(4) Nihonmachi Street Fair: Though it started as a small event in 1973 with just a couple of hundred people, the Nihonmachi Street Fair has grown to a large annual event in San Francisco every August. An estimated 30,000 people attend this festival, which takes place in Japantown and focuses on the diversity of San Francisco Neighborhoods. The fair features hundreds of booths with crafts, artists and local merchandise, delicious food options, live music and more. 

Event Details: nihonmachistreetfair.org/

(5) Aloha Festival: One of the many awesome cultural festivals of the year, the San Francisco Bay Area Aloha Festival brings the culture of the islands to you during a free two-day event. Learn about the Polynesian Islands, including Hawaii, Tahiti, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and more as you celebrate with songs & cultural dances and enjoy delicious Polynesian foods while browsing the various crafts and merchandise by various vendors. 

Event Details: www.pica-org.org/