It's no secret that San Francisco knows how to party. That's especially true during the summer months as temperatures rise and festival season kicks into full gear. From the debauchery of Bay to Breakers to the festivities of Outside Lands, we've collected a list of 15 most epic MetroWize-approved summer parties.
The How Weird Street Faire prides itself on being a bit left of center. It's not quite a music festival and too wild to be a standard street fair. It's a full day of mayhem taking place over 9 stages (and multiple clubs) right in the heart of downtown/SOMA. 2012 will mark the 13th year of the festival, complete with food, art and plenty of weirdos.
Where: Howard St. and 2nd St., Downtown San Francisco
When: May 13th
Bay to Breakers is San Francisco's favorite foot race/parade/drunken death march. With a route spanning the entire width of the city, Bay to Breakers 2012 is set to be bigger and badder than ever before. Get ready for this year's race with our Bay to Breakers Survival Guide.
Where: All Across San Francisco
When: May 20th
As one of San Francisco's biggest Memorial Day festivals, I Love This City is set to take San Francisco by storm with two-days of earth-shattering bass music at AT&T Park. Tiesto, Duck Sauce, Steve Aoki, Laidback Luke and The Crystal Method are just a few of the big names set to grace the stage come May.
Where: The Lot at AT&T Park
When: May 25th & 26th
San Francisco's annual Carnaval festivities give Bay Area locals a taste of Argentina's party scene with two days of vibrant, costumed fun in the streets of the Mission. Spanning seven blocks on Harrison Street, Carnaval kicks off with multi-cultural celebrations of food and art and continues the party with a colorful parade full of floats, artists, musicians and more.
When: May 26th & 27th
For San Franciscans hoping to rock their socks off this summer, look no further than BFD 2012. Making its home at the Shoreline Ampitheatre in Mountain View, BFD 2012 is hosting a ridiculous lineup of rock n' roll superstars, with Jane's Addiction, Silversun Pickups and Garbage headlining the fest, as well as some of this year's hot favorites The Naked & Famous, Grouplove, Fun., Dragonette, Geographer and more!
Where: Shoreline Ampitheatre
When: June 2nd
Celebrating the history of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, the annual Haight-Ashbury Street Fair offers three stages with live entertainment, six-blocks of arts & crafts, food and merchandise and a glimpse back in time to the Summer of Love. It's all about peace and love, man!
Where: Lower Haight
When: June 10th
Known for throwing some of the best parties in San Francisco, the Opulent Temple crew is bringing their signature style of revelry to Treasure Island this June for a multi-stage celebration of electronic music. With Carl Cox lined up as the festival's headliner, we can already tell that Opulent Temple Massive will be off-the-hook.
Where: Treasure Island
When: June 16th
In its 58th year, North Beach Festival boasts one of the country’s longest running street fairs. Like other San Francisco festivals, you'll find plenty of street vendors selling food, arts and crafts, and multiple stages with live entertainment. Features of the North Beach Festival you’re not likely to find anywhere else include the blessing of animals at The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, and Italian street painting.
Where: North Beach
When: June 16th - 17th
The annual San Francisco Pride Celebration & Parade is the largest gathering of LGBT people and allies in the nation. With a two-day festival featuring food, crafts, fundraising, BDSM & fetish booths alongside a world-renowned Pride Parade on Sunday morning, the SF Pride Celebration is one big party. The celebration also features music performances from some of the Bay's up-and-coming acts and well-known LGBT activists (past years have seen Lady Gaga, Backstreet Boys and Solange Knowles).
Where: Civic Center Plaza
When: June 23rd - 24th
Up and coming house music prodigy, Avicii, is bringing his iconic Le7els Tour to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for a single night of epic house beats. After selling out headlining shows around the world, AVICII is set to show San Francisco locals how to get down and dance.
Where: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
When: June 28th
What's a Wine Riot? We'll put it this way: you'll get four precious hours to taste your way through 250 wines from around the world. Some wines may be mass produced, others may be from just a few barrels - but no matter what you're sipping on, vineyard reps will happily talk you through your tasting. Upgrade your wine wits with a 20 minute "Crash Course" or snap a shot in the photobooth, work it out on the dance floor, and carb yourself up with $5 munchies.
Where: Concourse Exhibition Center
When: Friday, August 3 (7pm - 11pm); Saturday, August 4 (1pm - 5pm; 7pm - 11pm)
Buy Tickets: Click here
Taking the cake as San Francisco's biggest music festival, Outside Lands is back in 2012 with a stellar lineup of bands, DJs and solo performers. This 3-day event isn't just about music, as you'll find plenty of gourmet food booths, art installations and an entire tent dedicated to wine.
Where: Golden Gate Park
When: August 10th - 12th
Identity Fest took the Bay Area by storm last year, bringing the biggest names in EDM to NorCal for a full-day of electronic music mayhem. With EDM legends Eric Prydz, Wolfgang Gartner and NERO on the 2012 lineup, this is one party that you don't want to miss.
Where: Shoreline Ampitheatre
When: August 17th
This day-long foodie frenzy, curated by kitchen incubators La Cocina, features over 70 food vendors comprised of local restaurants, food trucks and bars. Come early, and embrace the utter chaos and pure, gluttonous bliss that is this Mission street fair.
Where: On Folsom Street between 20th & 26th Streets
When: August 18th
If electronic music isn't really your scene, then check out Phish at the Bill Graham Auditorium for three nights of pure jam band bliss this August. As previous headliners at Outside Lands and other local festivals, we know that this band really knows how to have a good time - let loose, get wild and enjoy the tunes.
Where: Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
When: August 17th - 19th
San Francisco Bay is playing host to a variety of America's Cup sailing events during the summer. Head over to the Embarcadero to get a glimpse of the world-class racing sailboats, competing for a sport in the America's Cup Finals. In addition to watching the racing events, enjoy festivities along the pier with food, vendors and more.
Where: San Francisco Bay
When: August 21st - 26th
Looking for more San Francisco festivals, fairs and music events? Check out our San Francisco Festivals Guide.
» San Francisco Festivals Guide
» San Francisco Happy Hour Guide
» SF's Best Mixology & Craft Cocktail Bars
» SF's Booziest Liquor Stores
» Hip Hotel Guide to San Francisco
» 15 Epic Summer Parties in SF
» San Francisco's Sushi & Sake Sanctuaries
» SF's Best Rooftop Bars
» San Francisco Brewery Guide
» This Week in SF: Concerts, Festivals & Parties
» Hosted Bar Parties in SF
» Win a $1000 Bar Tab