Santigold, the headlining artist of this concert, smiles at her audience during one of her first sets of the afternoon at Stern Grove on July 2, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress)
Santigold, the headlining artist of this concert, smiles at her audience during one of her first sets of the afternoon at Stern Grove on July 2, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress)
Tam V

Santigold headlines the third weekend of Stern Grove Festival

Locals and visitors alike were collectively impressed by the electrifying performances and vibrant community spirit at the Stern Grove Festival.

The 86th year of the Stern Grove Music Festival continued on Sunday with performances from two artists featuring different varieties.

R&B artist Ogi opened for the singer-songwriter Santigold, whose music fuses punk, reggae, grime and indie rock with electro.

According to its website, Stern Grove aims to provide a platform for various music genres.

“When first coming here, I did not know what to expect. I wasn’t sure what I was getting into,” said Erin Douglas, a tourist who traveled from Maryland to the festival to visit friends. “The energy is great, the diversity is amazing, and I just really like how space was made. You are kinda like sitting in the trees and since it goes all the way into the forest, it’s just so beautiful to look at. People sitting in the trees and on the hill, it’s really cool.”

People from different parts of the United States reserve tickets and travel to San Francisco to watch these performers.

“Ogi was great, I wasn’t familiar with her before, but after seeing her perform, I will definitely have to add to the playlist,” said Douglas.

Aside from travelers, many other guests have past experiences attending music events during the Stern Grove Festival but were delighted with the new variety.

A person dances on an elevated ground amongst their fellow concert-goers while waiting for the show to start at Stern Grove on July 2, 2023. (Tam Vu / Golden Gate Xpress) (Tam Vu)

“I would like to say it is not my first time coming to Stern Grove. I have been here a handful of years, but this year I have never been to a show like this before, it’s a very different look and feel of people and I like it,” said resident Nicole Patrice De Member. “I like how unique each year is, I like seeing who will be playing here.”

The festival creates a sense of community among attendees.

“I have never been here before, and I’m so happy to be here,” said Oakland resident Candace Locklear. “Stern Grove is so fun you get to people watch, you get to do some group stretching, like come on! Go off San Francisco, hippie AF. I really like the community part about it.”

Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove Park is kept as a dedicated park where the general public can enjoy free performances. The mission of this festival is to gift the magic in performances in nature while keeping the community engaged with one another. With Stern Grove being 0.8 miles away from the San Francisco State campus it is an opportunity to explore outside of campus barriers.

“Going to SF State, I didn’t have the time to go to Stern Grove, but now I’m friends with the programming director, which made it easier to come,” said SF State alumnus Candance Sood. “This is actually my first time coming to Stern Grove. I mean any type of outdoor music venue is just superior to any indoor arena, regardless of size”

This festival is accessible to anyone who wants to sign up to go. This is a great opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the local music scene and create lasting memories.

“I feel like they always set a good tone every year of just happiness, also feeling safe and comfortable,” said Patrice De Member. “I stopped going to concerts –– they just felt unnecessarily overwhelming. But this is one of the few places that I am excited to come to, and I just think they are very thoughtful on how they run it.”

The Stern Grove Festival continues with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band w/ Andrew St. James on July 9 until August 20, ending with The Flaming Lips with Alan Palomo. Tickets can be reserved on Their website

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About the Contributors
Sydni Taylor
Sydni Taylor, Staff Reporter
Sydni Taylor (She/Her) is a staff reporter for Golden Gate Xpress in her senior year. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in Journalism with a minor in Cinema (emphasis in Screenwriting). Before transferring to Sf State, she attended to Santa Monica College for two years. Taylor has experience in the entertainment industry as a production assistant and assistant set designer. She has previously written for PBS Soundfield series. She strives to be a producer, screenplay writer and digital journalist. In Taylor’s free time she loves reading, spending time with friends, traveling, pottery, knitting and hiking.
Tam Vu
Tam Vu, Photo Editor
Tam Vu (she/her) is a Vietnamese-American photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine. She is a fourth-year photojournalism major with a minor in Asian American studies. She originally entered SF State as a print and online journalism major, but switched to photojournalism in her second year after finding her passion for visual storytelling. Her special interests include Asian American identity and music journalism. In the near future, she hopes to make a video documentary on her parents' immigration story to highlight the generational impact that the Vietnam War has on many families. Outside of school, she loves to attend live music shows, find new music, and crochet.

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