The (Very Belated) Weekend Catch-Up: Festivals and Fairs Show SF Is, Indeed, Alive and Doing Just Fine

This past Saturday and Sunday saw San Francisco vibrate with humanity as music festivals and queer art fairs rang across the city — which is still very much doing fine.

San Francisco is inherently provocative; its subcultures are both a defiance of shackled norms and a celebration of misfits. SF has never been a media darling, per se; it’s always battled the perceived status quo.

And lately, the seven-by-seven has been subject to lambasting — one online blow after social media clash. Mind you: These are all done by (mostly faceless) X accounts (handled by people who don’t actually live in San Francisco) and focus on issues that aren’t unique to SF. It’s tiring. It’s exhausting. But we know better.

This past weekend was proof that San Francisco is thriving, remaining true to its left-of-centrism and infectious vitality.

Saturday saw the continuation of the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival, SF’s foremost free outdoor concert series that’s known for its stunningly diverse range of acts and al-fresco vibes; you were lucky to find any open patch of grass between Friday and Sunday at Golden Gate Park as tens of thousands concertgoers enjoyed over 70 acts.

Saturday, too, witnessed the ‘Nellysance’ descend on Pier 80 as SF’s fledgling EDM festival, the Portola Music Festival, entered its first concert days; there was no sophomore slump to report and the general layout/new VIP niceties made it vastly superior to last year’s iteration — through adequate cell service and WiFi reception remain an albatross. 

Sunday was yet another queer-focused weekend as the 49th-annual Castro Street Fair attracted a familiar collection of vendors, and faces, and welcomed frivolity; if Folsom Street Fair had a more family-friendly iteration, the Castro Street Fair would undoubtedly fit into that descriptor.

San Francisco is alive and well, y’all. Now… let’s focus on housing the most vulnerable in our communities and creating a larger network of protected bike lanes.

Feature image: Courtesy of Alive Coverage

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