Aug 10

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Invite Your Friends & Neighbors To WildeWhere…wait, what’s that?

One of McLaren Park’s many hidden gems is the Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, a 700 seat greek style amphitheater that’s right in our backyard but secluded enough to give you the feeling that you’ve been transported outside of the City. The amphitheater has been around since the 70’s, but it wasn’t until the early 2000’s when our neighbors over in the Excelsior took interest in the amphitheater and successfully petitioned to rename it after local legend Jerry Garcia.


Since then, the amphitheater has seen shows put on by a wide variety of local producers, the most prolific of which has been Saturday in the Park, who have produced more than 30 free concerts at the amphitheater over the past five years. This year they’ve got a kids show that’s happening this Saturday, Acoustic Soulfest with Martin Luther, as well as shows that span latin, bluegrass, metal and more. When you add in performances from Shakespeare in the Park, Mime Troupe, and the annual Jerry Day celebration, and you’ve got quite the lineup!


This year all of these shows are being promoted together under the name Wildewhere, which is a creative push to raise the profile of the amphitheater and promote its community-led producers. “One of the things that we noticed was that not many people knew about all of the incredibly diverse performances that happen at the amphitheater” said PNA Corridor Manager Luke Spray, who’s been helping promote the series. “Even more impressive, almost all of these shows are produced by neighbors from the community. Where else in San Francisco can you find a beautiful 700 seat amphitheater where it’s possible for any of us to create the show of our dreams? It’s really quite fitting that Jerry’s legacy gets honored through this community stage that provides free shows that highlight all different kinds of music.”

Wildewhere has settled into San Francisco’s summer music scene rather nicely, as it take place right as the weather gets warmer in the late summer and early fall. We couldn’t agree more with SF Weekly’s recent description of the series, calling it “a smaller Stern Grove” and a “fitting counterpoint” to Outside Lands. Like those concerts, Wildewhere is looking to expand its offerings by adding local vendors into the mix. “When people from outside of the neighborhood see the amphitheater, it often sparks their curiosity about the rest of the park and the surrounding neighborhoods”, Spray explained, “there’s so much culture in the southeast part of the City; so many great local businesses and places to explore. We want Wildewhere to be a gateway to exploring everything else that this area has to offer, and one of the best ways that we can do that is by including local vendors.” So far they’ve secured local food truck Blue Iguana to provide food, and are working on adding several other vendors from the Portola, Excelsior and Bayview.


We at the Planet have been lovers of the park since arriviing in the Portola but admittedly our expereince at the amphitheater has been limited until recently. Last weekend at Jerry Day, we were pleasantly surprised by how great the acoustics were, as well as how nice it was to sit on the hill and soak in the music with a great view of the stage against the backdrop of Monterey Cypress trees. Wildewhere seems like an easy opportunity to invite our friends to the neighborhood for a fun day in the sun listening to some great local music. So the next time a friend asks, “Where is the Portola again?”, invite them to Wildewhere and use it as an excuse to explore everything that this area have to offer!

Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2017/08/invite-friends-neighbors-wildewhere-wait-whats/

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  1. San Francisco's Other Bluegrass Festival Is Today In McLaren - the portola planet

    […] Read our past coverage of the WildeWhere concert series […]

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