'Commons On Third Thursdays' To Bring Music, Food & Fun To Civic Center

Starting this Thursday, July 20th, and every third Thursday through October, Civic Center's public spaces will host free live music, food trucks, beer gardens and other family-friendly activities.

Commons on Third Thursdays is part of the Civic Center Commons initiative spearheaded by the mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

The OEWD partnered with community partners like the Asian Art Museum and Recreation and Parks to host the Thursday events. Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment are curating the music at two stages each month, and food and drinks will be available through Off the Grid. 

Off the Grid at Civic Center Plaza | Photo: Helene O./ Yelp

The goal of the initiative is to better link three public open spaces — UN Plaza, Fulton Street between the Asian Art Museum and the Main Library, and Civic Center Plaza — into a unified common space with regular programming.

It's just the beginning of a broader effort to reactivate the three areas through the longer-term Civic Center Public Realm Plan.

Image: SF Planning 

The Thursday night events will be staffed in part by the Civic Center Community Benefit District.

The first evening will feature funk-soul-rock grooves from Oakland’s Sal’s Greenhouse, and Sandor y Su Mecanica, a collective of musicians from Cuba that landed in the Bay Area and is educating the public about Cuban music through performances, workshops and lectures. 

An up-to-date lineup of musicians and food offerings for the four planned Thursdays is available on the Commons Thursdays website. If the effort proves successful, it may expand to include some holiday programming later this year, according to the initiative’s press release. 

While you’re at Thursday’s event, be sure to check out the ever-expanding art installation dressing the area’s trees in brightly colored yarn.

Phase 2 Tree-Wrapping Theme Winner | Image: Groundplay SF

The first phase of the project, to tie the three public spaces together visually with yarn-wrapped trees, is well underway, and as we previously reported, the city was soliciting votes on the theme for ‘destination trees’ that will be created in each space during Phase 2.

Last week, it was announced that the Phase 2 theme will be “Land, Sea and Air Creatures.” Installation of these themed trees will begin in August, according to OEWD spokesperson Gloria Chan. 

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Commons on third thursdays to bring music food fun to civic center