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What Inspires Us This Month: Theatre, Concerts, Opera, and More in San Francisco

Actor and singer Darren Criss performs with San Francisco Symphony. Courtesy of artist

There’s something in the air in San Francisco that just makes you feel inspired. Maybe it’s the ocean breeze that stirs creativity, or the stunning views of Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge that inspire you to dream big. From world-renowned artists and musicians, to startup entrepreneurs and tech innovators, it’s no mystery as to why San Francisco is one of the most creative cities in America. 

The city of San Francisco has always been a hotspot for artists and innovators, and still attracts creatives from all over the world. With a vibrant arts and cultural scene, San Francisco offers a wide range of performing arts, festivals, museums, galleries, and more. From the street art to the classical symphony, from the funky, fast-paced city to the tranquil, foggy bay, San Francisco has its own style, charm, and unique personality.

Artists from around the world come to showcase their arts exhibitions. San Francisco is home to many art galleries displaying the very best art from all over the world. Come visit one of these galleries today and enjoy the ambiance of the art world.

December is a month of celebration and reflection. During this festive time San Francisco is a beautiful place with so much going on! Check out our calendar of events in San Francisco and surrounding areas to catch the best of the last month of 2021.

December 10-24, 2021

The Magic of Ballet

December 10-30, 2021

The Nutcracker with San Francisco Ballet at War Memorial Opera House

Experience the elegance of ballet at War Memorial Opera House in the heart of San Francisco. Marvel at the grandeur of the ornate theatre, and be swept away by classical and modern ballet and the music of some of the world’s greatest composers. This season, War Memorial Opera House is proud to present an exciting lineup of performances, including The Nutcracker with San Francisco Ballet. 

War Memorial Opera House is one of the oldest opera houses in the United States. The venue is famous for its acoustics, which are considered to be among the finest in the world. It has welcomed many of the world’s best artists. 

Classical Music: Passionate and Deeply Emotional

The city’s classical music scene is alive with talented performers who put their heart and soul into every note. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just discovering classical music for the first time, these acts will sweep you away with their powerful performances.

San Francisco Symphony is one of the most renowned symphony orchestras on the planet. With a repertoire that spans centuries, San Francisco Symphony never fails to impress. If you’re looking for a memorable experience, be sure to check out one of classical music performances.

December 2-4, 2021

Simone Young: Tchaikovsky 5 at Davies Symphony Hall

December 5, 2021

Deck the Hall at Davies Symphony Hall

December 8, 2021

Holiday Soul at Davies Symphony Hall
San Francisco Symphony with Yolanda Adams
at Davies Symphony Hall

December 10-11, 2021

Handel’s Messiah at Davies Symphony Hall

December 12, 2021

SF Symphony Youth Orchestra: Peter and The Wolf at Davies Symphony Hall

SF Symphony Youth Orchestra performing
SF Symphony Youth Orchestra
December 21, 2021

The Nutcracker & The Mouse King at Davies Symphony Hall

Classical music has the ability to evoke powerful feelings. Whether you’re experiencing a stirring symphony orchestra or listening to a passionate soloist, the music can take you on an emotional journey.

Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco is a world-class concert hall, providing an intimate and elegant setting for performances of classical music. The hall is home to San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. The venue has 2,743 seats.

Live Music Concerts

In San Francisco, you can hear everything from traditional orchestral pieces to contemporary works that experiment with new sounds and styles. Concerts in San Francisco are a real treat, since many of the world’s best orchestras and soloists perform here.

Choose your favorite band from a list of artists who perform in December.

December 15, 2021

Real Estate – Â Days’ Tenth Anniversary Show at August Hall
Wet Leg at Rickshaw Stop

December 16, 2021

Black Pumas at the The Masonic
CHVRCHES at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Louis Cole Big Band at The Independent
Moontower: What Day Is It? Live One Night Only In San Francisco at Brick & Mortar Music Hall
Noah Kahan: I Was / I Am Tour
at The Fillmore
The Klezmatics at SFJAZZ Center
White Reaper, Taipei Houston at August Hall

December 17, 2021

G Herbo at August Hall
Kelly Finnigan & the Atonements at The Independent
The Driver Era at The Regency Ballroom
The Wedding Band at The Fillmore

December 18, 2021

Soundbox: Embarkation at Davies Symphony Hall
…And Tributes For All ! …..A Celebration of Metallica with Damage Inc. + Motor Breath + Sandman at Bimbo’s 365 Club
Allman Family Revival at The Fillmore
Benny Sings at The Independent
Boombox Cartel at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Thievery Corporation: The Outernational Tour at The Masonic

December 19, 2021

Giveon at The Regency Ballroom
Scarypoolparty at The Independent

December 20, 2021

Jeff Rosenstock at Great American Music Hall

December 28, 2021

Black Label Society at The Regency Ballroom
The Go-Go’s at The Masonic

December 30, 2021

DJ Boring, Passionfruit, MPHD at August Hall

December 31, 2021

Kaskade at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
New Year’s Eve with Tainted Love! at Bimbo’s 365 Club
New Year’s Eve with Darren Criss at Davies Symphony Hall
Tycho DJ Set at The Independent
Whethan at August Hall

When the sun dips, the nightlife begins. Here are just a few of the amazing live music venues in San Francisco.

August Hall is located in the heart of the city, right next to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Hosting over 100 concerts per year, this venue is the perfect location for live performances. The space is a lively social hub with a relaxed ambience, where people from all walks of life come together. 

The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium is a multi-purpose venue in San Francisco. The venue has a seating capacity of 8,500 and is home to a variety of events including concerts, lectures, and other public events. 

Brick & Mortar Music Hall is a historic music venue and event space on Mission Street. It offers a wide variety of shows, from indie and alternative to pop and rock.

Great American Music Hall is a historic concert venue that has been in operation since 1907. It features a beautiful interior and exterior, and has a variety of events for all types of people. With a capacity of about 470 people, this venue is a great place to see a show, whether you are a seasoned concert goer or a newbie. 

SFJAZZ Center is a performance hall and music education facility in the Hayes Valley neighborhood in San Francisco. The Center is home to SFJAZZ Collective, a group of musicians who compose and perform jazz in various formations. 

SFJAZZ Center. Photo by Henrik Kam

The Fillmore is a world-class concert venue and event space in San Francisco. The live music venue has been a Bay Area hot spot for more than half a century, welcoming the greatest of the greats: John Lennon, The Rolling Stones, and Miles Davis. The Fillmore is an iconic symbol of 1960s rock music, with its mural-covered walls, bright lights, and distinctive marquee. 

The Masonic in San Francisco is a venue that was built in 1958. Located in Nob Hill, the venue is popular for weddings, receptions, and other celebrations. The Masonic is a testament to the craftsmanship and richness of architectural and cultural design in San Francisco.

The Regency Ballroom is the premier historical event space in San Francisco. Built in 1909 as a masonic lodge, this two-story ballroom was once the site of many debutante balls, weddings, and society parties. Today, the venue hosts many of the area’s most renowned parties and concerts.

Rickshaw Stop is the go-to spot for year-round good times. With a huge bar, fantastic food, and plenty of games, there’s something for everyone. And the music is always on point with DJs dropping the hottest tracks. From dancing to sipping to mingling, Rickshaw Stop has everything you need to turn your night into an unforgettable one. 

The Sydney Goldstein Theater is a performing arts center. Located at 275 Hayes Street in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, it is one of the most highly respected and renowned theaters in all of San Francisco. This theater has been around for many years and has provided a place for both up-and-coming and experienced artists to perform. The Sydney Goldstein Theater is also home to a variety of different performances, including theater, dance, and music.

An Exciting World of Contemporary Circus

If you want to add some excitement to your night, come and see the contemporary circus at Club Fugazi. A form of performance art, it combines gymnastics, acrobatics, and dance. Have a night out like never before.

December 1-30, 2021

Dear San Francisco: A High-Flying Love Story at Club Fugazi
With a modern and chic décor, Club Fugazi is a premier destination for those looking for a new and exciting atmosphere. Club Fugazi is a popular nightclub in San Francisco. 

The Film with Live Orchestra Series 
The Film with Live Orchestra series at San Francisco Symphony presents classic and contemporary films with live orchestral accompaniment. This unique cinematic experience offers movie lovers the opportunity to see their favorite films on the big screen with a full orchestra providing the music. 

December 14-15, 2021

Love Actually – Film with Live Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall

December 16-18, 2021

Home Alone – Film with Live Orchestra at Davies Symphony Hall

Jazz and Blues in San Francisco

The city has a rich history of both genres, and some of the world’s best musicians have called it home. The city’s jazz scene is thriving, and you can find everything from traditional jazz clubs to experimental improv venues. Some of the most popular spots include the legendary SFJAZZ Center and The Independent. Learn about upcoming concerts as well as venues and clubs where you can enjoy jazz and blues music in San Francisco in December 2021.

December 17-18, 2021

Adam Shulman at SFJAZZ Center

December 18, 2021

Family Matinee with Tiffany Austin at SFJAZZ Center
Kamasi Washington, DJ Dials at August Hall

December 19, 2021

Marcus Shelby Orchestra at SFJAZZ Center
SFJAZZ High School All-stars Winter Concert at SFJAZZ Center

December 22, 2021

A Cool Yule Christmas – Holiday Favorites of Frank & Ella at Davies Symphony Hall

December 23, 2021

Holiday Brass at Davies Symphony Hall

December 31, 2021

New Year’s Eve Funk Party with Maceo Parker at SFJAZZ Center

The Independent is a well-known San Francisco nightclub that features live jazz and blues music. It’s a great place to catch some of the best performers in the business. The club has a casual atmosphere and a friendly staff. Whether you are a seasoned Jazz or Blues aficionado, or just getting started, you will get a perfect show at The Independent. 

The Art of Bansky will be at Palace of Fine Arts this December.

San Francisco is a Haven for Art Lovers

Looking for a cultural experience? Art galleries abound in this city, displaying everything from traditional paintings and sculptures to cutting-edge multimedia installations. You can explore the work of local artists, or catch a show by an internationally renowned figure. Whatever your interests, there’s sure to be an art gallery to enjoy.

The city’s history and geography are a big part of what makes its arts scene so special. San Francisco has a lot to offer, including world-class institutions such as Palace of Fine Arts, the Asian Art Museum,the Museum of Modern Art, or Museum of the African Diaspora. The city is filled with an abundance of art and culture for all ages. Many of the galleries are clustered in the SoMa and North Beach neighborhoods, but they can be found all over the city. Discover what’s up at the art galleries in San Francisco in December and enjoy a diverse and ever-changing array of artworks.. 

December 1-19, 2021

The Art of Banksy—San Francisco at Palace of Fine Arts
MoAD Emerging Artists presents Sydney Cain at Museum of the African Diaspora

The Palace of Fine Arts was built in 1915 for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition and was made to showcase art from around the world. Today, the site is a National Historic Landmark and a San Francisco City Landmark, and features a sculpture garden that is free and open to the public. It was home to the Exploratorium, a museum dedicated to science and art, and is a leading tourist attraction in the city.

The Museum of the African Diaspora is an art museum dedicated to African art, culture, and history. It was founded in 2005 in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, California. The museum is committed to telling the many stories of the African diaspora through exhibitions and public programs that celebrate the full range of the African diaspora. 

Holiday Season 2021 

If you’re looking for a show that will get you into the holiday spirit, San Francisco is the place to be. This December, the city is hosting a variety of events that are sure to get you in the mood for a celebration. 

December 7, 2021

TS Madison After Dark Live at Bimbo’s 365 Club

December 17, 2021

Holiday Gaiety at Davies Symphony Hall

December 20, 2021

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live at Warfield

You can expect to see a wide variety of performances, from traditional Christmas carols to modern renditions of holiday classics. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly event or a night out on the town, San Francisco has something for everyone. Venues in the city are expected to offer top-notch production values and to treat both the artists and the audiences with the utmost respect.

Bimbo’s 365 Club is a historic club in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. The club is known for its live music, drag shows, and unique art. 

Warfield is an intimate venue for live entertainment located in the heart of the Fillmore district in San Francisco. Originally opened in 1922, the 2,300-seat venue has continued to host concerts, plays, and other events. 

a group of people dressed in 19th century clothing stand on a dark stage holding up lanterns
Cast of “A Christmas Carol” at BroadwaySF. Courtesy of BroadwaySF

San Francisco Theatre

From Broadway shows to small, independent productions, there is always something new to see on stage. 

December 1-26, 2021

A Christmas Carol at Golden Gate Theatre 

December 3-12, 2021

Rent at Orpheum Theatre San Francisco

Located nearby San Francisco’s vibrant Union Square, Golden Gate Theatre is a historic venue that has hosted a wide variety of shows and events. From the moment visitors walk through its doors, they can see the theater’s historic charm. Golden Gate Theatre opened in 1922 and has been a leading center for arts and entertainment in San Francisco for over 90 years. 

Orpheum Theatre San Francisco is one of the best live theater venues in the Bay Area. Built in 1926, Orpheum Theatre has served as a venue for jazz performances, rock concerts, opera, ballet, stand-up comedy, and more. The building’s history is fascinating, from being a site for vaudeville performances and a cinema in the 1930s to a concert hall in the 1970s, and a movie theatre in the 1980s. 

Have a Blast With Family and Friends

Explore San Francisco in a whole new way! Visit top attractions, and experience great shows! What better way to explore San Francisco than during this holiday season? All of the streets are lit up, the city is dressed up, and the atmosphere is just perfect for some holiday cheer. If you’re looking for things to do in San Francisco in December, then Encore Spotlight has plenty of options to explore. Get out of the house and explore the city! From Golden Gate Bridge to cable cars, there are thousands of things to do in San Francisco. There’s always something new to explore, always something to try, always something to see.