SF to approve outdoor music, with conditions like no live singing

San Francisco, The Masonic, COVID-19, Coronavirus

California Street in San Francisco is not as packed on March 17, 2020, the first day of a shelter-in-place to combat coronavirus.

San Francisco will soon allow physically distanced outdoor concerts—and other events—through a permitting process, Mayor London Breed announced on Friday.

The “Just Add Music” permits will be issued by the San Francisco Entertainment Commission and will allow organizations and businesses to attract people so long as COVID-19 safety regulations are followed.

The permits have a no-cost application process.

Music performances will be allowed, but with a catch. Live singing is not allowed. Neither is shouting or playing wind instruments; woodwinds or brass. Both increase the risk of transmitting COVID-19.



“This program will provide some much-needed relief for businesses that are looking for ways to safely offer outdoor entertainment and music and survive the economic challenges of COVID-19,” Breed said in a written statement. “San Francisco is a world-class entertainment city and we are fortunate to have a diverse entertainment and nightlife culture—we can’t let COVID take that away from us.”

Before the pandemic, anyone who wanted to provide outdoor entertainment had to apply for $100 one-day permits or a multi-month permit that included a lengthy permitting process.

“Arts and entertainment will be the main driver of San Francisco’s economic and cultural recovery, not just a part of it,” Entertainment Commission President Ben Bleiman said in the same news release.

The permits are available to businesses that have previously been approved for the city’s shared public spaces program, as well as outdoor gyms, businesses in parking lots, on rooftops and patios; drive-ins and farmers markets.

To apply, visit the permitting website or call 628-652-6030 with additional questions.

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