Located at the center of the ‘museum district’ of Golden Gate Park, the Music Concourse was established to accommodate the activities of the 1894 Mid-Winter Fair. In 1900, the Music Stand (also known as Spreckels Temple of Music) was completed at the west end of the concourse. It has since become a popular place to hold music performances on Sundays, including the Golden Gate Park Band. In and around the Concourse, a scattering of historic park statues are found.
Things to Do
The Music Concourse is an open-air plaza that is mainly set aside for the public to gather and enjoy music performances. One of the most visited parts of the Concourse is the Spreckels Temple of Music (or ‘Bandshell’), which has undergone repeated renovations after suffering earthquake damage. In the past, Luciano Pavarotti and the Grateful Dead have entertained at the Bandshell. Keep an eye out for calendar events for the Bandshell, which often includes a handful of annual celebrations.
Bring a camera while visiting the Music Concourse because there are plenty of features that help create a delightful snapshot. For example, the three fountains that line the center of the tree-dotted plaza create a lovely backdrop. Statues represent a pleasant collection of historical figures, including Giuseppe Verdi, Ludwig von Beethoven, Ulysses S. Grant, and an impressive Roman gladiator.
The Pool of Enchantment is located on the east side of the entryway close to deYoung Museum. It is here that a duo of bronze statues fascinate young visitors. A young boy plays a reed flute, while two native California mountain lions lounge at the center of the Pool. Although the ferns and reeds have been replanted over the years, the original boulders and turtle-sunning rocks have remained unchanged.
An ongoing delight that takes place at the Music Concourse is the free Golden Gate Park Band performances that occur on Sundays. Starting at 1 p.m. (unless noted otherwise), the GGP Band’s season is observed from April to October. Oftentimes, the band delivers the sounds of themed concerts that have included a celebration of patriotic tunes, circus music, jazz hits, specific composers, and cultural tributes for Polish, French, Ukrainian, Spanish, Irish-American, Armenian, and Italian-American observances. A schedule of concerts can be found at www.goldengateparkband.org.
A visit to the Music Concourse brings you closer to neighboring Golden Gate Park attractions, such as deYoung Museum and California Academy of Sciences. It is located on Music Concourse Drive and Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive. Fee-based parking is available at the Music Concourse Garage, as well as limited four-hour street parking situated on John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Drives.