Five years ago, some key players from Sunset Piano slapped twelve pianos in Golden Gate Park for twelve days, so anyone from a classically trained musician to a random tourist could come along and back out a tune. Flower Piano is now an annual event that draws 60,000 people a year to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and the 2019 celebration kicks off Thursday, July 11, and stays in tune until July 22.
And remember, the S.F Botanical Garden is free to San Francisco residents, though you’ll need a photo ID or utility bill to verify that. Admission for non-resident adults is $9, and realize there are a few exclusive ticketed events on the weekends.
While the pianos will be out at 9 a.m. Thursday morning, the true kickoff party is the Sing-along with Community Music Center Thursday afternoon from 4-6 p.m. The full 2019 Flower Piano calendar contains many other yoga sessions, scavenger hunts, and puppet shows infused with lie piano delights.
A number of big weekend evening events will require tickets this year, but those will also have booze and food tricks in tow. Flower Piano at Sunset (Friday, July 12, $40, kids free) will feature Kitten on the Keys, Noe Venable, and more. Next weekend’s Flower Piano at Night series (Thursday, July 18 – Saturday July 20, $55) welcomes headliners like Jill Tracy and Chuchito Valdes.
The dozens of other Flower Piano performers and theme shows far too numerous to list here, but there’s a free Flower Piano app so you can “track sessions, interact with attendees, view photos, and more” for the festival that’s becoming an instrumental part of the San Francisco summer.
Flower Piano, Thursday, July 11 – Monday, July 22, at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park, 1199 Ninth Avenue. Free for S.F. residents, $9 for everyone else, sfbg.org