Summer Fest is San Jose’s major summer event, so why not catch as much of it as possible? With affordable group rates still available from multiple hotels within walking distance from our Main Stage, turning the festival into a three-day getaway is easier than you might think. The Hyatt Place and Hilton, only a few blocks from our Main Stage, offer plenty of modern amenities. The Fairmont and Sainte Claire are both located directly across the street from Plaza de Cesar Chavez, the festival’s epicenter. The Hotel De Anza is within two bloocks of our Metro Market and Swing Stages, our late-night Club Crawl and JC Smith’s Blues Club.
If you’re ready to start your weekend early, head to San Pedro Square on Friday, August 10 from 10am-2pm to pick up some fruits and vegetables at the downtown farmer’s market, presented by Kaiser Permanente. Our Main Stage festivities are set to kick off later that day at 5pm, but if want to take in some culture earlier in the afternoon or want a low-key detour over the weekend, try the San Jose Museum of Art, located across the street from the Main Stage. One of the region’s great contemporary art spaces, SJMA will be open 11am-5pm all three days of Summer Fest.
Did you know that a festival wristband includes free admission to the Tech Museum of Innovation? This is a great perk if you’re planning to bring the whole family to Summer Fest! The Tech will feature a musical scavenger hunt of six exhibits that allow participants to explore different nuances of sound. Additionally, twenty curated projects from this year’s Bay Area Maker Faire will be on display.
Morris Day & The Time are set to close the Main Stage 8:30pm Friday, but if you’re ready to keep the music going, head to our Synaptics CEO Jam, held 9pm-midnight on the Cisco Bella Mia stage. Comprised of tech CEOs and led by Synopsys honcho Aart de Geus, this free-form set will showcase just how musically inclined Silicon Valley’s technorati can be.
The majority of our Saturday and Sunday programming starts around noon, but you can still catch a few acts a bit earlier if you’re ready to start your Summer Fest day as soon as possible. The Harold Fethe Quartet will be playing 10am Saturday on the Metro Market Stage. Much like the CEO Jam, Fethe is further proof that musical chops run deep in the tech industry. Before returning to music in the mid 90’s with swing-revival band Indigo Swing, he was a Biopharma executive. You can also start Saturday morning with a Latin Jazz Brunch, held poolside at the Fairmont Hotel from 10am-1pm. Mexican food will be catered and tickets will be available at the door for $25.
Looking to take in some local history while at Summer Fest? It may be nearer than you think. The Luis Maria Peralta Adobe, built in 1797, is located on the back patio of the San Pedro Square Market, the site of our Metro Market Sage. The adobe is the only remaining structure from El Pueblo San Jose de Guadalupe, the structure was built in 1797. Directly across St. John street is the Carmel and Thomas Fallon House, built in 1855.
Fast-forward to our architectural present by visiting City Hall, located on Santa Clara Street at 4th. During the festival, the official Summer Fest flag will fly high aboe the city’s architectural centerpiece, designed by International architectural superstar Richard Meier. You may also want to visit Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, one block from the Main Stage. It will also be the site for our two Jazz Masses.
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down – sample the region’s best local music and cuisine during our Club Crawl. With 12 different locations to choose from on Friday and Saturday night and sets that start as early as 6pm, you’re sure to find the right location to suit your ear and palate.
Saturday night, head over to the Swing Stage at 10pm and keep those feet moving as South Bay Big Band Jazz keep time at the Theatre on San Pedro Square. Let this 18-piece ensemble transport you back in time with their wide-ranging catalog of tunes. After Hours at the Pagoda offers a more modern alternative, with J Boogie’s Dubtronic Science set to hit the stage at 11pm. This event is set to run until 1:30am and is free with a festival wristband.
Looking for a trail to run Sunday morning before another day full of music and refreshments? Try the Guadalupe River trail, an 11-mile path that winds part of its way through downtown San Jose. Stroll down Woz Way to Discovery Meadow, full of open space and the world’s largest Monopoly board! The meadow is also steps away from the Children’s Discovery Museum. You can also start your Sunday with fantastic catered offerings at our Gospel Brunch, held in the Club Regent at the Fairmont Hotel 10am-1pm.
With so much happening – over 90 acts performing on 12 stages over a 3 days – why not stay downtown to make sure you miss none of the action? Visit our hotel deals page to see just how affordable a “staycation” can be!
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