Outer Balboa to host its first community festival on April 16 – “Playland on Balboa”

The last few years have brought lots of changes to outer Balboa Street including new restaurants, new streetscaping, and a parklet; some media have promoted the micro-neighborhood as a destination for dining and shopping.

That positive momentum will continue with the street’s first community music festival on April 16, “Playland on Balboa”.

“The purpose of this free music and art festival is to feature the vibrant music and arts community in the Richmond District as well as bustling merchant corridor of local business and activity,” said Michelle Cusano, Executive Director of the Richmond District Neighborhood Center, organizers of the festival.

“Playland on Balboa” will feature various musical acts and entertainment along Balboa Street between 34th and 37th Avenues. There will also be an Art Walk featuring local artists with displays throughout the neighborhood, and various community organizations will set-up information tables and activities for children and families.

Organizers expect about 1,000 attendees at the festival, which also happens to coincide with National Record Store Day. To celebrate, Balboa Street’s Noise Record Store and the venerable Balboa Theater will co-host screenings of two documentaries about Tower Records (1pm and 3pm), and the hyperlocal documentary “Remembering Playland” at 4:30pm.

Keep an eye on the event’s Facebook page for information on bands that will be performing and other activities that get added to the schedule. The festival runs from 2pm until 6pm on Balboa between 34th and 37th Avenues.

See you there!

Sarah B.



  1. Maybe we can make the Outer Richmond District trendy along Balboa if we refer to it the “West Mission” district.

  2. Nooooooooo, do you know how much “West Mission” rents would be? ;p

  3. This sounds like a great idea. I’d love to see the neighborhood gentrify a bit, even though I know gentrification is often thought of as something bad. I’d like some more higher end businesses, especially food, like Marla Bakery.

  4. Great to see something fun come to the neighborhood, but honestly this neighborhood needs gentrification and “high end” shops like a fish needs a bicycle. Keep the overpriced boutique shops for the Marina, Pacific Heights, and all of the other places that hate “poors”. I’d prefer a humble, affordable neighborhood with character. Thanks.

  5. Meh. As much as I love the neighborhood around Balboa Theater, until the merchants start staying open past, basically, sunset, I doubt this will be a major destination. With 99% of everything closed by 8pm, maybe 9, it’s almost impossible for a working person who gets home by 6pm to make it a dinner-and-a-movie or a leisurely meal destination.

    Not to mention, the lovely “parklets” are eating up into what was already a dire parking situation. I have it easy, a bus or two will get me there (but by then, most spots will be closing… sigh), but for true growth, those businesses can’t depend on micro-neighborhood custom only. The best and most well known eateries & shops in the city get customers from entire Bay Area, happy to drive for an hour just to visit their favorite spot. That means parking.

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