Talking With Ben Fong-Torres About The SF City Hall Centennial Celebration

San Francisco’s City Hall is turning 100!

Obviously there’s going to be a massive party… and two stages of music, tracing the history of Bay Area bands, all emceed by Ben Fong-Torres!

I talked to Ben about the party itself (it’s free!) and about his City Hall memories.

Such a cool celebration, and even cooler to have a legend like Ben overseeing it all  ❤ Jayn


Here’s the full press release:

* * * FREE * * *


Full Entertainment Lineup and Details Announced for

SF City Hall Centennial Celebration, June 19


City Hall’s 100th Birthday Party to feature Two Stages with Live Music, Silent Disco, Carnival Atmosphere, Evening Cabaret, City Hall Light Show, Adventure and Enjoyment for All in Civic Center Plaza



SAN FRANCISCO – Two stages of live music honoring San Francisco’s rich musical tradition, a silent disco, daytime carnival atmosphere, and an extraordinary light show on the façade of City Hall are among the highlights of the San Francisco City Hall Centennial Celebration on Friday, June 19, from 6 to 11 pm in Civic Center Plaza.


A free community event of significant proportions, the Centennial Celebration promises delights for guests of all ages and persuasions. Co-chaired by Sabrina & Mick Hellman, the Hellman Family and the San Francisco Giants, this evening will showcase an amazing amount of musical talent on two stages in Civic Center Plaza. The evening will be a non-stop celebration featuring the diverse sounds our beautiful city has offered for the last 100 years – from the swingin’ tunes of Terrific Street and the jazz and blues of the Fillmore District to the psychedelic sounds of the ‘60s and the thriving Bay Area punk scene, to the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera and beyond.


Longtime San Francisco troubadour and musical director Chuck Prophet shines a spotlight on San Francisco’s storied musical and cultural history through its songs, featuring emcee Ben Fong-Torres and a diverse lineup of acclaimed musicians who have continued to work and thrive in the San Francisco Bay Area music scene for decades, including: Steve Barton (Translator), Jello Biafra, Tim Bluhm (The Mother Hips), Andy Cabic (Vetiver), Novena Carmel (daughter of Sly Stone), Karina Denike (Dance Hall Crashers), Penelope Houston (The Avengers), Debora Iyall (Romeo Void), Bill Kirchen, Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon), Roy Loney (Flamin’ Groovies), Jill Olson (Red Meat), Prairie Prince (The Tubes), Jorge Santana (original member and leader of Malo), Kelley Stoltz, Sal Valentino (Beau Brummels), and many more.


“Queen of Classic Jazz and Blues” Lavay Smith will host a jazz & blues stage featuring veteran players Jules Broussard, Denise Perrier, Paula West, Big Bones and Freddie Hughes. Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers are one of the top bands performing classic jazz & blues today, and the perfect hosts for the second stage this evening. As the most booked act in the history of the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Lavay and her group have presented many historical programs. Their set this evening reflects the musical history of San Francisco in the early and mid-20th century, and revelers can expect to hear such tunes as “San Francisco, Open Your Golden Gate,” “When The Saints Go Marching In” and “Boogie Chillun.”


The musical program pays homage to some of San Francisco’s most beloved songs over the decades, set to a full band, choir, classical string octet and horns. The set list includes:  “Tom Dooley” − “Do You Wanna Dance” − “White Rabbit” − “Morning Dew” − “Codine” − “Piece of My Heart” − “Hot Rod Lincoln” − “San Francisco Bay Blues” − “Summertime Blues” − “Suavecito” −  “White Punks on Dope” − “Lights” − “Never Say Never” − “Slow Death” − “Shake Some Action” − “White Punks On Dope” − “Lights” −  “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” − “California Uber Allies” − “Let’s Lynch The Landlord” − “Never Say Never” − “Everywhere That I’m Not” − “Take The Skinheads Bowling” − “Richard Ramirez Died Of Natural Causes” − “Don’t Stop Believin’” − “Willie Mays Is Up At Bat” − “Everyday People.”


San Francisco City Hall 100th Anniversary Celebration will also feature a remarkable lineup of S.F. residents representing the City’s artistic communities playing on a two-channel silent disco HUSHcast, as well as main stage sets. DJs for the evening include DJ Delachaux (Trapeze), DJ Carnita (Hard French), DJ Apollo (Triple Threat DJs), Official Ministrations, DJ Dials (Sound Pieces), Jimmy Love (NonStop Bhangra), DJ Icon (Opulent Temple), Zach Moore (Space Cowboys/Armory Podcast), Frisko Eddy (Pura SF), Page Hodel (MondayHeartsforMadelyn), and Motion Potion (SF Funk / HUSH).


In association with production and talent collaborators Carly Caryn (Eye For Style) and Jessica Lotz (Haus Serpens), Joegh Bullock of anonEvents will bring City Hall Plaza to life with a roaming caravan of circus performers and musical acts, including side show entertainers, contortionists, sword swallowers, jugglers, samba and belly dancers, sleight-of-hand magicians, fantasy character stilters, flamboyant marching bands, break dancers, hoopers, speed painters, and much more. After dark, an evening cabaret will heat up the night, featuring LED light dancers, an all-star burlesque revue, eclectic acrobats, clown hijinx, electro-swing dancing and merriment, blended with exotic stage performances.

AnonEvents will also visually transform the plaza with giant inflatable lanterns, animated origami flowers, a glowing light sculpture garden, and interactive art installations. There will be exciting games for all ages as well as a children’s wonderland complete with a furry forest, rainbow pyramid, fairy dome, fantasy face painting, and other enchanting delights for young and seasoned urbanites alike.



For more information, please visit

Hashtag: #SFCityHall100


More from Jayn

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