1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Taking It To The Streets: 2012 Adams Avenue Street Fair, Sept. 29-30

Southern California's Largest Free Street Fair Brings Music to the Streets


The Adams Avenue Street Fair in Normal Heights has been quietly chugging along under the radar to those unfamiliar for over 30 years. But it also clearly takes on the mantle of San Diego's leading purveyor of a diverse music and arts festival in a street fair setting. The 2012 edition of the Adams Avenue Street Fair takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29-30.

In fact, the Adams Avenue Street Fair is San Diego's unofficial Street Scene, trademarks be damned. Let's see, we have 90 artists performing over eight blocks for over 100,000 people for two days, with music ranging from folk to Cajun to country to rock to blues, in a true "street scene" in the funkiest of urban neighborhoods, Normal Heights. And best of all, it's FREE. In fact, organizers say it is Southern California's largest free street festival.

The 2012 Adams Avenue Street Fair will feature more than 90 musical acts performing on seven stages on Adams Avenue. This year's Adams Avenue Street Fair headliners include 1960's psychedelic rockers Strawberry Alarm Clock, which will include former Oingo Boingo guitarist Steve Bartek, the reunion of noted San Diego rockabilly icons The Paladins, the return of music provocateurs Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper, blues guitarist Coco Montoya, the 13-piece Puerto Rican-based ensemble Plena Libre, singer/songwriter Jack Tempchin, indie band Cuckoo Chaos, percussionist Kofi Baker's Cream Experience with special guests, country singer/songwriter Chuck Cannon, bluesman Junior Watson, and East L.A. R&B favorites Tierra.

In addition to the exciting musical line-up, there will be four beer gardens, a beer tasting area, giant carnival rides, and more than 300 food, arts and craft vendors selling their specialties throughout the street fair venue. The street fair brings together all of the urban neighborhoods in San Diego that Adams Avenue bisects: University Heights, Normal Heights and Kensington.

So what if you might not have even heard of any of the artists? The Adams Avenue Street Fair isn't about big marquee names or flavors of the month. It's all about music for music lovers of all stripes. And you'll be impressed what great music these "unknown" artists deliver.

Past Adams Avenue Street Fair performers - many of whom are Grammy Award winners and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees - include; Big Jay McNeely, No Doubt, Lila Downs, Pops Staples, Andy Summers, Wanda Jackson, Nortec Collective, Koko Taylor, Dave Alvin, Pinetop Perkins, Johnny Johnson, Rosie Flores, Los Fabulocos with Kid Ramos, The Beat Farmers, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Charles McPherson, Transfer, and Mike Watt.

In addition to the electric and eclectic music, there will be three beer gardens, giant carnival rides, children’s activities, and more than 300 food, arts and craft vendors selling their specialties throughout the Street Fair venue.

The 2012 Adams Avenue Street Fair will be held Saturday, September 29, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, September 30, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., along Adams Avenue from 32nd Street on the west to 35th Street on the east and one block south on Mansfield Street in the Normal Heights community of San Diego. The Street Fair is free and open to all-ages.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.