The Fillmore

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The Fillmore The Fillmore emerged in the 1960s as a central component to the counterculture movement, hosting some of the biggest bands of the era and arguably fostering the emergence of psychedelic rock. San Francisco United States 37.7845880313011 -122.433099746704
4.69 15
The Fillmore - Concert Venue | Live Music Venue in San Francisco.
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Party Earth Review The Fillmore emerged in the 1960s as a central component to the counterculture movement, hosting some of the biggest bands of the era and arguably fostering the emergence of psychedelic rock. More than just a relic... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Most shows at 8pm, though days and hours vary

    Concert doors typically open one hour prior to show time

    Box office open 10am–4pm on Su and thirty minutes before doors all other days

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth The Fillmore Review

The Scene

The Fillmore emerged in the 1960s as a central component to the counterculture movement, hosting some of the biggest bands of the era and arguably fostering the emergence of psychedelic rock.

The Fillmore emerged in the 1960s as a central component to the counterculture movement, hosting some of the biggest bands of the era and arguably fostering the emergence of psychedelic rock.

More than just a relic of the past or a shrine to outdated hippiedom, this historic venue remains one of the city’s handful of stalwart concert halls where major bands routinely grace the stage and up-and-comers still yearn to stand. Much like they have done for decades, greeters yell out, “Welcome to the Fillmore!” as the audience files in before a show, and though purists decry the 2008 lease to corporate chain Live Nation, traditions like the greeting still live on.

The open hall inside is relatively simple, with well-worn floors and cabaret-style chandeliers, and, depending on the act, the broad standing-room-only space in front of the stage hosts everyone from hardcore punks in furious mosh pits to chilled-out suburbanites.

Tables tucked against the walls provide respite from the dense surge of the thousand-plus fans who routinely sell out the shows, while a mezzanine level covered with psychedelic concert posters reminds guests of the venue’s long and occasionally drug-addled past.

Standard concert prices at the full bar keep revelers’ thirst in check, but all roads ultimately lead San Francisco music fans to The Fillmore, overpriced brews and all.

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Tip from Jonah:

Be sure to snag a free apple from the barrel near the entrance and throughout much of the venue – another of the Fillmore’s great traditions! And if you’re seeing a sold-out show, there’s a good chance they’ll be handing out free posters like the ones in the mezzanine, too.

  • Crowd

    Depends greatly on the act, though most nights see plenty of counterculture veterans and young hipsters. All ages.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Bands representing a broad variety of genres, though rock acts tend to dominate. Past performers include Foster the People, Gillian Welch, Paul Simon, and the Arctic Monkeys.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Rotating menu of American cuisine including hot dogs and sandwiches available on the mezzanine. All attendees must have a ticket, including babies. ATM in lobby. One factory-sealed water bottle may be brought in. All regulations subject to change based on performers’ requests.

  • Prices

    Tickets usually $24–$70. Service fee $3 on all tickets sold at the box office, except on Sundays. Grub $4–$8. Beer $6–$8, wine $8–$12, cocktails $8–$14. $25 credit card minimum bar.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes, but trends casual.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Whenever a band of interest takes the stage.

  • Close By

    Sheba Piano Lounge (1419 Fillmore Street) serves up popular Ethiopian dishes and live jazz.

The Fillmore User Reviews

Average rating:
The Best Venue in Town
Martin S. Jun 19, 2013
As a concert-goer and rabid fan of music, I was so surprised when I came here (to see The Smashing Pumpkins during their residency in 2007) and realized how small (good thing) this venue was. It is a very intimate and cozy building with great architecture and design. The balcony level was an added feature that gives you a great birds-eye-view of the stage and ground level. Do yourself a favor and see your favorite band here no matter the cost. That's right, no matter the cost!
Coolest venue ever!
Jason B. Jun 9, 2013
This is the venue of venues. The Fillmore is one of the most historic music venues in California. The speaker system is insanely awesome, the bar is along side the stage so if you get a bit parched there they to assist you, and the dance floor is always moving. I have seen CAKE and Aesop Rock at The Fillmore and both were epic shows. The coolest part of The Fillmore truly is the posters! They are all over the place and they are true works of art. I have a few posters from concerts I have seen there and they really are one of a kind.
The most important music venue in San Francisco
Keane L. May 15, 2013
Hendrix. The Grateful Dead. Santana. They've all played and made names for themselves here. The Fillmore isn't just one of the hottest music venues in San Francisco, it's also the most historic. Located at the corner of Fillmore and Geary, the Fillmore Auditorium exudes classic charm not only in its decor and layout, but also with its hospitality. Posters are given to concert goers as they enter, giving even the largest concerts a small-gig vibe. Upstairs, you'll find a separate bar and room for smaller shows, the perfect hideaway to grab another Jack and Coke. It never feels like a commercialized arena venue; it feels like home. There are a number of great eateries nearby, particularly the gastropub Fat Angel. Located just behind the Fillmore, it's the best place to hit up before or after a show.
Historic SF Music Venue Delivers
Alex S. Mar 28, 2013
Envisioned and opened by the legendary and late concert promoter, Bill Graham, the Fillmore established itself as the undisputed focal point of the mid-1960's psychedelic music scene in the United States. The venue built a storied reputation by playing host to concerts by The Grateful Dead, The Steve Miller Band, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Byrds, Carlos Santana, The Allman Brothers Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, Pink Floyd, Elton John, and Cream to name just a few. The Fillmore is in many ways the perfect mid-sized venue. With a capacity of around 1500, it is significantly smaller than massive amphitheater concerts or outdoor festivals but manages to effectively capture the intimate vibe and feel of a smaller-scale venue. The vaulted ceilings and lighted chandeliers create a warm and spacious ambiance. The first level features a large, open floor space and creates a great dance environment during shows. There are cocktail bars featured on both the first and second levels, with food served on the second floor. The second story balcony wraps around the entire lower floor area, providing a great vantage to take in a drink and watch the stage and crowd below. This space really lends itself to virtually all styles of music and having attended shows ranging across the genres of metal, funk/jazz, hip hop, electronica and rock, the sound quality has always been at a high level. If you have never experienced a live show here, do yourself a favor and see what more than 45 years of hype is all about. Alex Sheldon
Jackie D. Dec 4, 2012
The Fillmore is a staple music venue in SF. Hundreds of iconic artists have performed in this small and intimate space that it's worth checking out newer artists here. The space itself is pretty funky and there are oddly placed chandeliers hanging from the ceilings amid grungy walls and sticky floors. All tickets are usually general admission and standing room only. I think that one of the coolest things about the venue is that they make unique posters for every event, so try to snag one before you leave!
Fun and Funky
Claire B. Nov 29, 2012
Not much to say about this place. If you have a chance to see a show here, DO IT! This venue has the ultimate San Francisco vibe and you are guaranteed a good time, especially if you're seeing a band you like!
Won't go out of style
Kt K. Nov 26, 2012
Though my Fillmore experiences haven't been as amazing as my father's, who was around for the Summer of Love, I've only had a good time there. The Fillmore is in a diverse and interesting area of the city, but still draws great artists, especially rock. The main floor is expansive, but the best views are won early so make time for that. I've had to do a little shuffling to get a good look, but I've never been too packed in. The mezzanine is a great place to hang out, too, and I've seen a few of my dad's posters on the wall. Can't speak for the food, but the drinks are good. I usually grab food at a restaurant nearby before heading to a show. Sometimes, artists come out to do signings by the merch which is extra cool. It's a great place to look back on the days that made SF a musician's paradise while listening to new acts.
Good place to see a show
Dana G. Oct 2, 2012
I've been to the Fillmore several times in my short time living in the Bay and I really like it. What's not to like about dark, hot spaces where you can get a beer, people watch and see some of the best live music around? And there's parking super close by, a HUGE plus for this LA native who treats her car like some people treat their children/dogs/fish. The security guys always make me laugh and you can typically find excellent scalpers on the corner...did I say that? The Fillmore is also really close to some great bars so you can grab a few before the show. The only downside for an old-timer like me (30 ain't what 29 was) is that it's standing room only. So be ready to shift around that hipster in front of you!
If you're going to San Francisco...
Katya L. Aug 16, 2012
The Fillmore lets you experience music in a quaint but legendary way. As one of San Francisco's classic venues, The Fillmore welcomes concert-goers with a friendly and laid back SF vibe (free apples at the door, for one). As you enjoy your apple, you make your way to the main room, which you likely expected to be much bigger. And you may ask yourself how everyone will possibly fit. It's doable- but be prepared to meet some awesome strangers in very close quarters. It's all standing room, with a few tables and chairs near the bar. Those fill up quickly, so arrive early and stake some out if you wish. The big bonus to a standing venue is the chance to get incredibly close to the band. I got a smile from Steve Tannen and his autograph from the stage. A couple also became engaged at this concert- a token to the Fillmore's place in native SF hearts. If you're excited about music and flexible with standing for long periods of time, check out any of the bands that perform at The Fillmore.
a SF classic
Emily B. Aug 1, 2012
The Fillmore is one of those places that every music-lover in San Francisco has to check out. First off, a lot of greats from the Punk and New Wave scene have played there, and it's fun to check out their pictures in the main lobby. The place has a great vibe with cool old-school rock decor (vintage chandeliers, dim lighting etc.), and it's never so packed that you want to start elbowing dancing strangers. I recommend getting there early if there is an act you really want to see because like all general admission venues, it gets kind of squishy at the front. The bar is well-stocked and the artists are known to grab a drink there between sets. This place is intimate but still big enough to feel like a legitimate rock/alternative/indie venue.
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