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Look, there's nothing wrong with going to see a big headliner when they come to town (love you, Mumford & Sons). But don't rule out these five exciting performances happening this summer. You'll thank us later.


July 19: DakhaBrakha

Here?s one we bet you haven?t heard of. Hailing from Kiev, Ukraine, DakhaBrakha describes their sound as ?ethnic chaos.? Their mix of Indian, Arabic, African, Russian and Australian instrumentation makes for an original genre that?s like a quick lesson in world music. Quirky local favorite Tune-Yards is on the bill too.

Stern Grove, Sloat Blvd. and 19th Ave.;


July 23: Sam Lee

Grab tickets to see British singer-songwriter Sam Lee’s modern interpretation of gypsy folk at Viracocha, the Mission’s hidden gem of an underground music venue that will close its doors for good later this summer.

Viracocha, 998 Valencia St.;

Allah las

August 9: Allah-Las

If you?re one of the lucky thousands holding Outside Lands tickets, head to the park early on Sunday to catch the Allah-Las, whose nostalgic hippie guitar jangling is perfectly suited for the festival?s throwback summer-of-love vibe.

Golden Gate Park;

August 23: Jill Scott

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and poet Jill Scott takes the stage at the Mountain Winery’s enchanting outdoor amphitheater. This summer-only music series is a bucket-list item worth checking off this year.

Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Rd., Saratoga;

September 13: SF Opera in the Park

If, like us, you’re kind of intrigued by opera but don’t want to bite the bullet and buy a ticket, then lay down a picnic blanket for a low-key primer at the annual Opera in the Park event. Expect a medley of performances from the forthcoming fall season lineup. No commitment required (it’s free and open to the public).

Sharon Meadow, Golden Gate Park;

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